The Peace Memorial Hospital and the National Health Service

As part of Government reforms after World War II, The National Health Service Act 1946 promised free and improved health care for all. It came into effect on 5 July 1948 and the Peace Memorial Hospital was taken over by the NHS and renamed the Watford Peace Memorial Hospital.

By 1956, the Hospital had grown to cover their 5 acre site. However, conditions at the Hospital were described as being, ‘a bit rough’ by the Head Consultant, Mr Andrew Horsburgh. He and his team offered advice to planners for the new hospital at Shrodells. By the 1960s there was great demand for nurses and shortages at local hospitals were described as alarming. Between 1965 to 1985 hospital services were transferred across to Shrodells Hospital until, in May 1985, the doors closed with the transfer of the last medical services to Watford General Hospital.  The side wings and outer buildings were demolished in the mid 80s and the building remained derelict through to the mid 1990s.

This post is part of information gathered during Peace Hospice Care’s oral histories project 2014-16. The project captured 25 years of Peace Hospice Care and explored the legacy of the Peace Memorial Hospital. It was funded by the Heritage Lottery Foundation.

Find out more about Peace Hospice Care by visiting or the online project archive  Oral histories from the project will be deposited with Hertfordshire Archive and Local Studies by end 2016.

This page was added on 09/11/2016.

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