History of the hospitals

Queen's Hospital, Burton

The original Burton Hospital opened in Duke Street in the town centre in October 1869. The Infirmary and Dispensary cost £2,300 to build and contained 22 beds plus accommodation for nurses, domestics and the house surgeon. 

Plans for an official opening by local Battle of Waterloo hero, the Marquess of Anglessey, failed to materialise and in the words of surgeon and hospital historian Robert Bewick: "There were no fanfares, no civic receptions and no Marquess; the Infirmary simply opened its doors".

A second 72-bed infirmary opened 30 years later with every modern development of its day, including new casualty, outpatient and dispensary facilities.

Burton's third infirmary, which came to be known as the Burton General Hospital, opened during World War II in October 1942 at a cost of £167,000. Because of the war, beds were the priority and staffing was also affected. Newly-qualified doctors were allowed just six months in hospital before being called into war action.   

The fourth hospital - Burton District Hospital - opened in June 1971 on the current Belvedere Road site of the modern day Queen's Hospital.

From 1971 to 1993 the district hospital comprised an outpatients department, accident and emergency, day treatment centre, orthopaedic wards and x-ray, together with maternity and care of the elderly services on the adjacent Outwoods site. The general hospital facilities remaining in the town centre included the majority of inpatient medical, surgical, eye, ear, nose and throat services.

In 1990, a £34 million capital development began to re-develop the Belvedere Road site and include all the facilities housed at the General Hospital so the old hospital could be closed. The new Burton Hospital was completed by the end of 1993, and opened officially by Her Majesty The Queen on December 7, 1995. The following year the hospital changed its name to Queen’s Hospital.

Samuel Johnson Community Hospital, Lichfield

The history of Lichfield’s hospital facilities began with the donation of funds from Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Celebrations in 1887 and 1897 which helped to pay for a small private nursing home to be founded.  The rest of the money came from the local nursing association funds.

Called the Lichfield Victoria Nursing Home, it opened in Sandford House, Sandford Street, in 1899. It was intended to provide medical help for the poor of the city and relied on donations and subscriptions. It consisted of two wards. One ward was named after Canon M. H. Scott, vicar of St Mary’s, Lichfield (1878-1894) and Archdeacon of Stafford from 1888 until his death in 1898. The second ward was named after Mary Slater of Haywood House, Bore Street, who had left most of her Estate to the nursing association.

In 1910 the nursing home was extended and a third public ward, two private wards and an operating theatre was built. A house next door, bequeathed to the trustees by a local man in 1908, became nurses’ accommodation and offices. It was renamed the Lichfield Victoria Nursing Home and Cottage Hospital.           

In 1932 it was renamed the Victoria Hospital Lichfield and a year later it moved to a new building in The Friary. A maternity wing was opened in 1941 with a separate patients’ day room being added in 1958.

Locals knew it as ‘the Vic’ and by the early 2000s it had 36 beds – male, female and children - plus 12 maternity beds. It also housed a casualty department, several clinics and a dialysis unit.  The hospital came under the North Birmingham Health Authority and employed about 80 staff.    

The Samuel Johnson Community Hospital replaced the now demolished Victoria Hospital in 2006 and was named in honour of Lichfield’s famous son.

In July 2011 the Trust took over the running of the facilities and services at Samuel Johnson and they were incorporated into the services being run from the Queen’s Hospital site in Burton upon Trent.

Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital, Tamworth

The name of this hospital in Tamworth honours a man who was one of Britain’s greatest statesmen and a major figure in world history.

Sir Robert Peel was twice Prime Minister, twice Home Secretary and was the founder of modern policing. He, his father and his son, represented Tamworth as MPs.

The community hospital opened in 1996 at Mile Oak, close to Drayton Manor - once the home of the Peel family.

In the 19th century, Tamworth had a general hospital in Hospital Street which was founded in 1880 by William MacGregor who had come to Tamworth in 1878 as vicar of St Editha’s Church. The hospital eventually became known as St Editha's and was only replaced by the Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital.

In the 1880s, typhoid was rampant in the slums of Tamworth and William MacGregor campaigned for clean water in every home in the borough.

Windows were put in between the beds at the hospital, and opposite one another at each side of the building to allow air to circulate freely following recognition in the 1800s of the importance of good ventilation.

The first Tamworth workhouse had been built in 1678 by Thomas Guy who went on to fund the building of Guy’s Hospital in London. 

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