Spotlight On...

Medical Ward at Bruntsfield Hospital decorated for Christmas, 1931

Bruntsfield Hospital opened in 1885 as the Edinburgh Provident Dispensary for Women and Children.  It was founded by Sophia Jex-Blake to provide medical care for women in an environment staffed solely by female doctors and nurses.  A successful campaign in the 1950s ensured that this ethos was upheld despite the Department of Health for Scotland's wish to appoint male doctors.  It amalgamated with the Elsie Inglis Hospital in 1910 and remained open until 1989.

Jex-Blake (1840-1912) was one of the first female medical students at Edinburgh University and campaigned for women to be allowed to train in hospitals, successfully obtaining the right for them to receive clinical training at Leith Hospital in 1886.  In setting up Bruntsfield Hospital, she was able to ensure medical training for female doctors whilst at the same time providing much needed hospital care for women.

Ward at Bruntsfield Hospital decorated for Christmas, 1931    

This photograph is from the Bruntsfield Hospital collection (LHSA ref:  LHB8/17/3/iv).  The House Surgeon and House Physician are seen either side of the Christmas tree.

For more information, please contact us.