Whipps Cross University Hospital

Edit profile
Whipps Cross University Hospital
Whipps Cross University Hospital is an NHS-run University Hospital in Whipps Cross, Waltham Forest, London, United Kingdom which housed London's first Hyperbaric Unit. London South Bank University's East London Faculty of Health campus is located at Whipps Cross (Although the London South Bank University East London campus is due to close in late 2011 and services moved to the London South Bank University sites at Havering and Southwark.) The hospital is geographically close to the site of the 2012 Olympics, has one of the largest and busiest A&E departments in the UK and serves a diverse community from Chigwell to Leyton. The hospital also has the lowest MRSA rates in London for three years running as of 2008. The chief executive of the hospital is Dr Lucy Moore.

An infirmary was built on 44 acres (180,000 m 2) of grounds at Whipps Cross for the Leytonstone Workhouse. Construction started in 1900 and was completed in 1903. When it opened the infirmary provided 672 beds in 24 wards in four awe-inspiring symmetrical blocks with tiered covered walkways and two massive towers. The buildings cost £186,000 to construct, which was criticised as extravagant. By the end of World War I in 1918 the infirmary had started to become a general hospital and the name was changed to Whipps Cross Hospital.

Services and facilities
Whipps Cross provides a full range of local general hospital services and is home to one of the busiest A&E departments in the country dealing with over 200 patients a day. The hospital is divided into 6 different coloured zones - Red, Orange, Pink, Green, Purple and Yellow. The Orange zone is the oldest part of the hospital and is home to the main entrance and dental teaching facilities. The Red zone houses the A & E unit (now referred to as the EUCC) and medical admission ward, hospital shops, offices and restaurant. The various radiology facilities can be found in the Pink Zone. The Green zone contains intensive care, one dialysis unit, respiratory, renal, stroke and rehabilitation wards, the cardiology department, a research unit and the noted hyperbaric unit. The Yellow zone holds surgical wards, half the operating theatres and the outpatients department. The Purple zone is maternity - ante-natal and post natal. The wards can be found throughout the hospital, across the various coloured zonings. The hospital website hosts a comprehensive map detailing specific locations.

A redevelopment of the site planned for 2012 has now been abandoned after the withdrawal of one potential PFI partner. Subsequent plans to redevelop the hospital in stages has also been put on hold whilst financial turnaround is in progress. As of summer 2006 the hospital is undergoing a turnaround process, designed to head off a projected £40 million deficit. The turnaround team is headed by an external consultant and is expected to take up to three years to bring the hospital back to financial viability. Around 450 jobs are expected to be lost including nurses, doctors, administrators and managers. Unrelated to the financial situation faced by the hospital, a review of the North East London health economy has cast doubts over the future of the hospital and / or neighbouring King George Hospital when the newly upgraded Oldchurch hospital is complete. It is not clear if the work of the turnaround team will place the hospital in a better or worse position for the next review, as it is not yet clear which services might be required on a smaller and more acute site into the future. The Hospital is also on a New BBC TV show called The Peoples Hospital to promote it.

The hospital has its own radio service, Whipps Cross Hospital Radio, a registered charity founded in 1969 by the Walthamstow Lions Club to provide entertainment and information to the patients and staff. The station has been broadcasting 24 hours a day since 2004. Former presenters have included Chris Searle and Annabel Port who went on to Virgin Radio. The current Station Director is Phil Hughes. Central to the programming on the station is the daily request show, hosted by a variety of presenters including long-standing host Ian Betteridge. During the football season there are often live commentaries from West Ham and Leyton Orient home matches as well as a general sports round-up, in addition to a weekly sports magazine programme on Sunday afternoon. Local news is well-served and a national news bulletin is provided by Independent Radio News. As of early 2011 the redevelopment of the A&E department is going ahead and is expected take be finished before the 2012 london olympics.

Notable births
  • David Beckham
  • Graham Gooch
  • Jonathan Ross
  • Steve Harrris
  • Richard Ayoade
  • Rita Simons