TitleRoyal Hospital, Sheffield
AdminHistoryPrevious names:
Sheffield Public Dispensary, 1832 - 1854
Sheffield Public Hospital & Dispensary, 1854 - 1875
Sheffield Public Hospital, 1875 - 1895
Royal Hospital, Sheffield, 1895 - 1938
Royal Sheffield Infirmary and Hospital, 1939 - 1948
Royal Hospital, Sheffield, 1948 - 1978 (closed)

The institution later known as the Royal Hospital first opened as a dispensary in a house in Tudor Place on 2 July 1832. It moved to larger premises in Westfield House, West Street, the next year.

For many years it had been thought that there was scope in Sheffield for an institution which would supplement the work of the General Infirmary, by providing home treatment for the sick poor and medical aid for young children as well as out-patient care and midwifery services. In 1827 a self-supporting dispensary had been founded in Tudor Square but it was apparent that this was not adequate to deal with the needs of the population. A public meeting led to the formation of a committee which approached the Governors of the Infirmary with a view to setting up a dispensary connected with the Infirmary. This proposal met with opposition and so the committtee decided to appeal for subscriptions.

A house on Tudor Place was purchased and duly altered to accommodate a dispensary. From the outset, the number of patients grew rapidly and it became necessary to increase the staff and the accommodation. In December 1832, Westfield House in West Street was purchased for £1,300, as a dispensary. In the first year, 2,712 patients obtained medical aid, 209 women were assisted by midwives and two surgical operations were performed. From 3 July 1833 the work of the Public Dispensary was carried out from the West Street premises.

Casualty and operating wards were added in 1852, and these were maintained by the Dispensary to deal with occasional emergencies requiring basic surgery. The funding had been raised by staff and their friends, as distinct from the ordinary funds of the institution. These wards did not constitute regular in-patient treatment: this came about in April 1860 when a new hospital, built on the same site, was opened with 21 beds. By 1865 there were 51 beds and a total of 27,954 patients were treated - which justified the decision to enlarge the original charity and convert it into a general hospital. The accommodation was, however, found to be badly overcrowded just seven years after the opening of the new premises and in August 1870 further new buildings were completed.

In 1875 the hospital was recognised as a teaching hospital by the Royal College of Surgeons. In the same year the midwifery services were discontinued, due to the establishment of what was to become the Jessop Hospital for Women. Further extensions were built in 1880, when the kitchens and laundry were enlarged and additional children's beds were provided. A whole new block, containing the out-patients department (later known as the York Wing) with wards above it and a casualty room, was completed in 1895. That was formally opened on 11 May 1895 by the Duke and Duchess of York, who also laid the foundation stone for a new nurses' home in Eldon Street. A new administrative block was completed in 1899 as were, in 1902, a new Central Block containing five wards, and in 1912, the Princess of Wales Wing. The last was not, however, fully brought into use until after World War I. Two of the new wards, plus a ward in the York Wing and the convalescent annexe at Fulwood, were occupied by the military from 1914 to 1919.

A scheme to raise funds to help defray expenses and debts was started by the Joint Consultative and Advisory Hospitals Council (formed in 1919). The contributory 'penny in the pound' scheme raised money for all Sheffield's voluntary hospitals. Further expenses accrued in 1922 when the Royal Hospital purchased the adjoining Mount Zion Chapel in Westfield Terrace and converted it into an out-patient department, opened in 1927 by Neville Chamberlain, Minister for Health.

From 1939 to 1948 the Royal Hospital and the Royal Infirmary were run as one corporation and after World War II the services of both were increasingly run down as facilities were constructed and centralised at the new Hallamshire Hospital. The Royal Hospital finally closed in October 1978 and the buildings have been demolished.

Several convalescent homes were connected to the Royal Hospital. The Woofindin Convalescent Home in Fulwood was opened in 1901, mainly to cater for patients from the Royal Hospital. In 1910 it repeatedly refused admission to patients from the Jessop Hospital for Women. From 1943 it was used as a Rehabilitation Centre and in 1958 opened as the Whiteley Wood Psychiatry Clinic of the United Sheffield Hospitals and Sheffield University.

The convalescent home near Whiteley Wood in Fulwood, known as the Hospital Annexe, opened in 1908. It was largely the gift of S Meggitt Johnson, MP. In 1939 it could accommodate 45 patients. In 1976 it took in geriatric patients. In October 1978 it was agreed to drop the name 'Annexe' as by then the Royal Hospital itself had closed and so it was no longer an annexe of anywhere else. It was henceforth known as 'Fulwood Hospital'. It closed in April 1986, the buildings reopening for office use in August 1989.

