Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Obstetric Hospital

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Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Obstetric Hospital
EGA Hospital 2018.jpg
Photograph showing the former New Hospital for Women, Euston Road, London, in 2018. Now occupied by Unison
Location London, NW1
United Kingdom
Hospital type Specialist
Emergency department No
Speciality Obstetrics
Closed 1890

The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Obstetric Hospital and its predecessor organisations provided health care to women in central London from the mid-Victorian era. It was named after Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, one of Britain's first female physicians, and its work continues in the modern Elizabeth Garrett Anderson wing of University College Hospital, part of UCLH NHS Foundation Trust.


The hospital was formed in 2001 from an amalgamation of the Obstetric Hospital and the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital.[1]

Photograph showing The New Hospital for Women, Euston Road, London, which opened in 1890 with 42 beds.
Two wards of the New Hospital for Women
Two wards of the New Hospital for Women. From a magazine of 1899.

The New Hospital for Women developed from St Mary's Dispensary[2][3] in the 1870s.[4] It was founded to enable poor women to obtain medical help from qualified female practitioners - in that era a very unusual thing.

In 1866, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was appointed General Medical Attendant to St Mary's Dispensary, where she worked for over 20 years, through the change to the new name.[5] The foundation stone of the new building was laid by the Princess of Wales in 1889, and was renamed the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in 1918.[6]

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery

The 1890 core of the former Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital building has been listed and, restored, now forms part of the UNISON Centre. Within this building the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Gallery is open to the public. The gallery is a permanent installation and uses a variety of media to tell the story of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, her hospital, and women's struggle to achieve equality in the field of medicine within the wider framework of 19th and 20th century social history. Interactive displays allow the visitor to discover more about the "Enterprising Women" who followed Elizabeth Garrett into the medical profession – and into other spheres of British public life.

In 1946 the hospital purchased the Hampstead Nursing Home at 40 Belsize Grove (close to Belsize Park Underground station). Between 1948 and 1977 it was known as the Garrett Anderson Maternity Home. The building was subsequently demolished and replaced by residential accommodation.[7]


The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson hospital was under threat of closure from the 1960s and closure was announced in 1976 by Camden Area Health Authority. In November that year the building was occupied by the staff. Campaigning continued until 1979.[8]


In November 2008, the hospital's maternity and neonatal services moved to the new University College Hospital Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing, a £70 million purpose-built wing offering the latest technology and facilities,[1] and the old building was demolished to make room for the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre, which has now opened.

See also


  1. ^ a b UCLH - Our hospitals - University College Hospital Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing
  2. ^ Elston, Mary Ann. "'Run by Women, (mainly) for Women': Medical Women's Hospitals in Britain, 1866-1948" (PDF). Archived from the original (pdf) on 2012-07-07. Retrieved 2007-10-28. In July 1866, the St Mary's Dispensary opened in the Marylebone district of London to provide medical advice for working-class women and children. Dispensaries for the thrifty poor were not unusual in Victorian Britain, but St Mary's had a unique feature. The driving force behind it and the main provider of the medical advice was a woman, Dr Elizabeth Garrett. 
  3. ^ "'Run by Women, (mainly) for Women': Medical Women's Hospitals in Britain, 1866-1948". Rodopi. Retrieved 2008-09-18. 
  4. ^ "Elizabeth Garrett Anderson - Victorian Women's Campaigner". BBC. December 2004. Retrieved 2007-10-28. In 1866 she opened, and was appointed General Medical Attendant to, St Mary's dispensary in Marylebone, where she set about establishing a medical service specifically for women. Not only that, but she started to teach medical courses to other women, so that the practice could expand. The St Mary's dispensary was renamed the New Hospital for Women in the 1870s. 
  5. ^ Everett, Jason M.; Thomson Gale. "The People's Chronology". eNotes.com. Retrieved 2007-05-13. A London dispensary for women opens under the direction of local physician Elizabeth Garrett, now 31, who pioneers the admission of women to the professions, including medicine. The extent of female invalidism, Garrett argues, is much exaggerated by male physicians: women's natural functions are not all that debilitating, she says, pointing out that among the working classes women continue to work during menstruation "without intermission, and, as a rule, without ill effects". [permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Hospitals". Derelict London. 
  7. ^ Lost hospitals, Lost Hospitals, Retrieved 8 November 2016
  8. ^ "The South London Women's Hospital Occupation 1984-85". Past tense. Retrieved 7 April 2014. 

Further reading

  • Glynn, Jenifer (2008-01-15). The Pioneering Garretts: Breaking the Barriers for Women. Hambledon Continuum. ISBN 978-1-84725-207-4. [permanent dead link]
  • Crawford, Elizabeth (20 September 2002). Enterprising Women: The Garretts and their Circle. Francis Boutle Publishers. ISBN 1-903427-12-6. Archived from the original on 10 October 2006. 

External links

  • UCLH - Our hospitals - University College Hospital Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing, uclh.nhs.uk; accessed 6 May 2015.
  • Lost Hospitals of London: Garrett Anderson Maternity Home, 40 Belsize Grove, Hamsptead, NW3 4TS, ezitis.myzen.co.uk; accessed 6 May 2015.
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