ST GEORGE’S HOSPITAL WAS CLOSED in October 2012 after a legionella bacteria was discovered on one of the wards. The hospital has a long history and it is sad that it had to close. But there is promise for the future, with assurance from Havering CGG that a new facility is to be built on site
The Hornchurch Facility was opened in 1938, at that time it was called Suttons Institution and was primarily an old people’s home. This changed during the Second World War due to the large part that Hornchurch Airfield, which was situated right next door to the Suttons Institution, played in the war and from 1939 until 1945 the Institution was used to house R.A.F. Hornchurch airman. In 1948 the site was taken over by the ministry of health and was officially made a hospital and renamed St George’s Hospital
The site has often faced closure, in 2005 a consolation was launched on whether to refurbish, redevelop or close the hospital. These plans were only put on hold after a campaign led by, then Hornchurch MP, James Brokenshire. In 2007 the then head of nursing at the hospital, Lynne Swiatczak, said the facilities were “not suitable for the care of adults” and the Havering Primary Care trust once again said that the site would require a rebuild to ensure the facilities were up to the standard that patients expected.
The most recent plans for the current buildings were for the 2 wards to be moved out of the hospital, with outpatients services remaining, but the discovery of Legionella bacteria in the hospital grounds has now left the hospital lying empty.
So what is the future for the site that served our RAF pilots as they fought for our country? Last year the Havering Clinical Commissioning Group proposed redevelopment of part of the empty site to create a new health centre for older people. According to the Havering CCG website “the centre of excellence would include integrated health, community and social care services for frail elder residents together with a GP practice and an on-site centre offering specialist tests and clinics such as ultrasound, screening and blood tests.”
Redevelopment of the site would, more the likely include demolition of current buildings with the majority of the site used for housing, but demolition of such a historical site would likely meet major opposition
Hornchurch Residents Association
Havering Clinical Commissioning Group