Stoke Park Hospital
|Stoke Park Hospital|
The Dower House, formerly part of the hospital
|Location||Bristol, England, United Kingdom|
|Care system||Public NHS|
|Lists||Hospitals in England|
Stoke Park Hospital, was a large mental handicap hospital, closed circa 1997, situated on the north-west edge of Bristol, England, just within South Gloucestershire. Most patients were long-term residents, both adults and children of all ages. A school was on-site. Prior to 1950, it was known as the Stoke Park Colony, which was founded in 1909.
The Burden Neurological Institute, opened in 1939, was co-located at the hospital, and outlasted the hospital on the site to 2000. The associated Burden Neurological Hospital was formed in 1969. The Institute continues to operate at Frenchay Hospital as a charity.
In 1902 the Rev. Harold Nelson Burden, chaplain at Horfield Prison, and Katharine his wife founded the National Institutions for Persons Requiring Care and Control to care for mentally disabled children and adults. In 1908 they rented the Stoke Park estate, opening the Stoke Park Colony in April 1909. The colony was the first institution certified as a home for mentally disabled patients under the Mental Deficiency Act 1913, the Rev. Burden having been a member of the Royal Commission for inquiry into care of the feeble-minded that lead to the Act. The colony was regarded as a leading institution of its type.
The National Health Service took over the colony in 1948, which along with the smaller Purdown, Leigh Court and Hanham Hall hospitals, was run by the Stoke Park Hospital Management Committee with 1930 beds for patients. Little development took place, with other types of hospital being prioritised, and gradually the hospital became overcrowded and understaffed. The Hospital Advisory Service visited in 1971 and wrote a damning report on the terrible conditions at Stoke Park. The report was leaked by hospital staff to the press and the BBC, and raised in parliament, resulting in £1 million being spent on new wards and a 29% revenue increase for the hospital.
In line with the Care in the Community policy of the 1980s, patients were moved from the hospital into smaller units under the community mental health service to overcome the problem of patient institutionalisation. There are conflicting sources over when exactly the hospital closed; patients are reported to have been removed by January 1985, the hospital closed in 1988 or 1997, and hospital records finished circa 1998. The hospital site tender brochure states that the hospital closed in March 1997. The site was redeveloped for housing from about 2000, and the estate is now maintained as an open space by Bristol City Council, known as Stoke Park Estate.
The Stoke Park Hospital Group School of Nursing was based at the hospital in the 1970s, with about 60 training places.
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- "Author Jill Mansell opens new Frenchay hospital labs". Bristol Evening Post. 4 December 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
New research labs at Frenchay Hospital have been opened by a best-selling author, 16 years after she left their predecessor to pursue her literary career. Bristol novelist Jill Mansell started work at the Burden Neurological Institute straight from school and was still working there, at its former base at Stoke Park Hospital, when she first found success with her writing. Yesterday, she was the guest of honour at the official opening of the new laboratories, which are already carrying out ground-breaking research.
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- The History of Stoke Park, edited by Adrian Kerton, Glenside Museum
- Stoke Park Colony for Mentally Defective Children, Bristol, Gloucestershire, Peter Higginbotham, childrenshomes.org.uk
- Stoke Park Hospital - The Heydays (video), Penny Lepisz, Bristol Memories
- Stoke Park Hospital - The Latter Years (video), Penny Lepisz, Bristol Memories
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- "The Stoke Park Colony (Stoke Park Hospital) including the Dower House, Stoke Gifford, from the south, 1947". Britain from Above. 13 May 1947. EAW005368. Retrieved 14 April 2016.