Northwick Park Hospital

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Northwick Park Hospital
London North West Healthcare NHS Trust
Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow - - 98096.jpg
Location Brent, London, England
Care system NHS England
Hospital type District General
Affiliated university Imperial College London
Emergency department Yes
Beds ~500
Founded 1970
Lists Hospitals in England

Northwick Park Hospital (NPH) is a hospital located in the Northwick Park district of the London Borough of Brent in northwest London, England, adjacent to the borough border with the London Borough of Harrow and serving both boroughs. The hospital is part of London North West Healthcare NHS Trust.

Hospital role

NPH is a large National Health Service (England) (NHS) district general hospital. It is part of London North West Healthcare NHS Trust and is a teaching hospital for students of Imperial College School of Medicine. The hospital provides a full range of services including paediatrics, maxillofacial, orthopaedics, neurology, cardiology, elderly care medicine and a regional rehabilitation unit for patients with additional on-going acute medical needs.

St. Mark's Hospital, a national centre of gastrointestinal medicine is based at the same site, as is the British Olympic Association's Olympic Medical Institute.[1]

Local charity Radio Harrow is based within the hospital and has provided a patient visiting and broadcasting service since 1971.

Northwick Park is one of the few hospitals in England to have a Paternoster lift transport system, but it is currently not in use. This was featured in the film The Omen.


Designed by the British architect John Weeks (1921–2005), the hospital was commissioned by the NW Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board in the late 1960s, and was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1970. The design of the hospital was largely inspired by British obsolescence studies, in which a loose-jointed medical complex was created with flexibility to withstand obsolescence's unpredictable effects.[2] With only a fixed internal street system, the architects referred to the hospital as "an indeterminate architecture" with "no final plan" – free to grow and change over time.[3]

It featured in the opening credits of the episode "The Germans" of the comedy TV series Fawlty Towers and the 1976 horror film The Omen, and has been used as a set for both series of the Channel 4 comedy Green Wing and the seventh series of ITV's Prime Suspect.

In March 1975, the world's first body CT Scanner was installed at Northwick Park Hospital.

In 1994, St Mark's Hospital, previously located in central London, moved into a wing of the hospital formerly occupied by the Medical Research Council. The hospital retains its research pedigree through its association with Imperial College School of Medicine and its own Northwick Park Institute of Medical Research.

In 2005, the hospital's maternity department was named as having one of the highest death rates in the United Kingdom.[4] During the period April 2002 to March 2004, the maternal death rate for the maternity unit was 74.2 per 100,000, 6.5 times the national average of 11.4 per 100,000, as reported by Cemach (Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health). A range of "special measures" designed to improve maternity services and public confidence in the services was agreed with the Trust and these were all complied with within a year, but as of 2016 the Trust's maternity and gynaecology services were rated as 'requires improvement' by the Care Quality Commission.[5]

A 2016 Care Quality Commission report rated Northwick Park Hospital as ‘requires improvement’ overall, with only one out of eight assessment areas attaining a better rating. The report highlighted a number of concerns found during inspection visits, including that surgical staff were not always reporting incidents, patients experienced long waits, compliance with safeguarding training was poor, examples of poor infection control practice, a poor environment on the stroke wards, and that nutrition and hydration was poorly managed. The Care Quality Commission subsequently issued the Trust with a Section 29 (A) warning notice.[6] In 2014 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted the excellent service provided by our stroke and STARRS team at Northwick Park Hospital.

Whilst fighting extradition for murder and torture General Augusto Pinochet was a patient at Northwick Park Hospital[7]

New A&E department

Northwick Park Hospital’s new Accident and Emergency (A&E) department opened on 10 December 2014.

The new £21m A&E department incorporates all the main elements of emergency care and brings A&E closer to the hospital’s other emergency services, such as acute assessment, intensive therapy unit, operating theatres and wards.

The department will provide a dedicated treatment area for children.

A new GP-led Urgent Care Centre (UCC) is also housed within the new building. The UCC will provide care to approximately half of all patients attending A&E, treating those with minor illnesses and injuries that are urgent but not life-threatening (such as cuts, including those that need stitches, minor burns and minor broken bones).

Nursing cover in the new department will increase from 24 to 27 qualified nurses per shift, while the number of healthcare assistants will increase from three to six per shift. Staff in the new A&E department will also have access to more consultant cover for each 24 hour period.citation needed

TGN incident

On 13 March 2006, six people in a clinical trial at the independent Parexel drug trial unit (which is not run by London North West Healthcare NHS Trust) became severely unwell following administration of TGN1412, and were transferred to the intensive therapy unit at Northwick Park. Affected patients developed multi-organ failure and required intensive medical support by the critical care team at Northwick Park, led by Dr Ganesh Suntharalingam. All the patients subsequently survived and the last one was discharged in June 2006. Victims from this drug trial sought compensation for their multiple injuries with the help of a British law firm. Parexel, the American company responsible for the clinical trial, brought their own lawyers along for the hearings about the TGN1412 drug, billed as a possible wonder cure for arthritis, multiple sclerosis and leukaemia. The compensation money will largely be spent on equipment, adaptations and assistance they will need with their injuries.[8] The incident was featured in the BBC 2 programme The Drug Trial: Emergency at the Hospital which aired in February 2017.[9]

In popular culture

In the 1976 film The Omen, the external scene when Katherine's body falls from a window and crashes into a parked ambulance was filmed at Northwick Park Hospital. Hospital anesthetist Pete Knobbler acted as body double for Billie Whitelaw and can be seen briefly peering from the window.

In episode 6, season 1 of Fawlty Towers, Sybil is in Northwick Park Hospital for ingrown toenail surgery. Basil later joins her after he gets a concussion during the fire drill.

The British sitcom Green Wing was filmed partly in Northwick Park Hospital and partly in North Hampshire Hospital.

Before becoming the lead singer for Duran Duran, Simon Le Bon worked as a theatre porter at Northwick Park Hospital.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Abramson, Daniel (2012). "From Obsolescence to Sustainability, Back Again, and Beyond". Design and Culture. 4 (3): 279–298. 
  3. ^ Weeks, J. (1999). "Changing Spaces". HD: The Journal for Healthcare Design & Development. 30: 15–16. 
  4. ^ "Saving Mothers Lives 2003-2005 - Report on confidential enquiries into maternal deaths in the United Kingdom". ChiMat. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Northwick Park Hospital Overview and CQC Inspections". Care Quality Commission. Retrieved 16 August 2016. 
  6. ^ "Northwick Park Hospital Quality Report" (PDF). Care Quality Commission. Retrieved 16 August 2016. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Dixon, Rob (17 April 2008). "Ryan Wilson Drug Trial Victim". Sheffield: Irwin Mitchell. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 
  9. ^ "Patients start to feel unwell, The Drug Trial: Emergency at the Hospital - BBC Two". BBC. Retrieved 2017-02-26. 

External links

Coordinates: 51°34′34″N 0°19′19″W / 51.576°N 0.322°W / 51.576; -0.322