London Chest Hospital
|London Chest Hospital|
|Barts Health NHS Trust|
The London Chest Hospital on the day of closure
|Location||Victoria Park, London|
|Care system||NHS England|
The London Chest Hospital, located in Bethnal Green in London, adjacent to Victoria Park, was a hospital with a national reputation for treatment of cardiac and pulmonary disease. Since 1999 it had been run by the Barts Health NHS Trust. It closed in April 2015 as part of the creation of the Barts Heart Centre at St Bartholomew's Hospital, by consolidation of services from the London Chest Hospital and The Heart Hospital, part of University College London Hospital.
The London Chest Hospital was founded in March 1848 by a group of men, predominantly Quakers, who included bankers, merchants and the physician, Thomas Bevill Peacock. They wished to build a hospital to deal with diseases of the heart and lungs, particularly tuberculosis. By June the group, with the patronage of Prince Albert, had raised enough money to open a public dispensary at 6 Liverpool Street, while the hospital was being built. In 1849 a site in Bonner's Fields, part of Victoria Park was purchased and in 1851 Prince Albert laid the foundation stone. The Hospital opened in 1855 at a cost of around £30,000.
Until 1923 it was known as the City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, then it was renamed the City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Heart and Lungs, although it was popularly known as the 'Victoria Park Hospital'. A Pathological Laboratory & Research Institute was opened in 1927 funded by the Prudential Assurance Company. In 1937 a new Surgical Wing was added to the Hospital and the name was changed to the London Chest Hospital. The Hospital was badly damaged by bombing during the Second World War and in 1948 it became part of the National Health Service. In 1994 it became part of the Royal Hospitals NHS Trust together with the Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomew's Hospital.
On 17 April 2015 it closed due to a reconfiguration of specialist cardiovascular services in north and east London. This enabled the creation of the Barts Heart Centre, one of Europe's largest cardiac centres. Local campaigners opposed the closure which was approved by NHS England in October 2014. Barts Health announced in April 2015 that 'the hospital is no longer up to the demands of rigorous specialised 21st century medicine and is now closed.' Services moved from the London Chest Hospital (Barts Health) and The Heart Hospital (UCLH) to the Barts Heart Centre at St Bartholomew's Hospital in April and May 2015. On 28 August 2015, Barts Health NHS Trust sold the premises to Circle Housing with the proceeds reinvested into the Barts Heart Centre.
Fabrice Muamba, the Congolese footballer who played for England's Bolton Wanderers, was taken to the London Chest Hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch on 17 March 2012. He recovered, but was forced to retire from football.
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