A potted history and photo gallery

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

Built by George Maynard in 1865-7, the buildings now occupied by the Brighton General Hospital were administered by the Board of Guardians for the Parish of Brighton as a workhouse and infirmary until 1 April 1930 when their responsibilities passed to the public assistance committee of the county borough council. (They had been used as a hospital during the First World War, however.) The former Poor Law Institution became known as the Elm Grove Home, and on 1 November 1935 the BrightonMunicipalHospital was established in most of the buildings. (For details of the building’s life prior to this time see “Workhouses”.) More buildings were taken over in 1937, and in 1939-40 the new hospital took over the whole site, with the remaining occupants of the home evacuated to various establishments throughout the county. In May 1948 the establishment was renamed Brighton General Hospital , and was taken over the following month by the Ministry of Health following the National Health Service Act. It now has 495 beds, and is also the local teaching hospital with a post-graduate medical centre added in 1966. There are, however, plans to close the aging building if a new hospital is built at Hove.
The principal building, facing north-west above Elm Grove , is an impressive four-storey edifice with four gables and dolphin decorations, and has a frontage of 318 feet; the central clock tower has a cupola and weather-vane, and bears the date 1866. The large blocks facing Pankhurst Avenue were added in the 1890s.
The adjacent ambulance station in Elm Grove was erected in 1951-2 on the site of the former workhouse vegetable garden. The Brighton County Borough Ambulance Service took over from the police accident ambulance service on 1 October 1948, but was itself taken over by East Sussex County Council in April 1974.

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

The following resource(s) is quoted as a general source for the information above: {95}

Comments about this page

  • There is a great deal more information and pictures of and about the hospital on other pages of this web site. It includes the nurses’ prospectus sent out to people wanting to train at the hospital when it was a seperate training school before the disasterous change to nurse training that took place when the Trusts were formed. This led to the loss of the strong relationship a nurse built up with his or her training school, which gave pride in the Hospital for each SRN, having spent 3 happy, hard working years in the one place. There is also another web site
    http://www.communigate.co.uk/sussex/brightongeneralsrn that contains many pictures of the staff over the years at the BGH.

    By Kenneth Ross (12/04/2007)
  • Did you know that John Lennon`s dad died here in 1976?

    By Bridget (24/09/2007)
  • Surely that cannot be a German flag in the background. Can it?

    By Leo (06/12/2007)
  • I worked here when the EMI unit opened in 1980, before I started my nurse training at Hellingly in 82. Happy days there and Rene our Housekeeper made the best coffee ever!

    By Nico (16/11/2008)

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