The Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours Hospital and The Hertford British Hospital, which combined their activities in 2008 under the name of the
INSTITUT HOSPITALIER FRANCO-BRITANNIQUE
were each founded more than a century ago.
The services they offer to patients today are housed in recently modernised buildings that were first constructed some 20 years ago.
HISTORY OF THE OEUVRE DU PERPETUEL SECOURS
AND OF THE NOTRE-DAME DU PERPETUEL SECOURS HOSPITAL
(operating today in conjunction with the Hertford British Hospital under the name
of the Institut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique.)
An association created in 1885 by Madame de Vatismenil, the Oeuvre du Perpétuel Secours immediately acquired large grounds in Levallois-Perret thanks to the generous donations of its founders.
Under its statutes, its main mission was to build and manage a hospital in a suburb which was at the time somewhat underprivileged.
This hospital, dominated by a large chapel which was visible from afar, was built soon after.
Recognition of public utility
The Oeuvre du Perpétuel Secours was recognised as being of public utility in 1892 thanks to the valued services that it offered the local population. The decree of public utility was signed by President Carnot.
A private, non-profit hospital
A non-profit and private institution, the Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours Hospital – the name under which it operated from 1885 to 2008 – quickly developed a range of services.
The medical care that it gave, at a time when there was no social aid, was free. The hospital functioned with the help of volunteer practitioners. The actual running of the hospital was entrusted to Dominican nuns of the order of Saint Catherine of Siena. The nuns had the responsibility for running hospital services, as well as its accounts, administrative services, meals and accommodation.
Patients often had few resources when social protection was not only inexistent but destined to remain so for a long time.
From 1930, economic upheavals, progress in medical techniques and the creation of social insurance and then social security accelerated the development of the Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours Hospital.
Its role in the public hospital service
Licensed by French Social Security in 1947, the hospital has been part of the public hospital service since 1977. It charges practically no fees in excess of those approved by Social Security.
A decline in religious vocation led to the gradual replacement of the Dominican nuns on the nursing or administrative staff by lay personnel. The newcomers were still guided by the founding spirit of the hospital, giving sympathetic attention and assistance to patients and their families, both morally and medically.
Rebuilding in 1987
In 1987, the hospital was totally rebuilt; it was then modernised again between 2004 and 2007.
A new phase of work, mainly involving Casualty, was completed in 2012.
In 2008, the Oeuvre du Perpétuel Secours benefited from joining with the Hertford British Hospital, a lay institution with a prestigious background, which was founded by Sir Richard Wallace in 1872.
Now, all hospital services operate under the aegis of the Institut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique.
HISTORY OF THE HERTFORD BRITISH HOSPITAL
(operating today in conjunction with the Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours Hospital
under the name of the Institut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique.)
The Hertford British Hospital, a charitable institution, was founded in 1872 by the generous philanthropist Sir Richard Wallace after he inherited the fortune of the 4th Marquess of Hertford.
Originally, this hospital offered care to needy Britons living in Paris. Quickly, however, it opened its doors to the inhabitants of Levallois and the environs.
Apart from the hospital, Sir Richard Wallace donated to the city of Paris the famous “Wallace Fountains” and left to Britain his magnificent Wallace Collection of art, which can be visited in London.
A very modern hospital for the time, the Hertford British Hospital attracted doctors of distinction who practised there throughout the 20th century.
To function, the hospital benefited from the collection of charitable donations, a British speciality, under the patronage of the Royal Family. The late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was Hertford British Hospital’s honorary president from 1936 to 2003. The Hertford British Hospital Corporation has changed with the times; its current honorary president is the 9th Marquess of Hertford.
A private, non-profit hospital within the French public hospital service
The hospital joined the French care system in 1978 while still preserving its English nursing tradition.
Like its neighbour, the Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours Hospital, it acquired the status of a “private non-profit hospital within the public hospital service.”
Its magnificent original building, which is classed as an historic monument, was ill-adapted to modern hospital activities, so the hospital built new premises at 2 rue Barbès, which were opened in 1982 and progressively renovated.
In 2008, the activities of the Hertford British Hospital were merged with those of the Notre-Dame du Perpétuel Secours Hospital. They now operate jointly as the Institut Hospitalier Franco-Britannique.