St James's University Hospital

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St James's University Hospital
The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
Jimmys Entrance 2008.jpg
Main Entrance, St James's University Hospital (Gledhow Wing ahead, Lincoln wing on the left)
Location Beckett Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Coordinates 53°48′29″N 1°31′7″W / 53.80806°N 1.51861°W / 53.80806; -1.51861Coordinates: 53°48′29″N 1°31′7″W / 53.80806°N 1.51861°W / 53.80806; -1.51861
Care system NHS
Hospital type Teaching
Affiliated university University of Leeds
Emergency department Yes
Beds 997
Founded 1925 replacing the Poor Law Infirmary which had its origin in 1848
Lists Hospitals in England

St. James's University Hospital[1] is in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England and is popularly known as Jimmy's being one of the United Kingdom's most famous hospitals, due to its coverage on television.


St James's was formerly claimed to be the largest teaching hospital in Europe.[2][3][4] It is one of six centres which conduct liver transplants. St James's was the location of the first living-related donor liver transplant on the NHS.[5] It is part of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, along with the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI), Seacroft Hospital, Wharfedale Hospital, Chapel Allerton Hospital and until April 2008 (when it closed), Cookridge Hospital. Both St James's and the LGI are extensively involved in the teaching of medical students, nurses and junior doctors.

All of the Hospital buildings except Chancellor's Wing are named after surrounding streets in the Leeds suburb of Harehills (Chancellor's Wing is named after the then Chancellor of the University of Leeds, HRH The Duchess of Kent, who opened the building in 1972). The current Hospital wings are:

  • Beckett Wing – Care of the Elderly
  • Bexley Wing – Oncology
  • Gledhow Wing
  • Lincoln Wing
  • Chancellor's Wing

A New Oncology building, the Bexley Wing, containing the St James's Institute of Oncology (including the Gamma Knife Centre), accepted its first patients in December 2007. It was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 17 July 2008.[6] The building is one of Europe's largest cancer centres, with 1,600 staff and 350 beds.[6] There is a notable Cystic fibrosis unit in the Gledhow wing which offers specialist inpatient and outpatient services and research, and has its own method of management guidelines called the "Cystic Fibrosis Leeds method of management".[7]

The University of Leeds has a large presence at the St James's site with a new molecular medicine centre, the LIMM building. Also the Sir William Tweddle clinical science building which houses several of the academic research departments as well as a university library.

The Thackray Medical Museum adjoins the hospital site and is located in the Grade II listed former main building of the Leeds Union Workhouse (later known as Ashley Wing, which was part of St James's up until the 1990s). Several of the other buildings of the hospital are listed buildings, reflecting its long occupation of this site.

The Chapel
Chapel interior

The Chapel is a Grade II listed building, completed in 1861 by the firm of Perkin & Beckhouse, of Leeds.[8]

Cancer patients at St James's University Hospital were sent advertisements for private health care. Ternimal cancer patient, Ali Schofield said, "I felt really cold when I saw the leaflet because it suggested that I would have better healthcare if I was to go private. It offered me access to the latest technologies and made me think: so what am I getting now? It’s disgusting. It puts the seed of doubt into you.” This appears to breach NHS England guidelines. They state, “Trusts that offer private healthcare services should market and promote their private healthcare services completely separately. They should not market or promote these services within their NHS communications to patients and the public, eg appointment letters [and] NHS test results." Jonathan Ashworth said, "This is yet another example of how Theresa May is allowing a two-tier health system to develop on her watch. It's a shocking disgrace that patients have been mailed letting them know that if they have the money they can get access to this care."[9]


The hospital originates in the provision of workhouses under the Poor Law. The first part of the current site was a field purchased in 1845, on which was built the Leeds Moral and Industrial Training School. This building forms part of the current Lincoln Wing.[1] There then followed the Leeds Union Workhouse (which now houses the Thackray Museum),[1] and the Leeds Union Infirmary (the site of the present Gledhow Wing).[10]

By the end of the 19th century, the buildings had become largely used for medical care of the poor, rather than workhouse and training. During the First World War it was called the East Leeds War Hospital, caring for armed services personnel.[1]

From 1881 the Medical Superintendent of the Leeds Union Infirmary was Dr James Allen. Upon his retirement in 1925, it was renamed St James's Hospital, to honour him, and also Sir James Ford, of the Leeds Board of Guardians, who had overseen the conversion from workhouse to hospital.[10] It expanded following the creation of the National Health Service in 1948, and further starting in 1963 when the whole site was redeveloped.

It was one of the hospitals investigated in 1967 as a result of the publication of Barbara Robb's book "Sans Everything". Accusations were made against a State Enrolled Nurse including "assaults; the deliberate act of making an elderly female patient inebriated by means of brandy which had been issued to the ward; swearing at patients; mischievously and maliciously squirting spirit onto the bodies of elderly patients in order to give them shocks". There were also allegations of neglect and inefficiency, which were unfounded.[11]

In 1970, following expansion of Leeds Medical School, it was renamed St James's University Hospital.[1]

In 2010, all children's emergency department were moved to Leeds General Infirmary, which meant the loss of this service at St James's. The emergency department at St James's is now just for adults.[12]

Jimmy's TV series[edit]

St. James's University Hospital fame derives in part from its extensive television coverage in the documentary series also titled "Jimmy's", produced by Yorkshire Television (YTV) between 1987 and 1996 for ITV[13] and for Sky One in 1997/98. The theme tune performed by Snake Davis.

Main buildings[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "St James's University Hospital". Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Retrieved 2 August 2010.  Confirming name as "St James's"
  2. ^ "Invest in health care". Yorkshire Forward. Retrieved 1 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust". Kaspersky. Retrieved 1 July 2009. 
  4. ^ The new (2010) Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham has more beds. This title has also been claimed for the Charité in Berlin.
  5. ^ BBC NEWS | England | West Yorkshire | First NHS live liver transplant
  6. ^ a b Yorkshire Post 18 July 2008 Royal Opening for Cancer Centre
  7. ^ Litlewood, James (2009). "The history of Cystic Fibrosis". Cystic Fibrosis Medicine. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  8. ^ Historic England. "St James Hospital Chapel (1256267)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 15 October 2016. 
  9. ^ NHS trust sent cancer patient adverts for private clinic The Guardian
  10. ^ a b P. M Pennock Publications of the Thoresby Society, Vol LIX part 2, no 130, pp. 124–76 "The Evolution of St James's 1848–97"
  11. ^ "Part 4 of Findings and Recommendations Following Enquiries into Allegations Concerning the Care of Elderly Patients in Certain Hospitals". Cmnd. 3687. HMSO. July 1968. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  12. ^ "Children's A&E services relocate". BBC News. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  13. ^

External links[edit]