The Zachary Merton Convalescent Home, adjoining The Annexe at Fulwood, was opened in August 1938. It had accommodation for 48 patients: 16 each of men, women and children.

As a voluntary hospital, management was vested in a board of governors, who met weekly. The Board consisted of the president, two vice-presidents, an honorary secretary and a treasurer, and twelve governors, elected annually by the subscribers and donors to the institution. The Royal Sheffield Infirmary and Hospital Act, 1938, united the two institutions into one corporation, to be called the Royal Sheffield Infirmary and Hospital. It came into effect on 1 January 1939. Management was in the hands of a Court of Management.

At the establishment of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 (National Health Service Act, 1946), the Royal Infirmary and the Royal Hospital and the other former voluntary hospitals in Sheffield were brought together for administrative purposes into one group as The United Sheffield Hospitals (USH), under a Board of Governors. The House Committee of the Royal Hospital reported to the governors of the USH.

The USH was abolished at the reorganisation of the NHS in 1974 when Sheffield Area Health Authority (Teaching) was established as one of the health areas within the new Trent Regional Health Authority. The Royal Hospital and Fulwood Annexe were in the Central (Teaching) District of SAHA 1974 - 1978.

Following a redistricting exercise in summer 1978 when Sheffield's three districts (Northern, Central and Southern) were formed into two, the Fulwood Hospital was placed in the Southern District (T). Further reorganisation of the NHS in 1982 abolished the Area as a tier of management and the Sheffield districts were amalgamated as Sheffield Health Authority; responsiblity for the administration of Fulwood Hospital was thus brought under a management team of Sheffield Health Authority, within Trent Regional Health Authority.
Description Administration
NHS16/1/1 Governors meeting minutes, 1831 - 1958
NHS16/1/2/1 House committee minutes, 1925 - 1972
NHS16/1/2/2 Medical staff committee minutes, 1883 - 1978
NHS16/1/2/3 Library committee minutes and papers, 1948 - 1973
NHS16/1/2/4 Sub-committee minutes, 1949 - 1960
NHS16/1/3 Annual reports, 1833 - 1943
NHS16/1/4 Photographs, 1910 - 1982
NHS16/1/5 Visitors book, 1908 - 1963
NHS16/1/6 Publicity, 1895 - 1960

Land and buildings
NHS16/2/1 Plans, 1928 - 1971
NHS16/2/2 Tenders, 1959 - 1973

NHS16/3/1 Staff books, 1895 - 1955
NHS16/3/2 Nurses' registers, 1901 - 1966
NHS16/3/3 Probationer and nurse engagement agreements, 1924 - 1940
NHS16/3/4 Nursing staff employment slips, 1960 - 1978
NHS16/3/5 Matron's weekly report books, 1924 - 1965
NHS16/3/6 Staff papers, 1912 - 1974

NHS16/4/1 X-ray report books, 1921 - 1923
NHS16/4/2 Notes on chest examinations by X-ray department, 1927 - 1940
NHS16/4/3 Notes on gastro-intestinal examinations by X-ray department, 1927 - 1940
NHS16/4/4 Notes on renal examinations by X-ray department, 1929 - 1945
NHS16/4/5 Autopsy report books, 1927 - 1930
NHS16/4/6 Operation registers of James C Anderson, surgeon, 1934 - 1952
NHS16/4/7 Plastic and jaw department operation registers, 1946 - 1963
NHS16/4/8 Genito-urinary operation registers, 1952 - 1974
NHS16/4/9 Notes on Fulwood Annexe patients, 1945 - 1956
NHS16/4/10 Theatre record book, 1958 - 1967

Stores and equipment
NHS16/5/1 Pharmacy notebooks, 1935 - 1949
Date1831 - 1982
Extent186 items
AccessConditionsInformation in staff and patient records may be subject to access restrictions under the Data Protection Act, or may be subject to exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act. For further information please refer to a member of staff.
RelatedMaterialSheets from In-patient admission ledgers, Jan 1971 - Oct 1978 (NHS20/4/2/1-8)
Correspondence concerning appeal for funds for enlarging Public Hospital and Dispensary, 1868 (MD1223)
Charity accounts, 1901-1939 (SY614/K73/60)
Charity accounts: George Woofindin Convalescent Home, 1901-1954 (SY614/K73/77)
Particulars of persons recommended [as out-patients and in-patients], 1903-1913 (ACM/S/530/2)
Merged Royal Sheffield Infirmary and Hospital: records 1938 - 1948 (NHS17/7, previously SY333/H14)
Records of the United Sheffield Hospitals, 1948 -1974 (NHS28, previously SY333/H16)
Papers relating to mass radiography, 1970-1972 (LD2325/10) [Sheffield Area Mass Radiography Unit by 1971 was linked to the Royal Hospital]
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