Glasgow Royal Infirmary
- ”Glasgow Infirmary” redirects here; not to be confused with the former Glasgow Victoria Infirmary.
|Glasgow Royal Infirmary|
|NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde|
The Royal Infirmary's west-facing Centre Block, opened in 1914.
|Location||Castle St, Glasgow, Scotland|
|Care system||NHS Scotland|
|Affiliated university||University of Glasgow|
|Speciality||Cardiology, Plastic Surgery|
Rebuilt (I) 1909-1924
Rebuilt (II) 1974-82
|Lists||Hospitals in Scotland|
The Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) is a large teaching hospital. With a capacity of around 1,000 beds, the hospital campus covers an area of around 8 hectares (20 acres), situated on the north-eastern edge of the city centre of Glasgow, Scotland. It is managed by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Founding of the infirmary
A Royal Charter was obtained in 1791 granting the Crown-owned land to the hospital. The infirmary was built beside Glasgow Cathedral on land that held the ruins of the Bishop's Castle, which dated from at least the 13th century but had been allowed to fall into disrepair. George Jardine, Professor of Logic, was appointed the first manager in January 1793.
Designed by Robert and James Adam, the original Royal Infirmary building was opened in December 1794. The original Adams building had five floors (one underground) holding eight wards (giving the hospital just over a hundred beds) and a circular operating room on the fourth floor with a glazed dome ceiling. After a number of additional buildings were added, the first in 1816, a specialist fever block in 1829 and a surgical block in 1860.
The original Adams building was replaced with a new building designed by James Miller and opened by King George V in July 1914. In 1926, the surgical block in which Joseph Lister had worked was also torn down for replacement.
Following the amalgamation of the old St. Mungo's College of Medicine into the University of Glasgow Medical School in 1947, the old College buildings on Castle Street officially became part of the hospital campus. In 1948 the hospital became part of NHS Scotland.
Visions of a brand new hospital on the site had been part of the Bruce Report as early as the late 1940s, but by 1974, the Greater Glasgow Health Board had formally begun plans for the replacement of the 1914 Miller buildings with a brand new building. This would be located on the north of the hospital site overlooking Alexandra Parade and the M8 motorway. The new building was designed by Sir Basil Spence in a "modular" fashion, where new blocks could be easily added in phases as funding allowed. In the end, only the first phase of Spence's original design was implemented and was finally completed around 1982. It also incorporated new accommodation for the hospital's teaching departments, thus replacing the old St. Mungo's College buildings. The new complex was linked to the Surgical Block of the original Royal Infirmary building at basement level via a link corridor, with a further pedestrian entrance at lower basement level on Wishart Street (adjacent to the Necropolis). The new facility was officially named the "Queen Elizabeth Building" by the Queen on a visit in July 1986. Since 1982 the pre-1915 buildings of the Infirmary have been protected as a category B listed building.
After the closure of the Rutherglen Maternity Hospital and the old Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital at Rottenrow, a new maternity block was added to the New Building; the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital opened in 2001. Following the closure of Canniesburn Hospital, the Jubilee Building was opened, adding purpose-built Accident & Emergency facilities and a plastic surgery unit, in November 2002.
Notable staff and research
In 1856, Joseph Lister became an assistant surgeon at the Infirmary and a professor of surgery in 1860. Running the new surgery block, Lister noted that about half of his patients died from sepsis. Lister experimented to find ways to prevent sepsis. This experimentation lead to using carbolic acid to clean instruments; he is now considered the "father of modern surgery".
In 1875, a student of Lister, William Macewen joined the Infirmary surgery as an assistant surgeon, becoming a full surgeon in 1877. While at the Infirmary he introduced the practice of doctors wearing sterilisable white coats and pioneered operations on the brain for tumours, abscesses and trauma.
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