Royal Victoria Hospital, Edinburgh

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Main entrance to the hospital
The Royal Arms above an entrance to the admin block

The Royal Victoria Hospital is a care facility run by NHS Lothian in the north-west of Edinburgh, Scotland. It is situated on Craigleith Road, near the Western General Hospital. It was formerly the main geriatric assessment and rehabilitation hospital for the north of Edinburgh. Although earmarked for closure in 2012, the health board reopened ward areas to ease pressure on acute beds in the region.


The Victoria Hospital for Consumption was founded by Robert William Philip on the site at Craigleith in 1894.[1] The existing Craigleith house was converted[2] and a series of butterfly plan pavilions were erected.[3] There were covered sheltered in the grounds and continuous open-window treatment was also administered.[4] In 1904 it became the Royal Victoria Hospital for Consumption with King Edward VII giving patronage.[5] The pavilions were demolished in the late 20th century.[3]

In a 1968 a new purpose-built brick building was completed by Reiach, Hall and Partners.[3] It eventually had a 247-bed capacity when it was formerly the main geriatric assessment and rehabilitation hospital for the north of Edinburgh, clinical areas included a Medical Assessment/Rehabilitation Unit with 200 beds, and a Psychiatry of Old Age Unit with 47 beds. These were spread over nine wards.

Within the Medical Unit there was an Acute Assessment Ward, a two-ward Trauma Unit that specialised in falls and orthopaedic rehabilitation, a Parkinson’s Disease Unit, a rehabilitation ward with an interest in delirium, and a Stroke Rehabilitation Unit.

There was a Medical and Psychiatric (Orchard) Day Hospital on site and a busy medicine of the elderly out-patient department. A further medical day hospital service was provided at Leith Community Treatment Centre (CTC). Outpatient clinics took place at the Royal Victoria Hospital and Leith CTC.

In June 2012 the Medicine for the Elderly services were transferred from the Royal Victoria Hospital on to the new purpose built Royal Victoria Building at the Western General Hospital.[6] The Royal Victoria Building is a new build with 100% single room accommodation, that also holds dermatology and rheumatology outpatient clinics relocated from other Lothian hospitals.


Although the facility closed briefly in 2012, bed shortages elsewhere meant that the health board opted to continue providing services at this site.[7] One ward reopened at the end of November and another a week later.[8] By early 2013 the health board expected the facility to be in use for at least two further years.[9] By April 2014, it had been accommodating around 50 to 70 patients each week who had been unable to be discharged from hospital due to lack of appropriate social care.[10]

The health board's ten-year plan includes demolition of the hospital.[10]


  1. ^ "Tales from the Archive: Treatments for Tuberculosis - The Edinburgh Scheme". Lothian Health Services Archive. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Basic site details: Craigleith House". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "Craigleith Road, Royal Victoria Hospital, Administration Block LB51008". Historic Environment Scotland. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  4. ^ "Sanatoria for Consumptives". Sydney Mail. 30 March 1904. p. 806. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  5. ^ Smith, Colin (5 February 2016). "The Impact of Patronage in the First Few Decades of the Creation of the Victorian Hospital". Lothian Health Services Archive. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Royal Victoria Building". NHS Lothian. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  7. ^ "Axed Royal Victoria Hospital reopened to cope with bed shortages". The Scotsman. 17 November 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "70 new beds planned at ERI to ease pressure". The Scotsman. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  9. ^ Sanderson, Daniel (30 March 2013). "Royal Victoria to stay open for two more years". The Scotsman. Retrieved 3 October 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Hospitals facing care village axe". Edinburgh News. 9 April 2014. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 

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Coordinates: 55°57′30″N 3°14′00″W / 55.95833°N 3.23333°W / 55.95833; -3.23333