Royal United Hospital

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Royal United Hospital
Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust
Royal United Hospital Bath.jpg
Royal United Hospital is located in Somerset
Royal United Hospital
Shown in Somerset
Location Bath, Somerset, England
Coordinates 51°23′30″N 2°23′28″W / 51.3917°N 2.3910°W / 51.3917; -2.3910Coordinates: 51°23′30″N 2°23′28″W / 51.3917°N 2.3910°W / 51.3917; -2.3910
Care system NHS
Funding Public hospital
Hospital type Major Acute
Affiliated university University of Bath and the University of the West of England
Emergency department Yes
Helipad Yes
Beds 565
Founded 1826
Lists Hospitals in England

The Royal United Hospital (RUH) is a major acute hospital, located in the Weston suburb of Bath, England, which lies approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) miles west of the Bath city centre. The hospital currently has 565 beds and occupies a 52 acres (21 ha) site.[1] It is the area's major accident and emergency hospital, with a helicopter landing point on the adjacent Lansdown Cricket Club field.


The Royal United Hospital takes its name from the union of the Bath Casualty Hospital founded in 1788 and the Bath City Dispensary and Infirmary founded in 1792. The Casualty Hospital was founded in response to the serious injuries sustained to labourers working on the buildings which were being constructed in the city. The Dispensary and Infirmary developed from the Bath Pauper Scheme, a charity founded in 1747 to provide medical treatment for destitute persons in Bath.

The combined institution opened as the Bath United Hospital in 1826 in Beau Street in a building designed by John Pinch the elder. It was awarded the title Royal by Queen Victoria in 1864 when a new wing, named the Albert Wing after the recently deceased Prince Consort, opened. This building was later occupied by Bath Technical College.[2]

Combe Park site

The hospital moved to its present site, Combe Park, on 11 December 1932. The site had previously been used for the large First World War Bath War Hospital from 1916 to 1922, then renamed the Bath Ministry of Pensions Hospital until closed in 1929.[3] The site was also used by the Forbes Fraser Hospital and the Bath and Wessex Orthopaedic Hospital, both founded in 1924 and merged into the RUH about 1980.[4][5][6]

In 1959 it absorbed the Ear Nose and Throat Hospital and in 1973 the Bath Eye Infirmary, both located elsewhere in Bath.[2][7]

A former manor house on the site, originally medieval but remodelled in the 18th century, is used as an administrative building. The building is a Grade II* listed building due to its fine Adam style interior.[8]

The Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership offers services at Hillview Lodge on the north of the site and at Bath NHS House to the south of the site.[9]

NHS trust

Accident and Emergency department

The hospital became a NHS hospital trust in 1992, as the Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust.

The trust has run a deficit most years since then, with very large deficits from 2002 to 2006,[10] creating an historic debt of £38 million by 2008.[11] It also received a critical Commission for Health Improvement report and zero-star rating in 2002 after a determination of "deliberate manipulation" of waiting lists.[12][13] Following this the Trust terminated the Chief Executive's contract, but in a subsequent employment tribunal case the former Chief Executive was awarded £218,439 for unfair dismissal with the tribunal rejecting allegations of neglect over misreporting waiting list numbers.[14] Progress has been made since 2006 on a plan to repay historic debt by 2013.[11] In February 2008, a conservative peer—Lord Mancroft—made a scathing attack on nursing staff at the hospital, claiming that many nurses who looked after him were "promiscuous, lazy and grubby".[15]

In 2008, plans were revealed for a £100 million redevelopment of the pre-World War II RUH North buildings, which would include an increase in single-occupancy rooms in line with Government targets.[16] The first stage of this work was originally planned to start in 2012.[17] In 2014 a five-year development plan, incorporating a new cancer centre, was confirmed.[18]

By 2010, the rates of hospital acquired MRSA[19] and Clostridium difficile infection were below the national average.[20] In 2010, Dr Foster Hospital Guide reported that RUH mortality rates give no cause for concern.[21]

In 2010, Which? judged that the RUH had the best hospital car parking regime in England.[22]

