Manchester Royal Infirmary celebrates 270 years of healthcare excellence

Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) celebrates a very special anniversary today – 270 years since staff discharged the very first patient on October 23, 1752.

Chief Executive Vanessa Gardener and Medical Director Dr Leonard Ebah joined Kathy Cowell OBE DL, Chair of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT), which is responsible for the hospital, to mark the date.

From just 12 beds at the start, MRI now has 770 beds, treats approximately 750,000 patients per year and records approximately 160,000 emergency room visits per year.

In addition to housing a Major Traumatology Center, it is a regional and national center for services as varied as kidney and pancreas transplantation, hematology, vascular surgery, major traumatology, liver and pancreas, rheumatology and HIV care.

Kathy Cowell, President of MFT, said: “The incredibly rich history of MRI tells the story of the development of modern hospital healthcare in Britain. The hospital continues to grow in its development, with its £40million project to redevelop the emergency department and add more theaters now well advanced.

Vanessa Gardener, Managing Director of MRI, said: “Today, our staff use equipment every day that would have seemed like a fantasy to those who founded the hospital almost three centuries ago. However, everyone who has worked at MRI over the years shares one thing: the commitment they have shown to their patients.

Dr Leonard Ebah, Medical Director, for MRI added: “Generations of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and support staff have helped make what we have here today. Our successes at 21st Century, while we not only have regional but national and international works in progress here in Manchester, are built on the achievements of those who have come before us. It’s easy to focus on the buildings when we talk about anniversaries, but we actually say a heartfelt “thank you” to the generations of employees who have worked at MRI.

More information:

A range of information on MRI can be found here.

William Brockbank’s “Portrait of a Hospital” – published in 1952 – details a number of key points in the history of MRI. Minutes of the hospital’s board meeting recorded that the first patient, suffering from respiratory problems, was “discharged, cured” on October 23, 1752.

  1. A constantly evolving hospital

The first hospital opened in a converted house in Garden Street near Withy Grove. New, much larger premises opened in 1755 in what is now Piccadilly Gardens. The hospital eventually moved to its Oxford Road location and was officially opened by King Edward V11 on July 6, 1909, with the title “Royal” added in 1933. This building is now called Cobbett House and is the NHS headquarters at the University of Manchester. FT. This building closed in 2009, being replaced by the current Manchester Royal Infirmary building. HM The Queen officially opened her new wing during her platinum jubilee in 2012. The £40m emergency department and theaters project saw the main entrance changed in May 2012. Improvements to the project will include a more streamlined emergency department layout, increased capacity, and the creation of six new operating rooms, which will support MRI’s role as a regional center for specialty surgery.

  1. To live longer

When Manchester Royal Infirmary first opened, life expectancy was less than 39 years. The first patients in 1752 were likely to have had conditions like the flu, strained joints and broken bones. Nowadays, people now live in their 80s and beyond – men are on average 76.4 years old while women are 80.3 years old.

  1. A doctor of letters

In 1805, Dr. Peter Mark Roget was working at MRI for three years in his mid to late twenties and reportedly noticed that the same words were being used and repeated too often in the medical world. He was a writer and known to his colleagues to be a useful blacksmith. It is believed that the doctor developed his ideas for a wider vocabulary while walking through the balcony of the “former doctors’ residence”. As a result, Roget’s Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases was eventually introduced. Additionally, he invented the slide rule in 1814.

  1. The bell that didn’t ring

In August 1939, there were 440 beds in the hospital. During World War II the building was bombed and damaged. The clock tower bell fell to the ground and has since stood in the main hall.

Prior to this, the bell had caused some controversy in 1902, when Mr. Arthur R. Scott wrote to the Manchester goalkeeper, complaining about the ringing of the clock that kept him awake at a local hotel – at 2am, 3am, 4am and 6am. He suggested “simply removing 12 cogs from the 24-hour chime wheel, and thus making the clock silent between 9 p.m. and 9 a.m.”.

In response, WL Saunder, General Superintendent, wrote to the newspaper explaining: “It may surprise Mr. Scott to learn that the clock in question does not strike the hours between 7 p.m. and 8 a.m. and, in Besides, that this arrangement exists. for nearly six years!

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