Free lectures at King’s

This summer, King’s College Hospital is celebrating its centenary year, marking 100 years since its move from Holborn to Camberwell in 1913.

Nurses at King's College Hospital in 1913

Nurses at King’s College Hospital in 1913

Over the last 100 years King’s has provided lifesaving treatment to the local community and has pioneered medical advancements in specialist areas such as liver care, stroke care and geriatric medicine.

To celebrate the centenary, King’s College Hospital is inviting members of the local community to attend free lectures throughout the summer. The idea behind this is to encourage people to find out more about the history of the hospital, how it has changed over the years and the key medical milestones that King’s have been a part of over the last 100 years.

I attended the first lecture in the series that took place on 24th July and focused on Stroke management and care. The talk was given by Dr Robert Weeks, Stroke lead clinician at King’s, who explained the complexities around defining Stroke as a condition – apparently speciality Stroke medicine didn’t come into being until the 20th Century!

Dr Weeks further explained that most landmark advances in Stroke medicine did not occur until the late 20th Century; for example aspirin was discovered to be effective in treating Stroke in the 1970s and smoking was only medically recognised as a major risk factor for Stroke in the 1980s.


He outlined how King’s is at the forefront of innovative medical research and explained how it continues to invest in stroke research, in order to address unmet needs for patients – for example, the loss of cognitive performance – closely linked with dementia – known as vascular cognitive impairment affects up to 60% of stroke survivors, however there is a need to provide adequate support in this area. To address this, King’s hosts a Medical Research Council programme, which looks at cognitive impairment using advanced techniques such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) which allow visualisation of the brain in detail.

Some interesting points were raised in the question and answer session at the end of the talk, where I learned that Stroke doesn’t just affect smokers and older patients – there have been young patients leading relatively healthy lifestyles who have suffered from Strokes too.

It was great to see such active participation from the audience who volunteered their questions and comments on the subject, and this talk was a great start to a promising series of lectures!

If you are interested, the remaining lectures at King’s are on the following topics:

19th September (6-8pm, Boardroom, Hambleden Wing)

100 years kingsTalk by Professor Nigel Heaton, Consultant Liver Transplant Surgeon and Director of Transplant Surgery at King’s College Hospital on Liver Care – including a look at liver disease across London and the key milestones and medical advancements over the years, with a view on King’s as a leading unit for liver care today.

9th October (6-8pm, Boardroom Hambleden Wing)

Talk by Edward R. Howard, Emeritus Professor of Surgery on A Royal Progress: a short history of King’s College Hospital including the development of the most famous surgical department at the end of the 19th century, the evolution of specialist medical departments, King’s move to Denmark Hill and the relationship of the hospital with the Royal Family.

26th November (6-8pm, Boardroom Hambleden Wing)

Talk by Malcolm Tunnicliff, the Clinical Lead and Consultant in Emergency Medicine featured on 24 Hours in A&E, on the Emergency Department at King’s – including what life is like on such a busy ward and a brief history of how it has changed over the last 100 years, including an insight into the filming of Channel 4’s 24 Hours in A&E.

You can reserve your place using the email: or contact Carolyn Ruston on 0203 299 4186.

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