About Us

The History of St Mark’s

In 1835, Frederick Salmon founded St Mark’s Hospital, originally named The Benevolent Dispensary for the Relief of the Poor Afflicted with Fistula and other Diseases of the Rectum. There were 7 beds, and 131 patients were treated in the first year. Frederick Salmon worked as a surgeon until 1859, performing more than 3,500 operations with no casualties.

In 1854, the hospital moved to City Road, London, on April 25th – St Mark’s Day. The staff still only consisted of a surgeon, a matron, a dispenser, nurses and servants.

In 1995, St Mark’s moved to North West London – to our current home in Harrow. Now known as simply St Mark’s Hospital, today you can still see ‘Hospital for Fistulas and other Diseases of the Anus and Rectum’ by our main entrance.

St Mark’s Hospital and Academic Institute together form a centre for coloproctology, attracting practitioners from the UK and overseas to enable best practice to be spread to other institutions.

Within the North West London Hospitals NHS Trust, St Mark’s Hospital is headed by Clinical Director, Professor Omar Faiz. The Clinical Director is supported by the Divisional General Manager of Specialist Services who, together with the Dean of St Mark’s Academic Institute, Professor Siwan Thomas-Gibson, form the Executive of the Hospital.

St Mark’s Hospital, along with the Hope Hospital, Manchester, is nationally headed to provide the Intestinal Rehabilitation Service. This is commissioned from St Mark’s by the National Commissioning Group for Highly Specialised Services.

The St Mark’s archive

The historic archives of St Mark’s Hospital prior to its move to Harrow in 1995 are held at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Archives, part of Barts Health NHS Trust Archives and Museums.

The records of the hospital comprise clinical and patient records, including case notes; administrative records from the earliest days of the hospital onwards, such as the minutes of the General Committee who managed the hospital; nursing and other staffing records; records of the research department; photographs and plans; fundraising and ephemeral material, and a few artefacts from the hospital, as well as other related collections. As a remarkably complete collection relating to a unique institution and the clinicians who shaped it, the St Mark’s material is a unique and unrivalled resource for medical, social, and family historians, and researchers in the fields of public health and healthcare policy.

You can find out more about the recent Wellcome Trust-funded project to catalogue and conserve the archives in the project blog here, and browse the catalogue online here.