Musgrave Park Hospital

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Musgrave Park Hospital
Belfast Trust
LocationBallygammon, Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Coordinates54°34′03″N 5°58′37″W / 54.56750°N 5.97694°W / 54.56750; -5.97694Coordinates: 54°34′03″N 5°58′37″W / 54.56750°N 5.97694°W / 54.56750; -5.97694
Care systemHealth and Social Care in Northern Ireland
Hospital typeSpecialist
Affiliated universityQueen's University Belfast
SpecialityOrthopaedics, Rheumatology, Acquired Brain Injury Unit, Sports Medicine
WebsiteBelfast Trust
ListsHospitals in Northern Ireland

Musgrave Park Hospital is a regional specialist hospital, managed by Belfast Health and Social Care Trust in Belfast, Northern Ireland. It specialises in orthopaedics, rheumatology, sports medicine and rehabilitation of patients of all ages. These specialties are spread out across a large site in the leafy suburbs of South Belfast. The Hospital is named after the 48 acres (19 ha) of adjacent municipal parkland known as Musgrave Park, first opened to the public in 1920.


Nissen huts were constructed on the site of the current hospital during the Second World War by the American army. They were a temporary base for soldiers preparing to take part in the Normandy Landings. They have housed various hospital departments in their 44-year history and have only recently been demolished to make way for the new Regional Acquired Brain Injury Unit.[1]

The hospital has played its part in the history of The Troubles. On Monday 15 December 1980, Sean McKenna, one of the original seven hunger strikers was moved to Musgrave Park Hospital.[2]

On 2 November 1991, a bomb planted by the Provisional IRA exploded in the Military Wing at Musgrave Park hospital. Two soldiers were killed (one Royal Army Medical Corps, named Phil Cross, the other Royal Corps of Transport), named Craig Pantry, and 11 other people were injured, among them a five-year-old girl and a baby of four months. The 20 lb (9.1 kg) of Semtex exploded in a service tunnel connecting the Withers block, containing orthopaedic and children's wards and the Military Wing.[3] The dead and injured were watching a rugby match on television in the Military Wing's social club [4].

The trust works in collaboration with 7 other specialist orthopaedic providers within the NHS in England as part of the Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance

Hospital Services[edit]

  • The Orthopaedics (Withers Wards) emphasis makes the hospital one of the leading orthopaedic and musculoskeletal centres of excellence in all of Europe. It consists of 6 orthopaedic wards; 4 adult, 1 children and 1 ward specialising in spinal injuries.[5] The wards are named for Mr. J Withers, orthopaedic surgeon and one of the founders of the Northern Ireland Council for Orthopaedic Development.[6]
  • The Rheumatology Unit treats people with bone and joint disease. It is the leading centre for the treatment of rheumatic disease in Northern Ireland. The Eastern Health and Social Services Board (EHSSB) are currently making plans to relocate Adult Rheumatology services to the City Hospital and the Paediatric services to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.[7]
  • Direct Access AHP Services
  • High quality Diagnostic Imaging Services including a new (second) full-body MRI scanner which aims to scan an additional 5,500 patients each year.[8]
  • The Duke of Connaught Unit is a Medical Unit primarily serving military personnel based in Northern Ireland.


  • Meadowlands is a rehabilitation unit which specialises in Care of Old People. It has a particular focus on the rehabilitation of patients following fractures.
  • The MITRE Trust Rehabilitation Unit (MRU) was officially opened in May 2005 by Ireland Rugby player, David Humphreys. The 40,000 ft² building cost £3.5 million to build and is purpose-built to provide regional orthopaedic and rehabilitation physiotherapy services. Musgrave Park also boasts a custom hip-manufacturing unit on-site, one of only five such facilities in the world.[5]
  • The MITRE Rehabilitation Unit also houses the only public health Sports Medicine service in Northern Ireland.
  • The Regional Disablement Services provide Limb Fitting Services, the Northern Ireland Wheelchair Service, the Rehabilitation Engineering Centre, the Regional Communications Advice Centre and the Independent Living Centre.
  • The Spinal Cord Injury Unit (Withers Ward 1a) is the Northern Ireland centre for specialist care and rehabilitation of patients from recovering after illness or injury affecting the spinal injuries.
  • Northern Ireland's first Acquired Brain Injury Unit was opened by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall on 14 May 2006.[9] The £9 million pound state-of-the-art complex provides specialist care and intensive rehabilitation physiotherapy for 25 inpatients and 15 outpatients with traumatic brain injuries. These patients were previously being treated in Forster Green Hospital. The centre is also surrounded by high quality landscaped gardens designed to play a role in healing and patient rehabilitation.[10]


  1. ^ Grassroots[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ CAIN Chronology of the Conflict
  3. ^ House of Commons Hansard Debates for 4 Nov 1991 Archived 6 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Duke of Connaught Unit
  5. ^ a b Musgrave Park Hospital Archived 22 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ James, W V (1984). "ORTHOPAEDICS AND THE NORTHERN IRELAND COUNCIL FOR ORTHOPAEDIC DEVELOPMENT (NICOD)". Ulster Medical Journal. 53 (2): 111–116. PMC 2447956. PMID 6397895.
  7. ^ "EHSSB Review of Acute Hospital Services" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 February 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2007.
  8. ^ MITRE Trust Archived 8 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "The Prince of Wales – News". Archived from the original on 7 March 2007. Retrieved 26 January 2007.
  10. ^ Musgrave Park Hospital Acquired Brain Injury Unit – Paving Case Studies Archived 7 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]