Lothian Hospital Histories

Astley Ainslie Hospital

Mr David Ainslie of Costerton, Midlothian, died in 1900 leaving instructions to his trustees that the residue of his estate, after a lapse of 15 years, was to be applied "to the purpose of erecting, endowing and maintaining a hospital or institution to be called the Astley Ainslie Institution, for the relief and behoof of the convalescents of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh".

A site was acquired on the south side of the City consisting of four mansion houses and their grounds: Millbank, Southbank, Canaan House and Canaan Park (Morelands and St. Roque's House and their grounds were added later).

In 1923 an experimental unit of 34 beds was opened. By 1930 120 beds were available. It was agreed that the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh's (RIE) convalescent house at Corstorphine would be used mainly for patients requiring a short convalescence period before returning to normal life. The Astley Ainslie would provide for those requiring longer care and supervision to fit them for a normal life. It might also take in RIE patients who needed to be built up for surgery, but it would not be used for patients with a chronic disability or debility due to old age where a return to normal health would not be expected.

The Astley Ainslie grew from being a convalescent hospital to become a leading rehabilitation centre and school for occupational therapists.

In 1948 it came under South Eastern Regional Hospital Board, and in 1954 it was linked with Edenhall Hospital in Musselborough under the Board of Management of Edinburgh Convalescent Hospitals. It became part of South Lothian District of Lothian Health Board in 1974, with a full complement of 200 beds, and in 1986 it became part of the United Hospitals Unit.


Astley Ainslie Hospital records