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Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 15:40 UK
Selly Oak Hospital: Over the years

Kings Norton Infirmary, Selly Oak
The Kings Norton Infirmary, Selly Oak

Selly Oak Hospital has a long history and it started as far back as 1755, even before the actual hospital was built.

The first buildings on the site of Selly Oak Hospital were the King's Norton Union Workhouse - built as a place of care for the poor.

But in 1862, after a change in the law and emphasis, it became a place that accommodated 200 pauper inmates who were forced to work within the confines of the workhouse.

After further acts of Parliament in later years, it was decided to create separate places for the sick. These were often built adjacent to the workhouses and were the forerunners of today's hospitals.

Selly Oak Hospital

In 1897 a separate infirmary was built, though it was massively over budget with costs escalated from £18,000 to £52,000. It housed 250 patients.

There was also maternity provision, though no operating theatre or mortuary. It was also the year nurses began training at Selly Oak.

The workhouse and infirmary were separated by a high dividing wall and were run as separate establishments.

Demand continued and the workhouse and infirmary were expanded further in the early 1900s.

The Woodlands Nurses' Home was built at the same time to accommodate forty nurses, and a small operating room was added to the infirmary.

Selly Oak Hospital emerges

In 1911, King's Norton became part of the City of Birmingham and the King's Norton Workhouse Infirmary was renamed Selly Oak Hospital.

Facilities continued to improve and grow as attitudes to the poor changed. In 1930 Selly Oak Hospital and the Workhouse (which was renamed Selly Oak House) came under the administration of Birmingham City Council. Selly Oak House was then used to care for the elderly chronic sick.

Operating theatres were added to Selly Oak Hospital in 1931, the biochemistry and pathology laboratories opened in 1934, and the School of Nursing opened in 1941.

Nurses in the 1950s
Nurses at Selly Oak Hospital in the 1950s

In 1948, when the National Health Service was introduced, Selly Oak Hospital and Selly Oak House were amalgamated.

By 1963 a new outpatients department was built and in 1966 The Selly Oak Post Graduate Medical Centre was opened.

In 1997 University Hospital Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust was formed and Selly Oak Hospital joined with the Queen Elizabeth.

In 2002 the Centre for Defence Medicine was given approval and the hospital was used as the main treatment centre for military casualties from Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2004 Selly Oak and the QE Hospital received Foundation Trust status.

The final phase in the hospital's history is underway, with the move to the new QE beginning on Wednesday, 16 June 2010. The total transfer is expected to take around 16 months.

In pictures

Take a look back at our photo-gallery, with images of the King's Norton Union Workhouse to Selly Oak through the years.

(Courtesy of NHS Hospitals Birmingham/Valerie Richards - information taken from an article written by Valerie Richards who worked as a rheumatology nurse specialist at Selly Oak Hospital before retiring some years ago).

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