History of St George's
In 1733, St George's Hospital was opened in Lanesborough House at Hyde Park Corner, and the institution has been training medical students since then. Formal registration of apprentice doctors started in 1751.
Lanesborough House had originally been built in 1719 by the 2nd Viscount Lanesborough, in what was then open countryside at the site of Hyde Park Corner. The new St George's Hospital was arranged on three floors and accommodated 30 patients in two wards, one for men and one for women.
The hospital was gradually extended, and by 1744, it had 15 wards and more than 250 patients.
However, by the 1800s the hospital was falling into disrepair. Funds were raised to build a new 350-bed hospital and a competition was held for its design which was won by William Wilkins.
The old Lanesborough House had to be demolished to make way for the new premises; building began in 1827, and the new hospital was completed by 1844.
By 1859, the bed situation was critical again, so an attic floor was added. However, this did not offer much relief and so a new convalescent hospital, Atkinson Morley's, was opened in Wimbledon, which left more beds at St George's for acute patients.
The Medical School was established 1834 in Kinnerton Street and was incorporated into the hospital in 1868. The Medical School was built in the south-west corner of the hospital site in Hyde Park, with the main entrance in Knightsbridge and the back entrance in Governor Crescent Mews.
However, by the turn of the century, it was suggested that St George's should be rebuilt yet again, but away from its present site. Unfortunately, the intervention of two world wars put pay to any further development plans at this time, but at the end of the 1940s the debate began again in earnest. In 1948, the National Health Service was introduced, and plans for a new site for St George's at The Grove Fever and Fountain Hospitals at Tooting were eventually agreed upon. In 1954, the Grove Hospital became part of St George's, and clinical teaching started in Tooting.
In 1973, building began on the new site. The new Hospital and School buildings were now well advanced. The School was completed, as were two wings of the new Hospital, which today provide a total of 710 beds. There are an additional 280 beds on site in accommodation, which is due for replacement in the next phases of rebuilding the hospital.
In 1976, the doors of the Medical School opened at Tooting and in 1980 St George's Hospital at Hyde Park Corner closed its doors for the final time.
In 1981, medical education in London was reorganised to take account, among other factors, of the movement of population away from central London. There are now fewer, larger medical schools, and the expansion of St George's Hospital Medical School has been part of this policy.
Clinical teaching is provided at St George's, at the nearby St Helier Hospital, Carshalton, at specialist hospitals in Tooting and Wimbledon, and in the community.
In 1995, the Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences was established with Kingston University, offering nursing and midwifery education and, on the St George's site, degree and diploma courses were offered to qualified nurses and midwives.
In 2000, the Medical School introduced the MBBS Graduate Entry Programme (GEP), a four-year fast-track medical degree course open to graduates in any discipline.
Also in 2000, building work began on the new wing of the hospital, where the Trust's cardiothoracic (heart) and neurosciences (brain services) departments will be based. This £48million development was completed in 2004, and Atkinson Morley Hospital to moved from Wimbledon to Tooting.