Birmingham General Hospital
|Birmingham General Hospital|
The Steelhouse Lane building in November 2010
|Lists||Hospitals in England|
In 1765, a committee for a proposed hospital, formed by John Ash and supported by Sir Lister Holte, 5th Baronet, the Earl of Bradford, Samuel Garbett, Sir Henry Gough, Charles Adderley, Matthew Boulton, John Baskerville, Sampson Lloyd and others, purchased:
all those four closes, pieces, or parcels of Land, Meadow, or Pasture Ground, situate, lying, and being together near a place called the Salutation, in Birmingham aforesaid, containing, by estimation, eight Acres or thereabouts, be the same more or less, adjoining at the upper end or part thereof into a Lane there called Summer Lane, and at the lower end or part thereof unto a way called Walmore Lane
However, work to erect the new hospital on that land stopped through lack of funds in 1766. Eventually, much of its funds came from the Birmingham Triennial Music Festival, the first of which was held over three days in September 1768, and which continued to fund the hospital into the 20th century.
The hospital finally opened on 20 September 1779, giving its name to Hospital Street. About 200 patients were treated in its first three months of operation, even though the 40 beds were fewer than half those aimed for.
Eventually 235 beds were provided on the site.
The site was later used for a tram, then bus, depot and is now occupied by Centro House, headquarters of the Transport for West Midlands, where there is a blue plaque (at ) commemorating the hospital.
Neville Chamberlain became an Official Visitor and then a director of the Hospital. He advocated a larger facility, a cause in which he was eventually successful, though building did not commence until 1934. He was still fundraising while he was Prime Minister.
On 5 July 1948 the hospital became part of the new National Health Service.
Until 1964 the hospital was a training centre for nurses, who, on qualification, became members of the General Hospital Birmingham Nurses League. After 1964, training switched to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in the nearby suburb of Edgbaston. The league was wound up in 2000, due to its remaining members' increasing age.
The Birmingham pub bombings, the worst terrorist attack on the mainland until 2005, occurred within a mile of the hospital, on 21 November 1974. Taxi cabs and all available ambulances ferried victims to either the General or to the nearby Accident Hospital.
- John Ash (1723–1798)
- Richard Lindsey Batten (1920–1997)
- Sir William Bowman, 1st Baronet (1816–1892)
- Balthazar Foster, 1st Baron Ilkeston (1840–1913)
- George Freer (founder of the city's Orthopaedic Hospital)
- Sampson Gamgee (1828–1886)
- John Hall-Edwards (1858–1926)
- Joseph Hodgson (1788–1869)
- Robert Mills-Roberts (1862–1935)
- Dame Ellen Musson (1867–1960)
- Arthur Thomson (1890–1977)
- William Withering (1741–1799)
- Bert Harris (1873-1897), professional racing cyclist
- "Ash's deed for our General wellbeing". Birmingham Mail. 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2012-07-28 – via HighBeam. (subscription required (. ))
- "Garden of Eden in Summer Lane.". Birmingham Mail. 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2012-07-28 – via HighBeam. (subscription required (. ))
- Elliott, Anne. The Music Makers - a Brief History of the Birmingham Triennial Music Festivals 1784 - 1912. Birmingham City Council. ISBN 0-7093-0224-X.
- Wilson, Adrian (2002), "The Birmingham General Hospital and its Public, 1765–79", in Sturdy, Steve, Medicine, Health and the Public Sphere in Britain, 1600–2000, Routledge Studies in the Social History of Medicine, 16, London: Routledge, pp. 90–91, ISBN 0-415-27906-2
- "Expressions of care; A new book has been published on the history of hospitals in Birmingham. Chris Upton delves into its pages.". Birmingham Post. 2010-08-19. Retrieved 2012-07-28 – via HighBeam. (subscription required (. ))
- Thornton, Roy (2009). Lost Buildings of Birmingham. The History Press. p. 75. ISBN 978 0750950992.
- Plaque #1565 on Open Plaques.
- "Millennium marks end of an era for nurses". Birmingham Post. 2000-04-15. Retrieved 2012-07-28 – via HighBeam. (subscription required (. ))
- Alan Stuart Hill. "Birmingham Pub Bombings November 21st 1974". Retrieved 2009-08-03.
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