History

The first cottage hospital was opened in 1893 in a house at No 8 Clinton Road, leased to the “Committee” by Mrs Sackville Davis. The hospital had 8 beds, and had to close in 1902 as it was incurring debts of £130. An extract from the Parish Magazine from August 1896 show that the Cottage Hospital was struggling to make ends meet, a familiar story to us now :-

Whilst the number of patients admitted and treated since the last Annual Report has increased, seven more having been admitted than at this time last year, the funds have not increased in proportion, and a further sum of £40 will be required to enable the work to be carried on free of debt to the end of the year….. I shall be very grateful for any donations towards this sum.

The second hospital cost £2625 to build in 1904, and was on the site now occupied by the housing block Victoria House, at the junction of Epsom and Fortyfoot Roads. It contained 6 beds and 1 cot. Fifty eight patients were admitted in the first year. Fairmead, a house on the opposite side of the Epsom Road was added in 1928 to provide sleeping accommodation for domestic and nursing staff and for the installation of X-ray equipment and ‘apparatus affording electrical and therapeutic treatments’. The hospital then had 17 beds. Mary Munro was the matron and 381 patients were admitted during that year. The operating theatre was on the ground floor and unconscious patients had to be carried upstairs to the first floor ward. It was when the President of the Committee, Sir Alfred Burkhill had been an inpatient the decision was made to build a new hospital and this was achieved in 1940 through the efforts of Mr Leach.

The land for the current hospital was bought from the estate of Mrs Still by Mr Leach in 1939 and given to the hospital, the cost of building being £47,000.

The hospital had 40 beds, 12 male, 12 female, 10 children, 6 private rooms, and was thriving with a casualty department and an operating theatre used by local GPs and visiting consultant surgeons from the London teaching hospitals.

With the inception of the NHS in 1940 the hospital came under the umbrella of Epsom District Hospital although retaining its own Medical Committee and its own identity. Christmas times were special occasions with consultants, GPs and nurses putting on a cabaret and decorating up the wards.

By 1960 the hospital had grown to 52 beds and the League of Friends was formed.

Following the recent re-organisation of the NHS, the land and buildings are owned and maintained by NHS Property Services Limited, and the GP’s (Surrey Downs Clinical Commissioning Group) now decide which services are commissioned at the hospital. The majority of the staff are employed by Central Surrey Health (a not-for-profit organisation that is co-owned by the staff it employs), although some clinics (including X-ray and Colposcopy) are run by Epsom/St Helier hospital, some by Virgin Care, and others run by groups of GP’s. The tradition of strong local support, and an exceptionally dedicated and caring staff in all departments, still continues.