The history of BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital

Mount Alvernia Hospital has a very rich history, having been run by Franciscan nuns for over 80 years. The Sisters chose the name inspired by Mount La Verna in Tuscany, where St Francis loved to pray and prepare for his ministry.

Here's a timeline of some of the most important events in the history of the hospital:


PharmacistMount Alvernia is opened and named by the Bishop of Southwark. Run by the Franciscan Sisters of Divine Motherhood up until 2005, managing all aspects of care from working in the theatre to building an extension at the back themselves. Initially, the hospital had only 17 beds.

The sisters were trained in many professions: Midwifery, General and Psychiatric Nursing, Radiography, Theatre Management, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy and Catering.


First sisters in Zambia

During those years, the sisters have dedicated themselves to patient care and started to visit Africa and Asia to care for sick families.


Sister Frances and baby

A new surgical wing was opened followed by a new maternity wing. In the early days some mothers named their babies after the Sister who delivered them- Agnes, Catherine, Francis, Gemma, Margaret to name but a few.


Sisters gathered on the patio

The Mount Alvernia community keeps growing. Improvements are being made with a new X-Ray department and CDDS established.

Here are the sisters gathered on the patio.


Ambulance service

A major refurbishment has brought new amenities like a car park, an ambulance service a cafeteria for the staff.

En-suite room

En-suite rooms, day rooms for each ward, and a reception area were also added.


Sister Florence

In 1990 the Maternity Wing changed to St. Christopher's Day Care Unit. Here is Sister Florence with the last baby born there in November 1989

The surgical wing was refurbished floor by floor.


Diamond jubilee staff past and present

The hospital's 50th anniversary was held in Ladywell Convent, Mayor Catherine Cobley with Lord and Lady Thornton attended. Dr Hewerd Bell aged 93 was also present- he’s been a consultant at the Mount since 1935.


Small chapel

A small chapel at the heart of the hospital was opened.


BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital

Mount Alvernia Hospital is no longer run by the Franciscan sisters, being acquired by BMI Healthcare, the largest provider of private healthcare in the UK. It has grown from two small houses into a large, modern 76-bed hospital.

 The hospital has also undergone a £6m refurbishment, including the installation of a new operating theatre, new imaging equipment and a new ambulatory care unit for minor operations. The maternity unit has been replaced with a day facility.

Mount Alvernia  still stands as a strong pillar of the community.


BMI Mount Alvernia staff

In 2015 BMI Mount Alvernia Hospital has treated over 5,000 patients, providing the highest standards in clinical care and recovery. The hospital's team dedication has been endorsed by more than 98% of patients who have rated the quality of care received as excellent or very good.