THE ATKINSON Morley Hospital in Wimbledon owned by St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has been sold to a private developer for £15.1m.

The sale of the hospital, which was home to the Trust’s neurosciences unit until 2003 when services transferred to the new Atkinson Morley Wing at St George’s Hospital, was completed on Friday 31 March – only a few hours before the end of the financial year.

The hospital was purchased by a private developer called Laguna Quays along with the Firs, an accommodation block owned by the St George’s Charitable Foundation.

The two sites, which together fetched £20m, will now be turned into a private hospital.

The Trust’s share of the sale was £15.1m. Nearly £11.5m will be given to the South West London Strategic Health Authority (SHA) to repay a loan which helped fund construction of the Atkinson Morley Wing while £3.3m will be used by the Trust to improve its financial position.

With the sale complete, the Trust is forecasting a deficit of around £12m for 2005/06.

Peter Homa said:

“While the sale of the Atkinson Morley Hospital will improve our financial position, there will be many staff who will be sorry to lose such an important piece of the Trust’s heritage.

“The old hospital with its wonderful sense of community will be remembered with great affection by everyone who worked there.”

The hospital was named after a 19th century hotelier called Atkinson Morley, who left his estate to St George’s in 1859 for the purpose of building a convalescent hospital.

AMH opened in 1869 as a convalescent hospital but became a specialist centre for neurosciences after the Second World War.