Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

St George's Hospital

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Care system  Public NHS
Beds  >1300
Hospital type  Teaching
St George's Hospital

Location  Tooting, Wandsworth, London, England, United Kingdom
Affiliated university  St George's, University of London
Emergency department  Yes Accident & Emergency

Founded in 1733, St George’s Hospital is one of the UK's largest teaching hospitals. It is run by the St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It shares its main hospital site in Tooting in the London Borough of Wandsworth, with the St George's, University of London which trains NHS staff and carries out advanced medical research.


The hospital has around 1,000 beds and most general tertiary care such as accident and emergency, maternity services and care for older people and children. However, as a major acute hospital, St George's Hospital also offers specialist care for the more complex injuries and illnesses, including trauma, neurology, cardiac care, renal transplantation, cancer care and stroke. It is also home to one of four major trauma centres and one of eight hyper-acute stroke units for London.

St George's Hospital also provides care for patients from a larger catchment area in the South East of England, for specialities such as complex pelvic trauma. Other services treat patients from all over the country, such as family HIV care and bone marrow transplantation for non-cancer diseases. The trust also provides a nationwide endoscopy training service.


As of the end of 2014 it was the subject of the Channel 4 documentary "24 Hours in A&E".


In 1716 Henry Hoare, William Wogan, Robert Witham and Patrick Cockburn decided to open the Westminster Public Infirmary in Petty France, London in 1720, and quickly relocated to larger premises in Chapel Street in 1724. By 1732 the Governors were forced to seek an even larger building. The majority of the Governors favoured a house in Castle Lane but a minority preferred Lanesborough House.

The original site was in Lanesborough House at Hyde Park Corner, originally built in 1719 by James Lane, 2nd Viscount Lanesborough in what was then open countryside. The new St George's Hospital was arranged on three floors and accommodated 30 patients in two wards: one for men and one for women. The hospital was gradually extended and, by 1744, it had fifteen wards and over 250 patients.

By the 1800s, the hospital was slipping into disrepair. The old Lanesborough House at Hyde Park Corner was demolished to make way for a new 350 bed facility designed by architect William Wilkins. Building began in 1827 and was completed by 1844.

By 1859, a critical shortage of beds led to the addition of an attic floor. This was soon insufficient and led to the creation of a new convalescent hospital, Atkinson Morley's in Wimbledon, freeing up beds at St George's for acute patients.

A medical school was established in 1834 at Kinnerton Street and was incorporated into the hospital in 1868. The Medical School, now St George's, University of London, was built in the south-west corner of the hospital site in Hyde Park, with the main entrance in Knightsbridge and the back entrance in Grosvenor Crescent Mews.

In 1948, the National Health Service was introduced and plans for a new site for St George's at The Grove Fever and Fountain Hospitals at Tooting were eventually agreed upon. In 1954, the Grove Hospital became part of St George's, and clinical teaching started in Tooting.

Relocation to Tooting

In 1973, building began on the new site. The new hospital and school buildings were now well advanced. The School was completed, as were two wings of the new hospital, which provided a total of 710 beds. In 1976, the Medical School opened at Tooting and, in 1980, St George's Hospital at Hyde Park Corner closed its doors for the last time. (The building still stands and is now The Lanesborough Hotel on the west side of Hyde Park Corner.)

In 1981, medical education in London was reorganized to recognize the movement of population away from the centre. There are now fewer, larger medical schools in London. The expansion of St George's, University of London (formerly St George's Hospital Medical School) has become part of this policy.

In 2003, neuroscience services located at Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon moved to the brand new Atkinson Morley Wing on the main St George's site. This addition to the hospital now also houses cardiac and cardiothoracic services which have moved from the old fever hospital wards. St George's today provides a total of over 1000 beds making it one of the biggest in the country.

In April 2010 St George’s Healthcare became part of the South West London and Surrey Trauma Network (SWLSTN). All Accident and Emergency (A&E) departments within the network continue to provide trauma services with St George’s designated as the major trauma centre. It is one of a small number of A&E departments to benefit from Pearson Lloyd’s redesign - ‘A Better A&E’ - which reduced aggression against hospital staff by 50 per cent. A system of environmental signage provides location-specific information for patients. Screens provide live information about how many cases are being handled and the current status of the A&E department.

On Friday 1 October St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust integrated with Community Services Wandsworth, after approval from NHS London. The change aims to significantly improve care given to local people, by providing more care in their own homes, reducing unnecessary admissions to hospital and helping patients leave hospital as soon as it is safe for them to do so.

In May 2014 the Trust's application for Foundation Trust status was approved by the NHS Trust Development Authority following a positive rating from the Care Quality Commission. In the last five years the trust has turned around a large deficit and repaid a debt of £34m. The TDA identified several areas that the trust will have to work on to ensure it gets through the final stages of FT assessment. These include improving its A&E performance against the four-hour waiting time target and putting together a robust operating plan for the next two years.


Around 1788, the famous George Lukins of Yatton, spent twenty weeks at St. George's Hospital, and was pronounced incurable by the medical community there.

Notable students and staff

Among those who have been associated with St George's are:

  • Sir William H. Bennett established a department of massage for the treatment of fractures
  • Clinton Thomas Dent, surgeon and mountaineer
  • Joseph Forlenze, ophthalmologist of the Napoleonic Empire
  • Marmaduke Sheild, surgeon who gave his name to the Sheild Professorship of Pharmacology at Cambridge University
  • Henry Gray, anatomist
  • Harry Hill, subsequently stand-up comedian and TV funny man
  • John Hunter, father of modern surgery
  • Edward Jenner, introduced vaccination for smallpox
  • Humphry Osmond, pioneer of orthomolecular psychiatry and coiner of the word psychedelic
  • Juda Hirsch Quastel, biochemist, with discoveries in neuroscience, soil chemistry and cancer
  • Thomas Spencer Wells, pioneer in abdominal surgery
  • Thomas Young, physician, mathematician and hieroglyphicologist
  • Peter H Millard Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics and inventor of Nosokinetics
  • Edward Adrian Wilson, polar explorer and member of Robert Falcon Scott's ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole
  • Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet, English physiologist and surgeon who pioneered research into bone and joint disease
  • Geoffrey Davies 1924-2008, Cardiology Technician who invented the British version of the cardiac pacemaker
  • Dr Algernon “Algie” Stanley Smith, founder of Rwanda Mission
  • William Howship Dickinson, involved in the early characterization of Alport syndrome
  • Atkinson Morley, philanthropist
  • Peter Sleight, internationally renowned cardiologist
  • Rosena Allin-Khan, doctor and Labour MP for Tooting
  • References

    St George's Hospital Wikipedia