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St Albans City Hospital

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Alternative name(s):
  • St Albans Union Workhouse (Formerly known as)
  • Osterhills Hospital (Formerly known as)
  • St Albans City Hospital (Main Wing) (Also known as)
  • Oster House (Formerly known as)
Date: 1948-1974
History: St Albans Board of Guardians founded the Union Workhouse in 1838. It was located in Union Lane, later called Normandy Road, St Albans. Improvements were soon made in 1841, including an additional infirmary for the sick, In 1930 it became known as the St Albans Public Assistance Institution and was also known as Oster House. During World War II it received staff from Elizabeth Garrett Anderson as well as many patients transferred fro London hospitals.By 1948 it had taken on the name of Osterhills Hospital.

Following the creation of the National Health Service in 1948 the hospital was managed by the Mid Herts Group No. 7 Hospital Management Committee within the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. In the early 1950s the hospital merged with St Albans and Mid Herts Hospital to create St Albans City Hospital. The premises at Normandy Road became known as St Albans City Hospital (Main Wing). In 1974 control of the hospital passed to the North West Herts District Authority in the North West Thames Regional Health Authority. In 1992 it briefly became part of the Dacorum and St Albans Community NHS Trust, then in 1993 of St Albans and Hemel Hempstead NHS Trust. In 1995 its address became Waverley Road, St Albans. It later became part of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust.
  • St Albans, Hertfordshire
Sources of authority: Poor Law Amendment Act 1834; Local Government Act 1929; National Service Health Act 1946
Functions, occupations and activities: Health and social care > Hospitals
Historical context: Union workhouses were set up following the passing of the Poor Law Amendment Act in 1834. There was no initial requirement for the boards of guardians to build infirmaries for the provision of health care, although many workhouses did have sick wards, which were poorly equipped and usually had no nursing staff, in which case care was provided by fit inmates. By 1842 it was generally recognised by most that some form of medical provision was necessary. Hospital workhouses were not permitted to turn away any patient, however ill, unlike voluntary hospitals which refused to deal with the long term chronically sick or those with infectious diseases. In 1929 the poor law unions were abolished, and control of the workhouses or poor law institutions and their infirmaries passed to the appropriate County Council, when they were largely re-named public assistance institutions. On 5 July 1948 the public assistance institutions and their hospitals were taken over by the newly formed National Health Service.
References: Hosprec database; Burdetts and Hospital Yearbooks 1901-1999; Geoff Dunk, Around St Albans, 1985
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/C231224
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1948-1974: administrative, patient, clinical and other records
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

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Related record creators
  Record creator Description of relationship Dates Category of relationship
St Albans City Hospital was managed by Mid Herts Group Hospital Management Committee
St Albans City Hospital cam under the authority of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board
St Albans City Hospital came under the authority of North West Thames Regional Authority
The Sisters Hospital was taken over by St Albans City Hospital