A meeting was held at the Midland Grand Hotel in London on 27 May 1897 to consider the need for a special hospital in London dealing with "skin and cognate diseases". The meeting concluded that there was indeed a need for such an institution, and, having appointed a secretary, on 10 February 1898 the hospital was registered as a Benevolent Society under the Friendly Societies Act of 1896, to be composed of members who were Governors of the Hospital.
Individuals became Governors by subscribing three guineas a year and Life Governors by subscribing ten guineas a year. The Committee of Management was elected by the Governors and in turn elected the medical staff.
Dr Felix Vinrace and Mr Alfred Allport were elected Senior Honorary Surgeon and Assistant Honorary Surgeon respectively in May 1898, and St. Paul's Hospital for Skin and Genito-Urinary Diseases duly opened, as an outpatient clinic, at 13a Red Lion Square on 15 August 1898. The intention was to provide treatment primarily for venereal disease, as well as general skin and genito-urinary diseases, without requiring patients to present letters of recommendation, as was commonly the case in many voluntary hospitals at the time. Treatment was free to those who needed it: those who could afford to pay for their treatment were encouraged to do so. The hospital also opened some evenings to ensure that patients did not have to lose a day's pay in order to seek treatment. By the end of that year, 6 inpatient beds had also been opened, although provision of beds for inpatients was not always provided from this point on - they were temporarily discontinued in 1912 due to lack of funds. An Anaesthetist was appointed in 1900 and a Samaritan Fund was established in 1901.
Under the National Scheme for the Prevention and Treatment of Venereal Diseases, adopted by the Government following a Royal Commission's report, in 1916 St. Paul's was chosen as one of 22 London hospitals to accommodate a publicly-funded Veneral Diseases Clinic, to provide free and secret treatment for people in the Counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, Kent, London, Middlesex and Surrey, as well as the County Boroughs of Croydon, East Ham and West Ham.
In 1919, following a period of discussion about extending the Hospital to cope with demand, St. Paul's purchased the former building of the British Lying-In Hospital in Endell Street (following its amalgamation with the Home for Mothers and Babies in Woolwich in 1913). The Pickett-Thompson pathological laboratory opened in the top floor of the building in 1921 and functioned as the Hospital's laboratory until the Committee of Management decided to establish a new laboratory for St. Paul's. The new St. Paul's Hospital opened in the refurbished building on 9 April 1923. Further developments after the move to this new hospital included a Cystoscopy Room, operating theatre and male inpatients ward in 1925, a new pathological museum in 1926, and an X-ray Department in 1927. The name of the hospital was changed in 1927 from "St. Paul's Hospital for Skin and Genito-Urinary Diseases" to "St. Paul's Hospital for Diseases (including cancer) of the Genito-Urinary Organs and Skin".
During World War Two, the Hospital was able largely to remain open, until it was hit by a flying bomb in 1944. Following this, some parts of the Hospital were closed: they remained so until the end of the War, with the patients being removed to emergency hospitals outside London. The Venereal Diseases clinic was taken over by the London County Council in 1942.
The hospital was amalgamated in 1948 with St. Peter's Hospital under a single Board of Governors as a postgraduate teaching hospital group, following the establishment in 1947 of the Institute of Urology as the teaching centre.
This fonds comprises the surviving records from St. Paul's Hospital prior to its amalgamation with St. Peter's Hospital in 1948. In some cases, where a series of records continues beyond that date the series has been kept together within this fonds, but all records created entirely under the Board of Governors of the amalgamated hospitals are in a separate fonds, SPG. The fonds includes Committee of Management minutes 1897-1941, Medical Committee minutes 1916-48, Finance Committee minutes 1933-46, hospital annual and surgical reports 1898-1947, information about Governors of the Hospital 1937-48 and a selection of press cuttings.