Open main menu

Mount Vernon Hospital

Mount Vernon Hospital is located in Northwood. It is one of two hospitals run by The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Mount Vernon Hospital
The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Main Entrance to Mount Vernon Hospital - - 1521949.jpg
The main entrance to Mount Vernon Hospital
Mount Vernon Hospital is located in London Borough of Hillingdon
Mount Vernon Hospital
Shown in Hillingdon
LocationNorthwood, London, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates51°37′00″N 0°26′41″W / 51.6168°N 0.4447°W / 51.6168; -0.4447Coordinates: 51°37′00″N 0°26′41″W / 51.6168°N 0.4447°W / 51.6168; -0.4447
Care systemNHS England
Hospital typeSpecialist
Affiliated universityImperial College London
Emergency departmentNo A&E but does have a minor injuries unit
SpecialityOncology and Burns
Founded1860, current site 1904
Website The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
ListsHospitals in England


The former hospital in Hampstead

The hospital was founded as The North London Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest in a mansion in Hampstead High Street in 1860.[1] A central London out-patients department opened in the Tottenham Court Road in 1861.[1] In October 1880 Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn laid the foundation stone for a purpose-built hospital at Mount Vernon in Hampstead. The hospital, which was built in the French Renaissance style, was completed in 1881.[2] Meanwhile the Central London out-patients department moved from Tottenham Court Road to Fitzroy Square in 1891.[2]

In 1901 it was decided to build a more-modern facility on part of the Northwood Park Estate in Northwood, London.[3] The foundation stone was laid by Princess Helena the following year.[3] The hospital, which was designed by Frederick Wheeler, was arranged as a sanatorium with the wards following a semi-circle shape either side of a central staircase.[4] The new Mount Vernon Hospital opened in September 1904[3] and the old Hampstead building was then acquired and occupied by the Medical Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research.[5]

During the First World War, soldiers were treated at the Mount Vernon Hospital and, in 1932, the Central London out-patients department moved to Riding House Street.[3] At the outbreak of the Second World War Mount Vernon became a general hospital dealing with, inter alia, war casualties.[4] In 1947 the central London out patients department moved to Portland Place and, in 1948, the hospital joined the National Health Service.[3]

The Cancer Centre at Mount Vernon, opened in 2009

In 1957, the Gray Laboratory was established and, in 1967, the Marie Curie Hospital, which had been providing cancer treatment from premises in Fitzjohn's Avenue, also moved to Mount Vernon site.[3]

The Paul Strickland Scanner Centre, which provides specialist imaging facilities using high quality equipment, opened in 1985 and was officially opened by the Duchess of Kent on 20 March 1986.[6] The old hospital chapel which includes art nouveau designs, was converted into a library for the Gray Cancer Institute in 1988.[4] The Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre for cancer support and information was opened in 1993 by The Prince of Wales.[7]

In 2009 a new treatment centre opened, providing surgery facilities in four new operating theatres. There is also a new outpatients department located in the treatment centre.[8]


In 2014 the Care Quality Commission found Mount Vernon Hospital was good at caring and being effective but safety, responsiveness and leadership all required improvement.[9]

In October 2019 a group of experts reported to health leaders that, due to dilapidated buildings, obsolete equipment and a lack of staff, patients were unsafe and the quality of care was uncertain. Patients at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre were sometimes very sick or dying and got substandard care because the centre had insufficient medical expertise and insufficient facilities needed to manage them adequately. The hospital was 117 years old and was in poor repair, had too few doctors and nurses and could not give modern cancer care or provide basic treatment like consultants doing ward rounds daily, new inpatients getting a review within 14 hours after admission and fast access to diagnostic tests and the results.[10]

The report stated, "Maintaining safety of patients cannot be guaranteed in the near future. Status quo is not an option. There is a need for urgent action. Current estate is not fit for purpose, particularly ward buildings for acutely unwell and end of life inpatients." Due to leaking roofs some services had to be moved to a different part of the hospital. The wards for treating patients with complications from cancer, patients recovering from radiotherapy or chemotherapy or near the end of their lives were in "very poor" condition. The unit did not have an intensive care or high dependency unit or operating theatres therefore large numbers of patients had to be transferred to other hospitals because Mount Vernon could not deal with the very sick.[10]

Cancer charities said the hospital’s shortcomings were "deeply worrying" and reflect the serious workforce shortages and reliance on old equipment that are increasingly common in NHS cancer services after almost a decade of austerity funding of the health service."(The Guardian) Matt Hale of Cancer Research UK said, “Time after time we’ve heard about staff shortages causing crises in NHS cancer services, and this is yet more evidence of the unbearable pressure on the system." Oncologist, Nick Slevin, who led the review that formed the basis of the report stated, “Services continue to be provided within very poor quality accommodation with much equipment reaching the end of its life without a replacement plan.” One example is a linear accelerator machine used for radiotherapy that was upgraded so the hospital can still use it because Mount Vernon cannot afford a new one.[10]

Further difficulties include, poor information technology and electronic patient record systems create “a clinical risk”, staff give very good care in difficult conditions but struggle because of “excess workload”, doctors cannot get to the data from CT and MRI scans out of hours, typing letters detailing patients’ latest conditions is delayed for up to six weeks so that nurses om Mount Vernon’s 24-hour telephone chemotherapy advice line risk unintentionally giving wrong advice.[10]

Gwyneth Tyler of Macmillan Cancer Support said, “The findings from the recent review into the Mount Vernon Cancer centre are deeply worrying. People living with cancer deserve access to the best possible care from the moment they are diagnosed and cancer centres cannot provide this without capital investment in their infrastructure and workforce.”[10]


The nearest tube station to the hospital is at Northwood, which is served by the Metropolitan line. Five buses serve Mount Vernon Hospital, three of which are London bus routes. These routes are:[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "North London Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest". Lost Hospitals of London. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Mount Vernon Hospital for Tuberculosis and Diseases of the Lungs". Lost Hospitals of London. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Mount Vernon Hospital". Lost Hospitals of London. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Bowlt 2007, p.72
  5. ^ 'Hampstead: Public Services', A History of the County of Middlesex. Volume 9: Hampstead, Paddington. British History Online. 1989. pp. 138–45. Retrieved 2007-05-14.
  6. ^ "The Organisation". Paul Strickland Scanner Centre. 2006. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  7. ^ "LJMC". Lynda Jackson Macmillan Centre. 2008. Retrieved 6 October 2018.
  8. ^ Mitchell, Charlene (9 February 2009). "New Treatment Centre opens at Mount Vernon Hospital". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 26 May 2011.
  9. ^ Mount Vernon Hospital
  10. ^ a b c d e "Neglected NHS cancer hospital is unfit for purpose, says report". The Guardian. 3 October 2019. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Getting here: Mount Vernon Hospital". The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Retrieved 27 June 2018.


  • Bowlt, Eileen. M. (2007) Around Ruislip, Eastcote, Northwood, Ickenham & Harefield. Stroud: Sutton Publishing ISBN 978-0-7509-4796-1

External linksEdit