A local perspective

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'A local perspective' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'A local perspective' page
Hackney Hospital

When the NHS was established in 1948 only a handful of hospitals in Hackney had been modernised by the London County Council in the 1930s. The German Hospital and Hackney Hospital had both been built modern facilities, but otherwise, most of Hackney’s hospitals occupied outmoded 19th-century buildings.

By the late-1970s these buildings, particularly at Hackney Hospital were even less fit-for-purpose than in the early 1950s. John Pilger, an investigative journalist had produced a documentary for ITV, which was broadcast on 12 September 1977. This programme was made as a result of the Daily Mirror newspaper’s campaign to reveal the dangerous and irreparable effects that Government cutbacks were having on the NHS at the time.

On 20 January 1977, Pilger wrote a damning article in the Daily Mirror where he stated: “The casualty department like most of the hospital has lost little of its workhouse atmosphere – except for the dedication of the staff. The old operating theatre fills with fumes and dust from the streets outside, vibrates with the traffic, and has to be used as a public throughway when the lift breaks down.” Indeed medical standards were collapsing at Hackney and with further spending cuts planned doctors feared the further deterioration in care was on its way. During this period it was decided to build a new hospital to replace Hackney Hospital.

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This page was added by Lisa Rigg on 29/03/2010.

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