In July 2011, the Dyson Centre for neonatal care opened for premature babies. Over half of the £6.1 million cost was raised by the hospital's charity, the Forever Friends Appeal.[23]

In 2011, the RUH applied to become authorised as an NHS Foundation Trust from late Spring 2012,[24] however this was postponed after issues were raised by the Care Quality Commission about aspects of patient care. The process was restarted in 2014.[25]

Maternity services at the hospital are operated under contract, and had not been run by the Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust since its foundation in 1992 until 1 June 2014, after the contract had been retendered for three years by the NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group. The Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had run the service immediately prior to 2014.[26][27]


  1. ^ "Introducing the RUH". Royal United Hospital. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "A Potted History of the RUH". Royal United Hospital. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  3. ^ David Beswick Lloyd (2007). The Family Doctors in Newbridge 1900 - 2000. Ralph Allen Press. p. 150. ASIN B001CRC1UC. 
  4. ^ "THE FORBES FRASER HOSPITAL, BATH: Medical opening Ceremony". British Medical Journal 2 (3317): 150–1. 26 July 1924. doi:10.1136/bmj.2.3317.150. PMC 2304686. PMID 20771681. 
  5. ^ "Forbes Fraser Hospital, Bath". Hospital Records Database. The National Archives. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  6. ^ "Bath and Wessex Orthopaedic Hospital, Bath". Hospital Records Database. The National Archives. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  7. ^ "Bath Eye Infirmary". Hospital Records Database. The National Archives. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  8. ^ English Heritage. "Manor House, Weston Lane  (Grade II*) (1395661)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 25 February 2012 .
  9. ^ "Hillview Lodge". Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  10. ^ Annual Report 2008/09. Royal United Hospital. September 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  11. ^ a b "Trust’s Historic Debt Resolved" (Press release). Royal United Hospital. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  12. ^ Tash Shifrin (27 February 2003). "RUH Bath report pushes reputation aside". Health Service Journal. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  13. ^ Lorna Duckworth (25 July 2002). "Best hospitals rewarded with bonuses of up to £1m". The Independent. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  14. ^ Tash Shifrin (25 June 2003). "Hospital chief awarded £200k for unfair dismissal". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "Anger over grubby nurses 'slur'". BBC. 29 February 2008. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  16. ^ "Hospital chief reveals £100m revamp of Bath hospital". Bristol Evening Post. 25 September 2008. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  17. ^ "Planning bid for £40m RUH facelift". Bath Chronicle. 20 October 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2011. 
  18. ^ "£110m transformation to bring Bath's Royal United Hospital into the 21st century". Bath Chronicle. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  19. ^ "Results from the mandatory surveillance of MRSA bacteraemia". Health Protection Agency. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011. "MRSA bacteraemia rate per 100,000 bed days (year RUH:national average): 2008/9 6.8:4.3, 2009/10 2.6:2.7, 2010/11 0.9:1.8" 
  20. ^ "Results of the mandatory Clostridium difficile reporting scheme". Health Protection Agency. 3 August 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011. "C. difficile Trust apportioned case rate per 100,000 bed days (year RUH:national average): 2007/8 129.7:93.3, 2008/9 94.6:54.9, 2009/10 50.2:36.7, 2010/11 23.5:28.9" 
  21. ^ "Clean bill of health for RUH in survey of patient safety". Bath Chronicle. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  22. ^ Michelle Roberts (9 June 2010). "'Best and worst' English NHS hospital car parks named". BBC News. Retrieved 12 October 2011. 
  23. ^ "Bath Royal United Hospital opens new neonatal care unit". BBC News. 23 July 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  24. ^ "Royal United Hospital is setting out to become an NHS Foundation Trust hospital" (Press release). Royal United Hospital. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "New Royal United Hospital bid to achieve trust status". Bath Chronicle. 11 May 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 
  26. ^ Paul Wiltshire (21 January 2014). "RUH to run its own maternity services for first time in 22 years". Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  27. ^ Sirkka Huish (1 June 2014). "Maternity services are transferred back to the RUH". Bath Chronicle. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 

External links