London Chest Hospital

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London Chest Hospital
Barts Health NHS Trust
London Chest Hospital entrance.JPG
The London Chest Hospital on the day of closure
London Chest Hospital is located in London Borough of Tower Hamlets
London Chest Hospital
Location within Tower Hamlets
LocationBonner Road, Bethnal Green, London, England
Coordinates51°31′56″N 0°02′57″W / 51.5321°N 0.04926°W / 51.5321; -0.04926Coordinates: 51°31′56″N 0°02′57″W / 51.5321°N 0.04926°W / 51.5321; -0.04926
Care systemNational Health Service
Opened13 March 1848; 174 years ago (1848-03-13)
Closed17 April 2015; 7 years ago (2015-04-17)

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.[1] Since 1999 it had been run by the Barts Health NHS Trust.[2] It closed on 17 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.[3]


The London Chest Hospital was founded on 13 March 1848 by a group of men, predominantly Quakers,[4] 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.[5] 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.[5] In 1849 the site of the former Bishop's Hall, the Manor House of Stepney, was purchased and in 1851 Prince Albert laid the foundation stone.[2] The architect was F. W. Ordish.[6][7] The Hospital opened in 1855 at a cost of around £30,000.[4]

Until 1923, it was known as the City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest,[8] 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'.[8] A Pathological Laboratory & Research Institute was opened in 1927 funded by the Prudential Assurance Company.[4] In 1937 a new Surgical Wing was added to the Hospital and the name was changed to the London Chest Hospital.[4] The Hospital was badly damaged by bombing during the Second World War[4] and in 1948 it became part of the National Health Service.[2] In 1994 it became part of the Royal Hospitals NHS Trust together with the Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomew's Hospital.[2]

On 17 April 2015[3][9] it closed due to a reconfiguration of specialist cardiovascular services in north and east London.[10] This enabled the creation of the Barts Heart Centre, one of Europe's largest cardiac centres.[11] Local campaigners opposed the closure which was approved by NHS England in October 2014.[1][12] 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.'[3] 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.[13] On 28 August 2015, Barts Health NHS Trust sold the premises to Circle Housing[14] with the proceeds reinvested into the Barts Heart Centre.[15]

Famous patients[edit]

Fabrice Muamba, the Congolese-born 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.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Mike Brooke (3 June 2014). "Battle to save London Chest hospital next to Victoria Park from bulldozers". East London Advertiser. Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Ben., Weinreb (1 January 2008). The London encyclopaedia. Macmillan. p. 499. ISBN 9781405049245. OCLC 320248280.
  3. ^ a b c "The London Chest". Barts Health. n.d. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  4. ^ a b c d e Archives, The National. "The Discovery Service". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Lost_Hospitals_of_London". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  6. ^ Hanhart, M & N (1855–1960). "City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest". British Museum (print). Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  7. ^ "The former London Chest Hospital". Historic England. Retrieved 26 November 2021.
  8. ^ a b "The National Archives | Search the archives | Hospital Records| Details". Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  9. ^ "The History of the London Chest Hospital". Barts and the London NHS Trust. Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  10. ^ London, NHS England. "NHS England London » Engagement and public meetings". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Barts Health – Barts Heart Centre". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Go ahead announced to revolutionise cancer and heart disease care for millions". NHS England London. 25 June 2014.
  13. ^ "Barts Health – The London Chest Hospital services move". Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  14. ^ "London Chest Hospital site sold off by Barts NHS Trust to Circle Housing". Hackney Gazette. Archant Community Media Ltd. 11 September 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  15. ^ "FORMER LONDON CHEST HOSPITAL" (PDF). LDN London in Short. p. 25. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Fabrice Muamba: Bolton midfielder discharged from hospital". BBC. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 22 June 2018.