PortCities London

The Dreadnought Seamen's hospital

Last days of the Dreadnought

Arrival of the NHS

Dreadnought Hospital.
View full size imageThe Dreadnought Hospital building today. © NMM

Transfer to the National Health Service in 1948 was not a smooth process. The new NHS structure comprised regional groups of hospitals, so the Government at first wanted the various properties of the Seamen's Hospital Society to be split up.

However, the special nature of the services provided by the Society were finally recognized with the creation of the ‘Seamen’s Hospital Group’ within the new NHS.

Decline and closure of the Dreadnought

Use by seamen of the ‘Dreadnought’ in Greenwich fell as the amount of shipping on the Thames dramatically declined. But the infirmary building continued to be used through to 1986, when it finally closed.

However, special services for seamen and their families continue to be provided by the ‘Dreadnought Unit’, now based within St Thomas’s Hospital in Lambeth, still close to the River Thames.

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