TitleRecords of the East End Maternity Hospital, 384-398 Commercial Road, London, E1
DescriptionRecords of the East End Maternity Hospital, 1884-1968, comprising minutes of the Committee of Management, 1939-1946; minutes of the Medical Committee, 1946-1949; House Committee visitor's reports, 1965; registers of baptisms, 1946-1968; account of expenditure, 1884-1892; account of expenditure and income, 1909-1912; registers of midwifery pupils, 1924-1941; register of monthly pupil midwives, 1899-1916; patient records, comprising registers of admissions, 1884-1968; registers of local bookings, recording name and trade of patients' husbands and date of marriage, 1949-1957, 1964-1968; registers of operations, 1948-1968; Midwives register of cases, 1939-1968; mothers' books, recording treatment and drugs given to patients, 1967; Night Superintendant's report books, 1963-1968.
Administrative historyThe Hospital was founded in 1884 as the Mother's Lying-in Home in Glamis Road, Shadwell. It had 7 beds. Its objective was "to maintain in the East of London a Hospital (which is entirely un-sectarian) for the treatment of poor married Women during child-birth, also for training midwives and nurses for attendance on the poor at their own homes." It was the only maternity hospital for the whole of the East End, which at that point had around 1 million residents.

The nursing staff also undertook District Nursing duties. Women who were unable to enter the Hospital were attended to in their own homes, paying 3s 6d (18p) during lying-in. On 30th April 1889 the Home moved to new premises at 396 Commercial Road - where it was renamed the East-End Mothers' Home; it had 13 beds. The new buildings had cost £600. Patients were admitted free of charge during childbirth and usually remained two weeks after delivery. In 1897 the premises were extended and the Home then had 18 beds.

In 1903 the building was extended again to 26 beds and it was renamed the East End Mothers' Lying-In Home. In 1907 the Home purchased the freehold premises at No. 398 Commercial Road. Work began to alter and improve the building, and was completed in 1908. The new wards accommodated 7 patients, raising the bed complement to 33 beds. The Home also had its own garden. Staff and pupils were also housed in the building (previously they have lived on the opposite side of the road).

In 1913 another freehold property, No. 394 Commercial Road, was purchased. Building works began and the annexe was about to be equipped when WW1 broke out and the project had to be postponed. During WW1, as were many other hospitals, the Home was short staffed. In 1918 the building was damaged in an air-raid, although there were no casualties.

The new building opened in 1921. The newest ward - the Pearly King Ward - was added in June that year. It had 6 beds and had been financed by the East London Demonstration Committee, who also promised to raise enough money to pay for its yearly upkeep. The Hospital had 38 beds at this time.

The Needlework Guild, which was connected with the Home, provided each new baby with a trousseau (at least 800 were needed each year). Weekly meetings were held for former patients to instruct them in mothercraft and hygiene. Generally, some 80 mothers and babies attended.

By 1925 the Home had 41 beds. In 1926 the freehold building at Nos. 384-392 was purchased, bringing the bed total to 56 beds. In March 1927 the Prince of Wales visited the Hospital, speaking to the mothers and admiring the babies. During 1927 some 1,241 babies were delivered at the Hospital, which enjoyed a low maternal death rate (of the 2,061 mothers who were delivered as in-patients or in their own homes that year, only one died - the national average was 1 maternal death per 1000).

In April 1928 the Home changed its name to the East End Maternity Hospital. The LCC took over its administration in 1930, by which time it had 59 beds. In 1938 the weekly cost of an-patient was £3 2s 2d (£3.11), in comparison with 1937, when it was £2 10s 11d (£2.60). In 1938 some 280 women were attended at their own homes.

During WW2 the Hospital was evacuated to Hill Hall in Essex, and then to Tyringham House in Buckinghamshire. In September 1940 the building was damaged by incendiary bombs during an air raid. Services returned to London in late 1945.

In 1948 the Hospital joined the NHS under the control of the Stepney Group Hospital Management Committee, part of the North East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. From 1966 the Stepney Group merged to become part of the the East London Group Hospital Management Committee.

The Hospital closed in 1968.
Access statusRestricted
Access ConditionsSome material is restricted. This is noted at file or item level in the catalogue.
Arrangement of the recordsThe collection takes the following arrangement:

RLHEM/A - Administrative records, 1939-1965
RLHEM/C - Chaplain's records, 1946-1968
RLHEM/F - Financial records, 1884-1912
RLHEM/M - Patient records, 1884 - 1968
RLHEM/N - Nursing records, 1899-1968
Extent3 linear metres
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