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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


Italian Hospital

Also known as Ospedale Italiano


It was opened in 1884 by Giovanni (John) Ortelli in his home in Queen Square to provide medical care to poor Italians

According to Nick Black, it also accepted non-Italian patients (Nick Black, Walking London’s Medical History, 2006)

It closed in 1990 for financial reasons and the building was sold

The building is now part of Great Ormond Street Hospital

The revenue from the sale of the building was used to form the Italian Hospital Fund, a charity which continues to provide financial support to Italians for medical care

What was reforming about it?

Its founder was a businessman, not a doctor or other medical professional

Where in Bloomsbury

It opened at 41 Queen Square in 1884

It later expanded into 40 Queen Square; eventually these houses were demolished and replaced by a purpose-built hospital in 1898–1899

The hospital expanded further in 1911, displacing three old houses in Devonshire Street (Godfrey Heathcote Hamilton, Queen Square: Its Neighbourhood and its Institutions, 1926)

Website of current institution

The successor institution is the Italian Medical Charity at http://www.italianmedicalcharity.co.uk/(opens in new window)

Italian Hospital, Queen Square

Books about it

History of the Italian Hospital in London, 1884–1906 (1906)

Margaret Avon, ‘The Italian Hospital in London,’ Nurse, vol. 6, no. 2 (1966)


Most of its records are apparently lost, as is the British Library’s copy of the History

Records from 1897–1926 relating to its King Edward’s Hospital Fund grant applications are held in London Metropolitan Archives, ref. A/KE/250/8; details are available online via Access to Archives (opens in new window)

This page last modified 10 June, 2015 by Deborah Colville


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