Frenchay Hospital

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Frenchay Hospital
North Bristol NHS Trust
Frenchay Hospital, middle entrance.jpg
Frenchay Hospital, middle entrance
Frenchay Hospital is located in Gloucestershire
Frenchay Hospital
Shown in Gloucestershire
LocationFrenchay, South Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates51°29′52″N 2°31′30″W / 51.4977°N 2.5249°W / 51.4977; -2.5249Coordinates: 51°29′52″N 2°31′30″W / 51.4977°N 2.5249°W / 51.4977; -2.5249
Care systemPublic NHS
Hospital typeDistrict General
Affiliated universityUniversity of Bristol, Faculty of Health and Social Care University of West of England
Emergency departmentNo Accident & Emergency
Links Edit this at Wikidata
ListsHospitals in England

Frenchay Hospital was a large hospital situated in Frenchay, South Gloucestershire, on the north east outskirts of Bristol, England. In 2014, it contracted to a few brain and head injuries services. It is managed by the North Bristol NHS Trust.

From April to December 2014, most of Frenchay Hospital was progressively closed, with the majority of services moving to a new building at Southmead Hospital. Accident and Emergency was transferred on 19 May 2014. Child services moved to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. A few services relating to brain and head injuries remained at the site after December 2014.[1][2][3]


Early history[edit]

The hospital, situated in the grounds of a Georgian mansion, Frenchay Park,[4][5] started life as a tuberculosis hospital (Frenchay Park Sanatorium) in 1921, when Bristol Corporation acquired the land. In 1931, five purpose-built buildings were constructed to extend the hospital beyond the original house.[6]

Modernised World War II wards in 2014

Concerns about the possibility of heavy bombing casualties led to the hospital being greatly expanded between 1938 and early 1942. Although Bristol was severely bombed, the new facilities remained unused.[7]

When US forces arrived in 1942, the city handed the new hospital facilities over to the Americans, as a sort of reverse Lend-Lease. The initial units of the Medical Corps were the 2nd and 77th Evacuation Hospitals and the 152nd Station Hospital. Further expansion to the facilities including 27 wards, occurred in late 1942 and it was occupied by the 298th General Hospital. Initially, the Americans used the hospital mainly as training facility for their medical staff. After D-Day, however, the hospital was used in earnest, under the control of the 100th and then 117th General Hospitals. Casualties were flown into Filton or arrived by train from the channel ports. Between 5 August and 31 December 1944 a total of 4,954 patients were discharged from Frenchay.[8]

New and Second World War buildings in 2009
Barabara Russell Children's Unit just before closure

After the Second World War, the Americans handed the hospital back to the Corporation. The hospital joined the National Health Service in 1948.[9] In 1953, patients and the staff were visited by Frank Sinatra when he was appearing at the local Bristol Hippodrome.[10]


Over the second half of the 20th century, the hospital facilities were slowly modernised, but some wartime buildings were retained. In 2000, a new children's ward, The Barbara Russell Children's Unit, was opened after public fundraising toward the £4 million cost.[11]

Frenchay Hospital was downsized after many services were transferred to Southmead Hospital in spring 2014. The hospital had extensive grounds some of which were marketed for sale. A Save Frenchay Hospital campaign was fronted by Steve Webb, the local Member of Parliament. The campaign's main arguments were that Frenchay Hospital afforded greater possibility for expansion than the Southmead site and that emergency access was easier due to its proximity to the motorway.[12]

An extension was built at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children to accommodate child services which moved from Frenchay in March 2014, including neuroscience, scoliosis surgery, burns and plastic surgery, bringing all inpatient child services in Bristol to one location.[13][14]

The accident and emergency department was transferred to the new Southmead Hospital on 19 May 2014, following local advertising of the change.[1][2][3]

The Save Frenchay Hospital pressed for a community hospital to be opened on the site.[15][16][17][18] In 2015, the site which had extended to 63 acres (25 ha), was reduced to 6 acres (2.4 ha) with the construction of 490 homes, a school and a clinic.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Frenchay-to-Southmead hospital move for A&E cases". BBC. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  2. ^ a b Kieran Corcoran (20 May 2014). "Devastated staff break down in tears as A&E department closes its doors for the last time after treating patients for 50 years". Daily Mail. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Frenchay Hospital Site Redevelopment FAQs". North Bristol NHS Trust. Archived from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  4. ^ Historic England. "Sisters' House (formerly known as Frenchay Park) (1276797)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  5. ^ Historic England. "Stable Block, 20 metres north west of Sisters' House  (Grade II) (1233075)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  6. ^ "Frenchay Hospital's final patients leave hospital site". BBC. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  7. ^ "80 Years of Healing at Frenchay Hospital". Frenchay Village Museum. Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  8. ^ Wakefield, Ken (1994). Operation Bolero: The Americans in Bristol and the West Country 1942-45. Crecy Books. pp. 102–104. ISBN 0-947554-51-3.
  9. ^ "Frenchay Hospital prepares to take its place in history". Western Daily Press. 28 January 2014. Archived from the original on 30 May 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  10. ^ "A road in Bristol is going to be named after legendary singer Frank Sinatra". Bristol Post. 27 December 2017. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  11. ^ "'Demolishing Frenchay unit could damage future fundraising efforts'". Bristol Post. 2 July 2012. Archived from the original on 18 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Save Frenchay Community Hospital". 38 Degrees. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  13. ^ "Staff celebrate "topping out" of extension to the Children's Hospital". University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. 7 November 2011. Archived from the original on 28 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Specialist children's services under one roof at the expanded Bristol Children's Hospital". University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. 2 May 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  15. ^ "NHS confirms Frenchay to get community beds". BBC. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  16. ^ Rachel Gardner (12 November 2014). "Health Secretary called upon over Frenchay Hospital's future". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 6 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Referral of South Gloucestershire CCG's decision to no longer provide a community hospital at Frenchay". Independent Reconfiguration Panel. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Daily Hansard Debate 19 March 2014 Column 883". Hansard. Retrieved 26 December 2015.
  19. ^ Young, Michael (9 July 2015). "Health bosses "moving away" from community hospital at Frenchay by providing home care". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 14 August 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2015.

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