St Mary's Hospital, Manchester

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St Mary's Hospital
Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Location Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Care system Public NHS
Hospital type Specialist
Emergency department Neonatal and Sexual Assault Emergency Centre
Speciality Paediatric, Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Genetics)
Founded 1790
Lists Hospitals in England

St Mary's Hospital is a hospital in Manchester, England. It is part of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It was founded in 1790. St Mary's provides a range of inter-related services specifically for women and children. Out-patient and in-patient facilities exist to provide mainstream and speciality services in the areas of:

  • Obstetrics
  • Gynaecology
  • Neonatal medicine and surgery
  • Genetics / immunogenetics laboratory,
  • Reproductive medicine

The Sexual Assault Referral Centre is a collaboration between the Trust and the Greater Manchester Police Authority. The Centre accepts emergency or self referrals from adults who have been raped or sexually assaulted.

St Mary's Hospital is headed by a Clinical Director and a Divisional Director. The multi-disciplinary approach adopted by clinicians aims to provide the highest standard of care for mother and child. More than 1200 staff, including doctors, nurses, midwives, clinical and non-clinical support staff work in St Mary's Hospital. A range of clinical and non clinical support services are based at the site to support the work undertaken, including well established departments of radiology and physiotherapy. 9267 babies were delivered in 2015/6.[1]

Teaching hospital and research[edit]

As a teaching hospital, St Mary's has close links with the School of Medicine, University of Manchester. There are three university chairs in post (in Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Child Health and Medical Genetics) and the university has extensive research facilities on the hospital site.


The hospital was founded in 1790 by Dr Charles White in a house in Old Bridge Street, Salford, as the "Lying-in Charity". Five years later in 1795 the charity became the Manchester Lying-in Hospital; it was accommodated however in the Bath Inn, Stanley Street, Salford.[2] Midwifery training for women was provided from the beginning. The building was felt to be very suitable. The bar was used as the apothecary's shop. Inpatient accommodation was available for widows, deserted wives, and those whose homes were unsuitable. 80 were admitted in 1791/2. In 1799/1800 there were 177 and 800 home patients. The charity maintained a list of midwives, who were paid two shillings and sixpence for each delivery. In 1813 it moved to smaller premises at 18 King Street Manchester, but moved back to Stanley Street in 1816.

White's collection of 300 pathological specimens was given to the hospital after his death in 1813. It was available for inspection by the public. In 1840 the charity moved to 2 South Parade, which cost £813. There was a disastrous fire there in 1847 which destroyed most of White's collection. In 1854 it changed its name to St Mary's Hospital and Dispensary for the Diseases peculiar to Women and also for the Diseases of Children under six years of age.[3]

From 1855 to 1903 it occupied a new building in Quay Street which was erected at the expense of Dr Thomas Radford. It cost £4300 and had 80-90 beds, 25 or 30 of which were for children. Home visiting of sick women and children, and clinical teaching of students from Owens College began at this time. Radford had joined the hospital in 1818 as a man-midwife; from 1834 he was house surgeon extraordinary; from 1841 until his death in 1881 he was the consulting physician, and from 1874 also chairman of the board of management.[4]

In 1904 the hospital was amalgamated with the Manchester Southern Hospital for Women and Children and two new hospitals were built. One was in Whitworth Street West on the corner of Oxford Street, designed by Alfred Waterhouse.It had an octagonal tower and a circular ward block on three floors of 43 feet diameter. There were three separate dining rooms - for doctors, for nurses, and for ancillary staff. The other hospital on Oxford Road in Chorlton-on-Medlock opened in April 1911. The hospital also had a School of Nursing that certified midwives. In 1910 the first female house surgeon was appointed. In 1915 the city centre hospital provided maternity and outpatient services and had 56 maternity beds and 50 cots, with accommodation for medical students, midwives and pupil nurses. The suburban hospital provided gynaecological and paediatric services and contained 115 beds.[5] A chapel was built in 1917.

In 1919 a clinic for venereal disease was opened. Ante-natal clinics were instituted in 1923.Manchester City Council provided three guineas a week for patients recommended for hospital confinement.

A formal co-operation arrangement was made with the Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1939 which resulted in the gynaecological department was transferred from the Infirmary to St Mary's and a shared nursing staff and training school should be instituted.[6]

During the Second World War most patients were moved, first to Blackpool and then to Collar House in Prestbury, Cheshire, well away from the city centre, where there were 45 maternity beds. Prestbury Hall and later Adlington Hall were also used - Adlington Hall being reserved for the wives of junior officers. Many conscientious objectors worked in the hospital as porters. In 1947 11,750 inpatients and 14,017 outpatients were treated. At the start of the NHS in 1948 it formed part of the The United Manchester Hospitals, and has been managed with the other hospitals in Central Manchester ever since. An X-ray department was established in 1949.

A new hospital was constructed on Hathersage Road between 1966 and 1970 at a cost of over £3 million. The wards were housed in a tower block with laboratories and the antenatal clinic in a podium. Each ward had 4 four-bedded rooms with nine single rooms, three nurseries, each with six cots, a day room and a utility room. Regional facilities - a special care baby unit, the medical genetics centre and In-Vitro Fertilisation services were developed.[7]

In 2009 paediatric (excluding neonatal) services from St Mary's Hospital were transferred to the newly re-built Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, which opened on 11 June 2009.


The Radford Library was transferred from St Mary's Hospital to the Manchester Medical Society's library in 1927. It included early obstetrical and gynaecological literature collected by the surgeon Dr Thomas Radford and donated to the hospital by him together with an endowment. Dr Radford also donated his obstetrical museum.[8][9] Some of the manuscript material from the Radford Library now forms part of the Manchester Medical Manuscripts Collection (MMM) held by special collections at the University of Manchester Library.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Report Summary 2015/16". Central Manchester University Hospital. 
  2. ^ The Book of Manchester and Salford; for the British Medical Association. Manchester: George Falkner & Sons, 1929; pp. 120
  3. ^ Leach, Penny (1990). St Mary's Hospital Manchester 1790-1990. Manchester. 
  4. ^ --The Book of Manchester and Salford; for the British Medical Association. Manchester: George Falkner & Sons, 1929; pp. 120–21
  5. ^ Wild, R. B. (1915) "The Medical Charities of Manchester and Salford", in: McKechnie, H. M., ed. Manchester in Nineteen Hundred and Fifteen. Manchester: University Press; pp. 55-58
  6. ^ Brockbank, William (1952). Portrait of a Hospital. London: William Heinemann. p. 180. 
  7. ^ Leach, Penny (1990). St Mary's Hospital Manchester 1790-1990. Manchester. 
  8. ^ The Book of Manchester and Salford; for the British Medical Association. Manchester: George Falkner & Sons, 1929; pp. 229–232
  9. ^ Axon, William (1877) Handbook of the Public Libraries of Manchester and Salford. Manchester: Abel Heywood and Son; pp. 136-38

Coordinates: 53°27′34″N 2°13′31″W / 53.45944°N 2.22528°W / 53.45944; -2.22528