Our history

We are incredibly proud of our rich history which reaches back to the original Westminster Hospital, founded 300 years ago in 1719. Together with our official charity, CW+, we have been exploring our hospital archives to remember and celebrate our history, achievements and people throughout 2019.

Heritage timeline

Heritage timeline

CW+ has installed an amazing timeline of our history, dating back to 1719 when Mr Henry Hoare and three friends founded Westminster Hospital through charitable donations. The timeline highlights key events, Royal connections, the hospital in the Second World War and the building of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital as it is today.

You can visit the timeline on the Lower Ground Floor at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Heritage exhibition

Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, CW+ has also created a permanent exhibition showcasing artefacts from our hospital archives and sharing stories and memories from past staff. The exhibition focuses on three themes of our 300-year history which are:

  • Charitable giving
  • Hospital at war
  • Women in medicine

You can visit the exhibition in the Lower Ground Floor Outpatients waiting area at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Westminster Abbey service

As part of the celebrations, we held a very special commemorative service at Westminster Abbey in May 2019.

56 Dean Street—10-year anniversary

2019 marks 10 years since our award-winning HIV and sexual health clinic 56 Dean Street was officially opened.

West Middlesex University Hospital

Looking forward to 2020, we will be celebrating 100 years of West Middlesex University Hospital.

2018 celebrations 

Throughout 2018 we celebrated four very significant milestones in our shared history.

  • 25th Anniversary of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital: We marked this on 14 May with the re-introduction of our long service awards for staff. Watch our ‘Happy Birthday’ video, featuring staff, patients, volunteers and supporters—and a few famous faces. Find out more on Twitter at #CWH25.
  • 70th Anniversary of the NHS: On 5 July we’re joining national celebrations around our much-loved national health service with mini open days at each of our hospitals—learn more
  • 30th Anniversary the Kobler Clinic: On 13 September we will recognise our world-renowned HIV centre, which was launched by Princess Diana in 1988.
  • 15th Anniversary of our redeveloped West Middlesex University Hospital: In November, we will celebrate this significant milestone—the redevelopment was officially opened by former prime minister Gordon Brown.

Happy 25th Chelsea and Westminster Hospital!

How far we’ve come!

Midwife Jessica Fletcher in the state-of-the-art Birth Centre at Chelsea and Westminster

Members of the A&E team at Chelsea and Westminster

Staff Nurse Nicola Hearmon with Healthcare Assistant Naima Yaqoob in the Acute Assessment Unit at Chelsea and Westminster
Members of the Acute Medical Unit at West Mid with their new falls prevention tool

Consultant Arj Imbuldeniya performs knee surgery at West Mid
Sister Mabel Amponsah at West Mid

Looking back at our history


St Stephen’s Hospital in 1966—the site where Chelsea and Westminster now sits

Surgery underway in 1971 at St Stephen’s Hospital

The Queen during the opening of Chelsea and Westminster in 1993
Nursing staff on the Women’s Medical Ward at West Mid in the 1930s

Nurses, a doctor and police outside West Mid A&E, 1977
An operating theatre in action in the 1980s at West Mid
  • Watch a fascinating documentary created in 1993 about the construction and opening of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, including its opening by the Queen—Changing Times.

Join in the celebrations

We would love to hear your memories and stories that we can include in our celebrations. Whether you have been a patient, carer, member of staff or volunteer over the decades and have a story to share, please get in touch. Perhaps you were born at one of our hospitals or received amazing care. Do you have photos from the past showing how our services have changed? Or have you got some ideas on how we can? Please share them on social media using:

Read more in our Trust magazine Going Beyond.


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