Title ID 779Collection ID179
TitleThe William Harvey Hospital
CollectionKen and June Paine
Genre/TypeAmateurCine/Video clubNon-fictionActuality/Factual
ThemePublic Services
KeywordsBuildings Health Services Hospitals Interiors
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionA Jaykay Joint Production
CameraKen Paine; June Paine
FormatStandard 8mm Colour Sound
Duration23 min. 30 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This amateur film with commentary tours the newly opened William Harvey Hospital in Kent, exploring the public and private areas of the large NHS institution.


Thsi film opens with shots of a statue of William Harvey at Folkestone, followed by exterior shots of The William Harvey Hospital main entrance and buildings. The camera explores the public areas of the hospital to include the reception, ICU, the physiotherapy department, a children's ward, an operating theatre and the hospital's Chapel. The audience are also shown the behind-the-scenes areas of the medical records department, the post-mortem room, the laundry, kitchen, and staff training areas which include a lecture theatre, a common room and a library. Although not fully opened to the public, the hospital appears to be fully operational and the film-makers ensure that the modernity of the institution and its technology is recorded. The film has a full music score and female spoken narrative throughout, however, due to copyright issues, the version available on the website is mute.


A Still from 'The William Harvey Hospital' (1979) - an ambulance

Contextual information

Originally intended as an eight minute film The William Harvey Hospital (1979?) was filmed over five visits, mainly before the patients were moved into the new NHS hospital.

The William Harvey Hospital was commissioned in 1977 (1974?) and was opened in 1979. The hospital's namesake, William Harvey, was a Folkestone-born physician who founded modern experimental physiology. At the time of writing, this large district hospital employs 2,500 people and is one of the three main hospitals in the East Kent Hospitals Trust.

The National Health Service (NHS) entered the 1970s in an optimistic mood - new technologies such as CAT scans and computers were gradually introduced, and transplants and ICUs were becoming more commonplace. The NHS was the most cost effective health service in the world but an economic crisis in the mid-1970s, coupled with political unrest and attempts by the Labour Government to reorganize the Service, led to financial constraints taking hold as the 1980s approached. It is interesting to take these factors into consideration when viewing this film of a new, modern, expensive and integrated NHS hospital. The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) made a film explaining the planned reorganization of the NHS called A New Way of Caring (1974) - this film is also held at Screen Archive South East.

Screen Archive South East also houses a number of films which illustrate the provision of health care in Britain prior to the introduction of the NHS in 1948. These include St Bartholomew's Hospital (ca. 1930), Ramsgate General Hospital: Hospital Appeal (1932?) and Princess Alice Memorial Hospital (ca. 1938).

Screen Archive South East holds a number of other Jaykay Joint Production films in its collection, including Reflections '79 (1979) which offers a tour of the South East, and It Happened in 1979 (1979) which records a year-in-the-life of Great Britain, specifically the county of Kent.

Related titles

Related resources


South-East Metropolitan Hospital Board. The William Harvey Hospital, Lacton Green, Ashford, Kent. n.p.: The Board, [1971?]

Copies of this book are held at Ashford Library.


Kent History and Library Centre

Manuscript and printed records for the County of Kent including books, pamphlets, maps, illustrations and microfilm, reflecting Kent's local history.

The Wellcome Trust Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine

"One of the world's greatest collections of books, manuscripts, pictures and films around the meaning and history of medicine, from the earliest times to the present day." The catalogue of the Welcome Trust Library is searchable online.


William Harvey and the Circulation of Blood* (1928)

A "gruesome medical film looking at the circulation of blood..." The film can be accessed via the British Pathé Website.

The State and the Doctors* (1946)

A newsreel item in which three doctors debate the pros and cons of the Government's new National Health Service Bill. The film can be accessed via the British Pathé Website.

Trailer: National Health Service* (1948)

A Gaumont British News public information trailer about the NHS. The film is held at the ITN Archive (ITN Source) and is searchable via the database of The British Universities Film and Video Council.

Other Resources

Script for The William Harvey Hospital (1979?)

A pdf copy of the script for The William Harvey Hospital (1979?) can be downloaded via this link - it is also held on file at Screen Archive South East, along with a brief filming report written by the director.