|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
St John's House
and Amyand House
Stafford Road, Twickenham TW1 3AD
|1995 - 2009
In 1995 St John's Hospital, once a G.P. hospital, became a mental health facility under the control of the South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust. A new entrance to the site had been made in Stafford Road and new, purpose-built buildings, including a Day Centre, had been erected to cater for elderly patients with severe dementia and challenging behaviour.
St John's House and Amyand House had two wings - Cole Park Lodge, which provided respite care, and Marble Lodge, with 18 beds to provide extended care.
The staff in Marble Lodge - psychogeriatricians, psychologists, occupational and language therapists, and nurses - had a different philosophy from other centres treating the elderly mentally ill, in that they focused on the quality of life of each patient; excessive drug treatment was discouraged. Instead, the unit had been designed to produce a calming effect, using lighting and colour. Patients were accommodated in individual bedrooms rather than open wards. The unit had quiet rooms and a multi-sensory room, while an outdoor area was used to help calm highly disturbed patients.
In 2007, in order to cut costs, the Richmond and Twickenham Primary Care Trust (later renamed NHS Richmond), which was responsible for mental healthcare services in the region, decided each bed in the Hospital was too expensive, at a weekly cost of £1,736. The Trust invited tenders from alternative providers for the contract, with a view to considering those charging between £650 to £850 a week. The South West London and St George's Mental Health Trust did not enter a formal tender and the contract was awarded to a cheaper non-NHS supplier.
Despite a lengthy battle to preserve the Hospital, the in-patients were transferred to various nursing homes according to their clinical needs and the convenience of their relatives and carers. Out-patient services were moved to new premises at the Teddington Memorial Hospital.
In spite of, or perhaps because of, providing an excellent service for the elderly mentally ill, the Hospital closed in 2009.
Present status (October 2013)
When Elizabeth Twining had gifted the Hospital to the community in 1879, she had stipulated in the Trust Deed for the site "forever thereafter to be used as and for the purpose of a hospital or dispensary".
The modern world, however, has no truck with such sentiment and the site has now been split in two. Newlands House and some of the Hospital buildings are to be converted into seven 2-bedroomed apartments by Wilks Head & Eve. Richmond Council is to build a primary school for 300 children on the remaining portion.
Photographs obtained in October 2008
The entrance to St John's House and Amyand House from Stafford Road (known as Amyand Road until 1878).
The former St John's Hospital on Amyand Park Road.
The entrance to the former Hospital.
Hospital wards with glazed verandahs.
The rear entrance to St John's House and Amyand House on Oak Lane.
Newland House in Oak Lane was used for mental health clinics and offices by the Kingston and District Community NHS Trust. It is now proposed to convert the building into apartments.
The entrance to Newland House.
St Johns Health Centre in Oak Lane was managed by the Richmond and Twickenham NHS Primary Care Trust until the end of March 2013. It contains the York Medical Practice.
15th October 2013)
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