QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL

©  COLIN BAKER   2007                                                                                       

In 1925 a joint committee was set up with support from the city council to build a new hospital in the suburbs, and in 1927 an executive board for the building of the hospitals' centre was formed. Cadbury Brothers bought and presented the site, and an appeal for funds was made in April 1930 and by the end of 1931 over £600,000 had been donated. Building began in 1933,with the foundation stone laid by the Prince of Wales on 23rd October 1934, and thus the Centre Hospital, was opened on 31st December 1938. It consisted of the Vincent Medical Block, Cadbury Surgical Block and Nuffield House Nurses’ Home.

The hospital became known as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, following a visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth on 1st March 1939.

During World War II, the QE often took more than twice the number of patients the hospital was designed for; between 1939 and 1943 more than 12,000 patients were treated.

When the National Health Services came into effect in 1948, the QE along with the General Hospital, Queens Hospital, Women’s Hospital, Maternity Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Birmingham Dental Hospital and the Midland Nerve Hospital became part of Birmingham United Hospital Group., with the QE taking a major share (£394,000) of the £1m budget. By 1949 over 11,000 patients were treated at the hospital.

In 1995, the hospital was merged with Selly Oak Hospital to become part of the University Hospitals NHS Trust. Both hospitals are due to be replaced by a new 1200 bed hospital due to be opened June 2010, this £600m hospital will be one of the most up-to-date hospitals in the world.