Western Infirmary

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Western Infirmary
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
AM Western Infirmary.JPG
Western Infirmary
Location Dumbarton Rd, Glasgow, Scotland
Care system NHS
Hospital type Teaching
Affiliated university University of Glasgow
Emergency department No
Founded 1874
Closed 2015
Lists Hospitals in Scotland

The Western Infirmary was a teaching hospital situated in the West End of Glasgow, Scotland 1874−2015. There was also a Maggie's centre at the hospital to help cancer patients, as well as the Glasgow Clinical Research Facility.


In the 1870s, when the University of Glasgow moved from the city centre to the West End, distancing itself from the Royal Infirmary, a new teaching hospital was built in 1874 as part of the new university buildings.[1] By 1890 there had already been 877 operations performed in the hospital.[2]

Initially only having 150 beds, by 1911 this had increased to over six hundred. In 1936 the decision was taken to establish a medical department. In 1938 the Gardiner Institute of Medicine opened, taking its name from the family that had gifted almost £25,000 towards its foundation.[3]

In 1930 a radiology department opened.[4] In 1936 a new ophthalmology department was officially opened, named the Tennent Memorial, with an entrance on Church Street.[5] In 1938 the research capacity increased with the opening of the Gardiner Institute, in conjunction with the University of Glasgow.[6]

A £3.5 million two-phase rebuilding programme was authorised by the Glasgow Corporation in June 1962[7] The 256–bed Phase 1 block was completed in 1974. After the completion of the nearby Gartnavel General Hospital in 1972, Phase 2 was indefinitely postponed in 1975.[1]

The Western Infirmary opened as a voluntary hospital relying upon donations and bequests from members of the public.[8] In 1948 with the introduction of the National Health Service the Western came under the management of the Glasgow Western Hospitals Board of Management.[9]

In 2002, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde announced the results of a three-year consultation, the Greater Glasgow's Acute Services Review, wherein they outlined a £700 million modernisation plan for Glasgow's hospitals. As part of the plan, services will be transferred to expanded facilities at Gartnavel General Hospital, but mainly to the South Glasgow University Hospital. In 2010 the western had 493 inpatient beds.[10]

In Autumn 2015, the Western Infirmary was shut down with the exception of the minor injuries unit, and the site will be redeveloped by the University of Glasgow.[11][12] At the end of 2015 the Minor Injuries Unit moved a short distance to the Yorkhill Hospital site and the Western Infirmary closed completely on 6 December 2015.[13]

University redevelopment

In 1878 the University had provided the land for the hospital with the condition that it might re-acquire the site should it no longer be used for healthcare.[14] In February 2017, plans by the University of Glasgow to redevelop the site were given approval.[15]


  1. ^ a b Alistair Tough (23 July 1998). "Records of Western Infirmary, hospital, Glasgow, Scotland". Greater Glasgow NHS Board Archive. Retrieved 28 November 2006.
  2. ^ "Memories: Victoria and Western Infirmaries and their closures". Evening Times. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  3. ^ "Buildings: Gardiner Institute of Medicine". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 2 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Glasgow Radium Centre. Opening of Radiological Department". The Glasgow Herald. 20 October 1930. p. 9. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  5. ^ "Glasgow Western Infirmary: New Department to be opened. The Tennent Memorial". The Glasgow Herald. 2 April 1936. p. 13. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Research in Medicine. New facilities in Glasgow. Gardiner Institute opened". The Glasgow Herald. 29 September 1938. p. 3. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  7. ^ "Western Infirmary Changes". The Glasgow Herald. 15 June 1962. p. 20. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Western Infirmary of Glasgow Advertisement". Post Office Glasgow directory. Retrieved 4 December 2006.
  9. ^ Tough, Alistair (23 July 1998). "Records of Glasgow Western (and Gartnavel) Hospitals Board of Management, administrative body, Glasgow, Scotland". Greater Glasgow NHS Board Archive. Retrieved 4 December 2006.
  10. ^ "NHSGGC Job Description". NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Shake-up of city hospitals approved". BBC News. 29 January 2002.
  12. ^ Thomson, Gordon (6 March 2008). "Vow to keep antenatal care in the West End". Evening Times. Archived from the original on 10 March 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008.
  13. ^ "Patients & Visitors: Hospital Closures and the new South Glasgow Hospitals: Western Infirmary Closure / West Glasgow Ambulatory Care Hospital". NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  14. ^ "Glasgow University to expand main Gilmorehill campus". BBC News. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
  15. ^ Harrison, Jody (16 February 2017). "Glasgow University given green light to build on Western Infirmary site". The Herald. Retrieved 10 April 2017.

External links

  • Celebrating a Proud History: The Western Infirmary 1874−2015 on the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde website

Coordinates: 55°52′15.56″N 4°17′44.74″W / 55.8709889°N 4.2957611°W / 55.8709889; -4.2957611

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