Who we are

King’s College Hospital

What we do now and how we got here: a bit of the hospital’s history

Our feet have always been firmly planted in the local community. When King’s College Hospital first opened its doors in 1840, it was in the disused St Clements Dane workhouse, in Portugal Street close to Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The surrounding area was mostly over-crowded slums full of poverty and disease. The need for medical care was so great that within two years of opening our doors, we were treating 1,290 patients with only 120 beds.

In 1877, Joseph Lister performed the first major surgery under strict antiseptic conditions. It’s because of him that our hospital came to have a surgical unit comparable with the best in Europe.

In the early 1900s, the number of patients we treated from the centre of London decreased, and there was an increase in patients from Camberwell, Peckham and Brixton. So, following an Act of Parliament in 1904, the foundation stone was laid for our new hospital at Denmark Hill.

It's also a teaching hospital, and in 1993 we formed King’s College School of Medicine and Dentistry. We’re not only providing you with the highest standard of medical care, but we’re also training others to do the same.

Our areas of specialisation include paediatric medicine, diabetes, blood cancers and sickle cell disease. We are also a major centre for heart and brain surgery, as well as foetal medicine. Our neurology department provides specialist care for patients with movement disorders, including Parkinson’s, dystonia, and progressive supranuclear palsy. As a Major Trauma Centre and Hyper Acute Stroke Unit for London, we also provide people with life-saving treatment, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And our liver unit is the best in the world.

When it comes down to it, all of this means you’ve got the best and brightest doctors and academics working together to offer you the top-notch health services you deserve.

Visit the King's College Hospital website to find out more