Harley Street: the past and the future

Posted on 17 February 2019

Harley Street: the past and the future

Harley Street is internationally renowned as an epicentre of healthcare. We all associate Harley Street with great doctors but less well known is the history behind this. Harley Street as you might have guessed is named after a chap called Edward Harley who, having passed away in 1741, never saw what it would become. By the middle of the 19th century, doctors began to set up there because the spaces allowed for clinics as well as their own living and the area was very accessible via Paddington, Marylebone and King’s Cross stations. Since then, there have been many famous healthcarers who have graced Harley Street:

  • Sir Henry Thompson (1820–1904) - An innovator of genitourinary surgery who even performed lithotripsy on the King of Brussels when he suffered from kidney stones.

  • Florence Nightingale (1820–1910) - The founder of modern Nursing, first through her work during the Crimean War reducing hospital mortality by two thirds and later while superintendent at the Institute for the Care of Sick Gentlewomen in Upper Harley Street. The Florence Nightingale Medal remains the highest international accolade a nurse can receive.

  • Joseph Lister (1827-1912) - The father of antiseptic surgery, who first used phenol to sterilise his surgical instruments. A monument in his honour sits at Portland Place and a hospital in Chelsea is named after him.

  • Sir Frederick Treves (1853-1923) - Credited with performing the first appendectomy, Treves saved King Edward VII from appendicitis.

  • Lionel Logue (1880-1953) - A distinctly eloquent man, Logue became speech therapist to the Duke of York (later King George VI), helping him through his severe stammer to eventually deliver a flawless speech in 1927. He practiced Speech Therapy at number 146.

  • Grantly Dick-Read (1890–1959) - Although his ideas were initially ridiculed, Dick-Read was a pioneering obstetrician who was a staunch advocate for natural childbirth.

  • Edward Bach (1886–1936) - A Cambridge-trained doctor who was inspired by Homeopathy to develop flower remedies and believed the root cause of disease to ultimately be personality.

Nowadays Harley Street is managed by the Howard de Walden Estate with over 3000 professionals working in listed buildings to provide the most cutting-edge healthcare available. And hopefully before too long there will be another name to add to that list:

  • Dr Dilraj Kalsi, Hippocrates Lounge (1992-) - Dare I say it! An Oxford-educated doctor treating chronic disease through lifestyle change. I am really proud to announce that I will be running my lifestyle clinic at the weekends at Number 1 Harley Street.

For anyone interested in taking a root cause approach to disease or a lifestyle approach to health, get in touch via Hippocrates Lounge.