Supporting patients, staff and research at UCLH

Our history

UCLH Charity can trace its roots back to 1745

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UCLH Charity was established as a result of various mergers and restructures over the years, most recently 2000 and 2017.

In April 2000, three separate charities merged; The Middlesex Hospital Special Trustees, UCH Special Trustees and UCLH NHS Charity. Between them, they can trace their history back to 1745, when the Middlesex Hospital was founded by Royal Charter as a charity.

In April 2017, the charity became independent from the Department of Health as a new charitable organisation and is regulated with the Fundraising Regulator.

Key dates

Image shows an architect prototype of the new facility.

Grafton Way Building opens

The new facility for blood diseases, surgery and proton beam therapy (PBT) was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in March 2022.


The Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospital is opened by the Queen

Her Majesty The Queen opened the brand new Royal National ENT and Eastman Dental Hospitals


UCLH Charity independence

With the Department of Health and Charity Commission approval, UCLH Charity became an independent charity, regulated by the Charity Commission. The charity continues to support UCLH.


The University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre opened

The centre was purpose built to provide patients with access to the very best treatment, support and advice for their particular type of cancer. UCLH Charity provided £6 million for the first PET-MR in the UK.


The new University College Hospital is opened by the Queen

University College Hospital was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen in October 2005. UCLH Charity contributed £4 million of equipment to the new hospital which housed state-of-the-art facilities using cutting edge technology. Staff were then preparing for the subsequent transfer of services from The Middlesex Hospital to the UCH site.


UCLH Charity reorganisation

Merger of The Middlesex Hospital Special Trustees, University College Hospital Special Trustees and UCLH NHS Charity to become UCLH Charities.


NHS reorganisation act

The special trustees were set up to manage charitable funds relating to hospitals within UCLH.


Establishment of the National Health Service

UCH, The Middlesex and NHNN Hospitals became NHS teaching hospitals.


Foundation of St. Mary’s Dispensary for Women by Elizabeth Garrett

Elizabeth Garrett was determined to train as a doctor, despite the fact that this was not then a career open to women. She managed to obtain her medical degree from the University of Paris in 1871. In 1888, after significant fundraising  efforts, she built a hospital for women. To commemorate her determination and achievements, in 1917, the hospital for women changed its name to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital. Later on in 1989 the unit moved to Euston Road. 


Foundation of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery

Founded by charitable subscriptions, the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery was the first English hospital to exclusively treat diseases of the nervous system.


Establishment of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine

The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine was established in 1849 by Frederic Quin, the first homeopathic physician in England, and specialises in complementary medicine.


The first University College Hospital

When University College Hospital (which was called the North London Hospital until 1837), opened its doors as a charity in 1834, the industrial revolution was taking its toll on health. Surgeons operated without anaesthetic until the first operation under general anaesthetic  was performed at the hospital by Joseph Lister. 


Foundation of University College London

University College London was founded to open up university education to those who were not entitled to attend either Oxford or Cambridge (the only two universities in England at the time) due to their religious or social background.


Establishment of the Hospital for Tropical Diseases

The Hospital for Tropical Diseases was established by public subscriptions in 1821. It was originally housed on an ex-naval ship moored off Greenwich, which later became the Albert Dock Hospital  to care for seamen from all over the  world entering the Royal Victoria and Albert Docks. In 1920 it moved to central London and became the London School of Tropical Medicine and the Hospital for Tropical  diseases.


The formation of the Middlesex Hospital

The Middlesex Hospital was founded in 1745 by Royal Charter as a charity ‘for the sick and lame of Soho’. Subscribers to The Middlesex Hospital of at least three guineas per year became Governors of the Hospital and this earned them the right not only to make decisions about the hospital but also to recommend patients. Apart from emergency cases, patients were not admitted to the hospital without a recommendation from a governor. A single payment of 21 guineas entitled a person to become a Life Governor of the Hospital.