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24 September 2014
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Signs at Worcester Royal Infirmary
Signs at Worcester Royal Infirmary

Hospitals in Worcester- timeline

Find out the history of hospitals in Worcester, from 1746 to the present.

This historical timeline comes from the George Marshall Medical Museum at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

  • 1746: 1st Infirmary opens on the 11 January in Silver Street.
  • 1759 – 65: “Hospital is crowded and in a state of disrepair.”
  • 1765: Board decide to search for new site to build a new hospital.
  • 1771: September 17 1771 Castle Street opens. It had 40 beds split into male and female wards, the males ward was on the south side as it was believed men needed more warmth and sunlight to recover than women did.
  • 1804: Hospital offers Jenner’s smallpox inoculation free to certified poor.
  • 1804: Beds cut to 24 due to lack of funding.
  • 1812: Hospital finances improve and Charles Hastings is appointed as Apothecary.
  • 1818: Nurses get a rise to 10 guineas a year and 10 new beds open.
  • 1822: Plans made to enlarge hospital to 75 beds. During that year 614 inpatients are treated and 1127 outpatients.
  • 1831-2: Cholera outbreak in Worcester, the first of several.
  • 1832: First meeting of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association, established by Charles Hastings at Worcester, later to become the BMA.
  • 1836: 100 beds now at the  hospital, during that year 15,750 leeches were used, 68 gallons of Port, and 22 gallons of Gin and Brandy were drunk.
  • 1848: The city’s population was 27,000 the average life expectancy was just 33 years and infant mortality was 21%.
  • 1850: Charles Hastings was knighted for services to medicine.
  • 1874: Florence Nightingale's influence was felt by nursing in Worcester, the board set out to look for "clean, quiet creatures of good moral report”.
  • 1884: The first anaesthetist is appointed at the hospital.
  • 1897: A 33 bed nurses home is added.
  • 1900: The hospital’s first x-ray machine is purchased.
  • 1914: The first female doctor is appointed to the hospital.
  • 1932: The Prince of Wales opens a new wing of the hospital including operating theatres, an orthopaedic department, and pathology department. George V allows the Royal to be added to our name.
  • 1948: NHS takes over the hospital.
  • 1952: Ronkswood Hospital becomes part of Worcester Royal Infirmary.
  • 2002: The new Worcestershire Royal Hospital opens.
last updated: 15/06/06
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