The concept of the “health centre” within the Harlow area was initiated in 1951 when Nuffield Provincial Trust (NPHT) opened the first experimental health centre. This centre, called Haygarth House in the Mark Hall North neighborhood of Harlow, brought together the services provided by a doctor, dentist, midwife, health visitor, and district nurse.
The success of the first centre encouraged the NPHT to build six health centres in Harlow, Essex towards the end of the 1950's. These centres were named: - Addison House, Nuffield House, Sydenham House, Keats House, Osler House and Lister House.
These were originally conceived in order to centralise the non-hospital health requirements for the new town of Harlow.
The day to day management of the health centre’s was under the control of the HDC until 1980, at which point the corporation was dissolved and the New Town’s Commission took control until they were transferred as part of the transfer of assets to Harlow District Council. Subsequently Harlow Council set up the Harlow Health Centres Trust to assume the ownership of the health centres and to be responsible for the day to day control. The Trust was constituted with five trustees, and included people from the Health Authority and GP’s under the Chairmanship of Lady Patricia Gibberd. The original Trustees were Martin Lawn, Stan Newens, Dr F Murphy and Dr C Taylor.
Until 1989, Harlow District Council provided administration and financial support for the Trust. As the Trust developed the Trustees decided to appoint a full-time Administrator (Beryl Lawrence) and in 1994 Carol Sizeland took over this role.
In 1994 the Trust became a limited company and in November 1995 became a registered charity and in 1995 the Trust became fully independent from the Council.