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 Bristol
Frenchay Hospital
Shown in Bristol
Location Frenchay, South Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°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 system Public NHS
Hospital type District General
Affiliated university University of Bristol, Faculty of Health and Social Care University of West of England
Emergency department No Accident & Emergency
Founded 1921
Lists Hospitals in England

Frenchay Hospital was a large hospital situated in Frenchay, South Gloucestershire, on the north east outskirts of Bristol, England. It was part of the North Bristol NHS Trust.

From April to December 2014 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]


The hospital, situated in the grounds of a Georgian mansion, Frenchay Park,[4][5] started life as a TB 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.

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.[6]

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, the processing of casualties becoming a very slick operation 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.[7]

Although the Frenchay Tuberculosis hospital operated as a separate unit throughout the war, the patients were transferred elsewhere in 1947.

New and World War II buildings in 2009

After World War II, the Americans handed the hospital back to the Corporation. The National Health Service acquired the hospital in 1948.[8]

Over the last 60 years or so, the hospital facilities have been slowly modernized, but many wartime buildings are still very much in evidence. In 2000 a new children's ward, The Barbara Russell Children's Unit, was opened after public fundraising toward the £4 million cost.[9]


Frenchay Hospital has been downsized so the main Trust hospital will be at Southmead Hospital. The hospital has extensive grounds which would be sold off. A Save Frenchay Hospital campaign that was fronted by Steve Webb, the Member of Parliament for the Northavon constituency that includes Frenchay, had objected to this. The campaign's main arguments were that Frenchay Hospital affords greater possibility for expansion than the Southmead site and that emergency access is easier due to its proximity to the motorway with less traffic.[10]

An extension was built at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children to accommodate child services moved from Frenchay in March 2014, including neuroscience, scoliosis surgery, burns and plastic surgery, bringing all inpatient child services in Bristol to one location.[11][12]

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]

A campaign group, Save Frenchay Hospital was pressing for a promised community hospital to be opened on the site.[13][14][15][16]

Frenchay Hospital did cover 63 acres (25 ha), but in 2015 was downgraded to 6 acres (2.4 ha) with the construction of 490 homes, a school and clinic.[17]

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. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Historic England. "Sisters' House (formerly known as Frenchay Park) (408510)". Images of 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. ^ "80 Years of Healing at Frenchay Hospital". Frenchay Village Museum. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "Frenchay Hospital prepares to take its place in history". Western Daily Press. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  9. ^ "'Demolishing Frenchay unit could damage future fundraising efforts'". Bristol Post. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "Save Frenchay Community Hospital". 38 Degrees. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  11. ^ "Staff celebrate "topping out" of extension to the Children's Hospital". University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. 7 November 2011. Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "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. 
  13. ^ "NHS confirms Frenchay to get community beds". BBC. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  14. ^ Rachel Gardner (12 November 2014). "Health Secretary called upon over Frenchay Hospital's future". Bristol Post. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  15. ^ "Referral of South Gloucestershire CCG's decision to no longer provide a community hospital at Frenchay". Independent Reconfiguration Panel. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  16. ^ "Daily Hansard Debate 19 March 2014 Column 883". Hansard. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 
  17. ^ Young, Michael (9 July 2015). "Health bosses "moving away" from community hospital at Frenchay by providing home care". Bristol Post. Retrieved 26 December 2015. 

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