Whipps Cross University Hospital

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Whipps Cross University Hospital
Barts Health NHS Trust
Whipps Cross Hospital old building.jpg
Whipps Cross original building
Whipps Cross University Hospital is located in London Borough of Waltham Forest
Whipps Cross University Hospital
Location within Waltham Forest
LocationWhipps Cross Road, Leytonstone, London, England
Coordinates51°34′40″N 0°00′07″E / 51.57787°N 0.00197°E / 51.57787; 0.00197Coordinates: 51°34′40″N 0°00′07″E / 51.57787°N 0.00197°E / 51.57787; 0.00197
Care systemNational Health Service
Hospital typeTeaching
Affiliated universityBarts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
Emergency departmentYes
Beds734 (approx)

Whipps Cross University Hospital is a large university hospital in the locality of Whipps Cross in Leytonstone and is within Epping Forest in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, London, England. It is managed by Barts Health NHS Trust.


In 1889 the West Ham Board of Guardians purchased Forest House with 44 acres (18 ha) of grounds at Whipps Cross in Leytonstone, with the intention of building a workhouse.[1] Construction of an infirmary for the workhouse started in 1900 and was completed in 1903.[2] Designed by Francis Sturdy, the former main entrance is in the style of a northern Renaissance town hall.[3] When it opened the infirmary provided 672 beds in 24 wards in four awe-inspiring symmetrical blocks with tiered covered walkways and two massive towers. The site and buildings cost £250,000 in total.[4]

During the First World War, the infirmary was used to treat wounded troops; a brass plaque in the main corridor has this inscription: "This tablet was erected to commemorate the visit of Their Majesties King George V & Queen Mary with H.R.H. Princess Mary, to this Infirmary and War Hospital on Saturday, 17 November 1917, when Their Majesties visited the wounded soldiers and the Queen presented the medals and certificates of training to the nurses."[5]

By the end of the war, the infirmary had started to become a general hospital and the name was changed to Whipps Cross Hospital.[2] Management passed from the Board of Guardians to the County Borough of West Ham council in 1930 as a result of the Local Government Act 1929.[2] In 1936 the hospital had 741 acute medical and surgical beds.[2] A major extension to the east of the old Infirmary block and that was planned and was opened in July 1940. The Hospital transferred to the new National Health Service in 1946 as part of the North East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board.[6] The hospital joined the National Health Service in 1948.[2]

Forest House was used as a ward for male mental patients; it was closed in 1962 when a new hostel, Samuel Boyce Lodge, was opened, and was finally demolished in 1964.[7] A Medical Education Centre opened in 1965, an Intensive Care Unit opened in 1968 and a Hyperbaric Unit opened the same year.[2] Further extensions included the a Maternity Wing in 1973, the Margaret Centre providing palliative care for patients with life-limiting illnesses in 1987 and the Plane Tree Centre for the provision of day surgery in 1995.[2]

A redevelopment programme to create state-of-the-art facilities in the A&E Department was completed in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics on 9 May 2012.[8]


Whipps Cross provides a full range of local general hospital services and is home to one of the busiest A&E departments in the country.[9] Whipps Cross was listed as having one of the worst rates for MRSA in 2008[10] but by 2010 Whipps Cross had the lowest rate of infections in London.[11]


The hospital has its own radio service, Whipps Cross Hospital Radio, a registered charity founded in 1969 by the Walthamstow Lions Club to provide entertainment and information to the patients and staff.[12]


The closest stations are Leytonstone tube station on the London Underground's Central line and Wood Street railway station on National Rail's Chingford branch line. There are several buses that connect the hospital to Leytonstone station.[13]

Notable births[edit]


The wards of the hospital are mainly named after trees:[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Powell, W R (1973). "'Leyton: Local government and public services', in A History of the County of Essex:". London: British History Online. p. 205-214. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Whipps Cross University Hospital". Lost hospitals of London. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Buildings of Local Architectural or Historic Interest" (PDF). London Borough of Waltham Forest. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  4. ^ "New Infirmary". Essex County Chronicle. 22 April 1904. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  5. ^ "King George V visit commemorative placque". UK National Inventory of War Memorials: Ref 40041. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  6. ^ Victoria County History of Essex; Vol 4: OUP; 1973 p214
  7. ^ Powell, W R (1973). "'Leyton: Manors and estates', in A History of the County of Essex". London: British History Online. p. 184-197. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Whipps Cross: New £11m A&E department opens". East London and West Essex Guardian. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Health Trust" (PDF). CHI Clinical Governance Review. Retrieved 11 April 2008.
  10. ^ "Hospitals with the worst records for superbug deaths". Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  11. ^ "Whipps Cross has lowest MRSA rate". Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  12. ^ "Welcome to Whipps Cross Hospital Radio". Whipps Cross Hospital Radio. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Whipps Cross University Hospital". Barts Health NHS Trust. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  14. ^ "LEYTONSTONE: Hospital unit re-named". Waltham Forest Guardian. 10 September 2010. Retrieved 29 October 2014.

External links[edit]