This is Your Hospital is a web learning resource devoted to the middle twenty years of the life of Warlingham Park Hospital. Opened in 1903 as Croydon Mental Hospital, Warlingham Park Hospital had no formal association with its famous South London neighbours, Bethlem and the Maudsley Hospitals, until the last few years before its closure in 1999, when all of Croydon's mental health services were put under Bethlem's administrative umbrella.
Dr T.P. Rees, the Hospital's Medical Superintendent from 1935 to 1956, was in the habit of encouraging patients to make some contribution to the life of the Hospital, and to think of it as belonging to them. "People come to a mental hospital", he used to say, "to learn how to live". Today of course, mental healthcare in the UK is largely deinstitutionalised, and no-one desires a return to the days of asylumdom. Yet though Warlingham Park Hospital is no more, many stories of how Dr Rees' vision played out in the lives of its patients and staff are preserved in the memories of those who were associated with it.
This is Your Hospital exists to highlight some of these stories, and to invite others to contribute more.