Southmead Hospital

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Southmead Hospital
North Bristol NHS Trust
Southmead Hospital Training Centre
Southmead Hospital is located in Bristol
Southmead Hospital
Shown in Bristol
Location Southmead, Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates 51°29′49″N 2°35′38″W / 51.497°N 2.594°W / 51.497; -2.594Coordinates: 51°29′49″N 2°35′38″W / 51.497°N 2.594°W / 51.497; -2.594
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 Yes Accident & Emergency
Beds 800
Founded 1902
Lists Hospitals in England

Southmead Hospital is a large hospital, situated in the northern suburbs of Bristol, England, and part of the North Bristol NHS Trust. A new 800-bed hospital building called the Brunel Building opened in May 2014, to provide services (including Accident and Emergency) transferred from Frenchay Hospital.[1] Notable former medical staff include Geoffrey Tovey, serologist and founder of the UK Transplant Service, which was initially based at the hospital.


Dr Gibson-Hill examines a patient at Southmead Hospital in 1942
A New Southmead building
The Brunel Building under construction, 2010

The hospital opened in 1902 as a 64 bed workhouse for poor sick people. By 1911 there were 520 beds.

During World War I, the facilities were used as an army hospital.[2] The facilities reverted to a workhouse in the early 1920s and were then greatly extended to accommodate all the sick. In 1924, the Southmead Infirmary was built and was later renamed Southmead Hospital.[3] The hospital has been greatly expanded and now covers 60 acres (240,000 m2).


Records relating to hospitals within the Southmead Health Authority are held at Bristol Archives (Ref. 39880).[4]

Brunel building[edit]

In 2005, a major expansion was planned which included moving most services from Frenchay Hospital to the Southmead site, with Frenchay being downgraded to a Community Hospital. The project was finished in late 2013 and opened in April 2014.

Full approval for the project was given by the NHS South West board in January 2009.[5] In 2009, it was announced that Carillion was to design and build a new building, at a cost of £430 million, bringing all departments and services under one roof.[6] Called the Brunel building, after Bristol engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it has 800 beds, 24 theatres, patient gardens, a public square, a helipad and visitors' multi-storey car park.[7]

The accident and emergency department at Frenchay closed on 19 May 2014 and reopened at Southmead the next day.[8]

In early 2014, the second phase of the hospital redevelopment began with the demolition of the old main building[9] to enable construction work to begin on a Brunel Building extension, together with enlarging the area in front of the hospital.[10][11] The extension includes a new multi-storey car park for patients and visitors, a cycle centre with storage for 300 bikes, more shops, changing and shower facilities for staff and a community arts space.[12]

Parking issues[edit]

Following the 2014 opening of the Brunel building, there was a shortage of parking spaces owing to high demands from visitors, patients, and staff.[13] In 2014 and 2015, patients and visitors parked at the nearby Beaufort Way multi-storey car park.[14] Improvements were made in 2016, including the construction of a 400-space multi-storey car park next to the Brunel building.[15]

Transport links[edit]

The following buses stop within the grounds of the hospital: 17/17A (Southmead Hospital to Keynsham), 18 (Emersons Green to Henbury), 24 (Southmead Hospital to Ashton Vale), 77 (Broadmead to Thornbury), 82 (Southmead Hospital to Wotton-under-Edge, via Yate), 501 (Bristol Parkway Station to Avonmouth), 502 (Bristol Parkway Station to Shirehampton), 505 (Southmead Hospital to Long Ashton), 506 (Southmead Hospital to Create Centre) and the 625 (Southmead Hospital to Severn Beach via Bristol Parkway). The 2 (Stockwood to Cribbs Causeway) and the 76 (Hengrove to Cribbs Causeway) pass the hospital entrances.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New hospital move". North Bristol NHS Trust. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Southmead Hospital through the ages in never before seen online archives on new website". North Bristol NHS Trust. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Photographic archive of Southmead". Bristol Past. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  4. ^ "Bristol Archives online catalogue: Record view". Retrieved 3 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "New hospitals for city approved". 16 January 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Bristol superhospital to cost £430 million". Bristol Post. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Design". North Bristol NHS Trust. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Frenchay-to-Southmead hospital move for A&E cases". BBC News - Bristol. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2016. 
  9. ^ "Work starts on clearing Southmead Hospital site for next phase". North Bristol NHS Trust. 23 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Southmead Hospital Redevelopment". North Bristol NHS Trust. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  11. ^ "This is what the new car park at Southmead Hospital looks like now – six months from completion". Bristol Post. 3 September 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  12. ^ "Southmead Hospital one year on: the highs and lows". Bristol Post. 28 May 2015. 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Pennock, Lewis (16 August 2016). "Will opening of Southmead car park end street parking misery?". Bristol Post. Retrieved 11 January 2017. 

External links[edit]