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Whipps Cross Hospital in the 1990s

In 1992, the hospital passed from the management of Waltham Forest District Health Authority to Forest Healthcare Trust, one of the first NHS Trusts.


The Trust managed Whipps Cross Hospital, Langthorne Hospital, and community medicine and mental health services in the Waltham Forest area.

RLHWX-P-2-10 (1990s).jpg

The Plane Tree Centre

From 1992, a number of new buildings were opened as phase 1 of a 'new' hospital, including wards for the orthopaedic unit, pharmacy, hydrotherapy and a new outpatients' department. The Plane Tree Centre opened in 1995 for the provision of day surgery, whilst other services at the hospital closed during the 1990s, including the 'needleroom' which undertook repairs to uniforms, linens etc.

Barts Health NHS Trust, RLHWX/P/2/10

Nursing degrees

Redwood College of Health studies was formed in July 1993 by the merger of (West) Roding and Romford Colleges of Nursing, Midwifery and Healthcare Studies, and itself merged with merged with London South Bank University in 1994, bringing nurse training at Whipps Cross under the University.

Barts Health NHS Trust, RLHFH/P/1/17 

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RLHFH-P-1-58 Eric Porteous (cropped) (c1990s).jpg
RLHFH-P-1-58 Eric Porteous (cropped) (c1990s).jpg

Canon Eric Porteous

"Eric Porteous became an institution at Whipps, known and loved by staff and hugely valued by the patients with whom he came in touch."

-Lord Jenkin of Roding, Chair of Forest Healthcare NHS Trust


Eric was born c1931. He followed National Service with theological training and entered hospital work at the suggestion of the then Bishop of Southwark, Rt Rev Mervyn Stockwood. In 1979, he was appointed as Whipps Cross Chaplain.

He played a role in founding the palliative care Margaret Centre and supported the development of bereavement services at the hospital. He also helped develop the healthcare chaplaincy team within the health authority to represent all the faith communities of the borough.

Describing his time at the hospital he said: "People sometimes say to me 'You must feel like Doctor Death', and it's true that death and bereavement take up a large part of one's time. But it's not only death that brings a sense of loss. There is the loss for the elderly when they are not as mobile as they were and have to let go of their homes as well as their partners. Women with hysterectomies, people with colostomies and amputees all experience a sense of bereavement."

He died on Boxing Day 2006 in the Margaret Centre.

Barts Health NHS Trust Archives, RLHFH/P/1/56

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