A brief history of Whipps Cross Hospital


by Alan Simpson


Essex County Chronicle, 27 July 1900


The foundation stone of the new joint infirmary for the West Ham Union at Forest House, Whipps Cross, was laid yesterday by Mr. John Lasham, the oldest member of the Board. The new infirmary will occupy 20 acres, and Messrs. Shillitoe and Son, of Bury St. Edmunds, are erecting the buildings at the contract price, £186,000. The total cost, when the place is furnished, is estimated at £225,000. There will be accommodation for 670 patients, besides officers, who will number considerably over 100.

On opening, the new West Ham Union Infirmary contained 674 beds in 24 main wards tended by 23 trained and 63 probationer nurses. Designed by Francis Sturdy, the buildings comprised a central administration block flanked by two large towers, plus four symmetrical three-storey ward blocks with tiered covered walkways at each level. A detailed description of the buildings appeared in The Builder in April 1903 9.

Essex County Chronicle, 27 March 1903


In glorious weather, and in the presence of a large gathering, Mr. John Lasham, senior member of the Guardians, who is 89 years of age, opened the new Union Infirmary on Wednesday afternoon. The building, which stands on the Forest House Estate, Whipp’s Cross-road, Leytonstone, is an enormous one. There are 24 wards, each accommodating 24 patients, 48 isolation wards taking two patients each, and a lunatic ward with provision for two patients, giving a total accommodation for 674. The nurse’s home contains separate rooms for 72 nurses and the superintendent. The contract price for putting up the building was £186,665. The chairman of the Guardians, the Rev. M. A. Bere, presided at the opening ceremony. Altogether the building and site have cost nearly £250,000.

Essex County Chronicle, 22 April 1904


A return relating to the erection and working of the new infirmary of the West Ham Union at Whipps Cross has been furnished to the Guardians, at the instance of Mr. H. Seckington, the member for Leytonstone. It shows:– Amount voted for erection, £250,000; for furniture and appliances, £13,935; laying out grounds, roads, &c., £6,215. Number of officials and employees appointed to carry on the infirmary and buildings connected therewith, 250; salaries of the same, £7,812 per annum. Number of inmates for which provision is made, 674.

9  see Appendix 3 when available


Leyton & Leytonstone

Historical Society