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Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh

New Royal Infirmary, Little France
©2017 Gazetteer for Scotland

New Royal Infirmary, Little France

The Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh is a large general and teaching hospital located at Little France, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, 3 miles (5 km) southeast of the city centre. Treating its first patients in 2002, this is the third site for the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, which was established in Infirmary Street off South Bridge in 1729. The initial small building was soon superseded by a grander adjacent structure by architect William Adam (1689 - 1748). This became unsuitable and demolished c.1884, although ancillary buildings remain immediately to the east as part of the University of Edinburgh. The hospital was relocated to Lauriston Place in 1879, but by the 1990s the need to replace these much-extended Victorian buildings was clear and, in 1998, the Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar (1937 - 2000) authorised a new infirmary, built on a green-field site at a cost of £190 million. This was the first hospital in Scotland constructed under the controversial public-private partnership scheme. The new hospital also replaced the Princess Margaret Rose Orthopaedic Hospital located in the Fairmilehead district of the city, which closed in 2002. Following a complex logistical operation to transfer patients, staff and equipment, the new hospital became fully operational in 2003 and was formally opened by HRH The Princess Royal on 9th October of that year. It has 900 beds and offers a full range of acute medical and surgical services for patients from across Lothian and specialist services for patients across SE Scotland and beyond. It has Scotland's busiest Accident and Emergency department and is home to the country's largest maternity unit, with 6000 babies born each year at the Infirmary's Simpson Centre for Reproductive Health. It is also home to the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit.

The development also includes the Chancellor's Building, the new Medical School of the University of Edinburgh, opened 12th August 2002 by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.


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