The history of St Vincent’s Charitable Trust in Pinner
In the year 1907 Archbishop Bourne (who later became Cardinal Bourne) set up a home in Clapham for crippled boys from the slums and workhouses of the poorest parts of London in the Diocese of Westminster. Without this home their chances of survival as hopeless incurables and social outcasts were slim. This home was run by the Daughters of Charity and so was founded the St Vincent’s Home for Crippled Boys.
In May 1912, following a search to re-locate to a more rural setting, 40 boys transferred from Clapham to St Vincent’s Eastcote, to the original house, Ruislip Holt, which was built in 1893 and stood until 2004.
The land was cultivated, the orchard tended, and livestock reared. Wooden wards were built open on one side to the weather, allowing beds, particularly of TB patients, to be taken right outside for the fresh air treatment so highly recommended at that time.
The outbreak of the 1914-1918 war made any rapid development impossible, but by 1926 St Vincent’s was a fully equipped hospital. By 1923 St Vincent’s changed its name to St Vincent’s Orthopaedic Hospital. In 1925 a ward for 20 girls was opened and another in 1930. The number of beds increased from 40 to 122. During the 1939-45 war the first major change occurred, St Vincent’s became a centre for the treatment of war casualties and adults were admitted. Bed numbers during the war went up to 209.
The earliest figures available show that the average bed days for an inpatient was 424 days and this reduced in 1980 to 24 days, by 2000 the average length of stay after major surgery was seven days.
By this time it had a busy orthopaedic theatre, x-ray and out-patients department. It also provided physiotherapy. The wooden huts were gradually replaced with brick-built south-facing verandas.
St Vincent’s has always been a centre for excellence and the provision of high quality care has been a major feature for everyone who has been a patient at St Vincent’s.
When, in 2000, it was clear that government policy was forcing St Vincent’s to close, the Board of Trustees/Directors declared that they would do everything in their power to ensure that the tradition of St Vincent’s continued on the same site. It was agreed that a Nursing Home would be built and that the reputation of St Vincent’s would be continued for a further 100 years.
St Vincent’s re-opened as a Nursing Home in July 2006.
A book by former Chair of Trustees, Jacqueline A Scott, entitled ‘The Hospital on the Hill’ is available. Please complete the contact form if you are interested in purchasing a copy.
1907: Archbishop Bourne sets up home for crippled boys in Clapham.
1912: Relocation to Eastcote.
1914-18: Rapid development due to war.
1926: Fully functioning hospital.
1923: Name changes to St Vincent’s Orthopaedic Hospital.
1925 and 1930: Girls wards opened.
1939-45: Centre for war casualties.
2000: Hospital due for closure.
2006: St Vincent’s Nursing Home opens.
‘I cannot find any fault, keep up the good work and high standards.’
‘The Home is very comfortable. The staff are always very pleasant, helpful and caring. The nurses do an excellent job together with good help from the doctors.’
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