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Victoria Hospital, Barnet

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Alternative name(s):
  • Victoria Maternity Hospital (Later known as)
  • Victoria Cottage Hospital (Formerly known as)
Date: 1908-1947
History: Victoria Hospital was founded in 1888 to commemorate the year of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. It was located at Barnet Hill and built at a cost of £3000 to provide 10 beds for patients. In 1911 the number of beds had incresaed to 20, with 2 additional cots. In 1924 the hospital moved to new premises at Cedar Lawn, 55 Wood Street, Barnet, and was known as Victoria Cottage Hospital. In 1947 it had 52 beds.

Following the creation of the National Health Service it was managed by Barnet Group No. 5 Hospital Management Committee of the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. In November 1949 the maternity unit from Wellhouse Hospital was transferred there, and it became the maternity hospital for the district, being re-named Victoria Maternity Hospital. It held 48 beds and 48 cots. By the end of 1958 the hospital ahd opened a special care baby unit with 11 cots of premature babies. In 1974, at which time it held 64 beds, it passed to the Barnet District Health Authority in the North East Thames Regional Health Authority, and in 1982 to the North West Thames Regional Health Authority. It was closed in 1987, when maternity services were transferred to Edgware General Hospital.
  • Barnet, Hertfordshire
Sources of authority: National Health Service Act 1946
Functions, occupations and activities: Health and social care > Hospitals
History Links: webage on Victoria Hospital, Barnet
Historical context: The first voluntary hospitals came into being in England to provide care for the poor after the Reformation, taking over the role previously performed by the monastic orders. Voluntary hospitals were privately endowed, often by a local landowner, but subsequently maintained by subscriptions and donations. Anyone was open to subscribe, and then became known as a governor or subscriber which entitled them to certain privileges. A Board of Management was appointed from the governors to administer the daily running of the hospital, usually with the help of a House Committee and a Finance Committee. Many local organizations adopted the hospitals and held fetes, garden parties and other fund raising events to raise money for the maintenance of the hospital and especially for the purchase of equipment. Many of the hospitals had contributory schemes which entitled a member of the scheme to medical treatment. The voluntary hospitals, unlike the large sprawling workhouse infirmaries, were usually small, containing as few as six or seven beds in some cases, and served the "deserving" poor of the immediate area. Voluntary hospitals would not generally admit the destitute or "undeserving" poor. In the early days of the voluntary hospitals the medical staff were usually unpaid, but it was considered to be prestigious to be appointed to the medical staff, who often maintained themselves by private practice. The nursing staff were on the whole either "Nightingale" nurses or had been trained at other nursing establishments. Voluntary hospitals could chose which patients to admit (then referring all other cases to the workhouse), and if their beds were full they could refuse to admit patients altogether. They did not take the chronic infirm, infectious cases or long term sick patients. Most of the voluntary hositals started life in cottages or other buildings, which were either bought by the governors or left by the benefactor. As the hospitals became more financially stable and more prestigious they were able to finance larger, purpose built buildings, often in the pavilion style with high ceilings and lofty corridors. On July 5th 1948 control of the voluntary hospitals passed from the Board of Management and therefore the local community to the Minister of Health.
References: Hosprec database; Burdetts and Hospital Yearbooks 1901-1986
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/C231229
Number Description Held by Reference Further information
1908-1947: annual reports
London Metropolitan Archives: City of London
Related record creators
  Record creator Description of relationship Dates Category of relationship
Victoria Hospital was under the authority of North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board
Victoria Hospital was under the authority of North West Thames Regional Health Authority