Research shows an early joint history

old image of the children's hospital Over the years we’ve celebrated the rich history of the Children’s Hospital and the achievements of the teams and individuals who have delivered care for over a century and half.

As part of the celebration of the Children’s Hospital’s 160th birthday we’ve looked again at the early history of child healthcare in Birmingham.

Steelhouse Lane Outpatients circa 1960s Working with a local historian Carl Chinn MBAE we’ve found evidence that child health in the city started a bit sooner than we thought.

It has also revealed that both child and women’s health in Birmingham sprung from the same spot in the city at the site of the old St Mary’s Church, where Waterfall House sits today, and that their early years are intertwined.

It shows that:

  • Care for women and children in Birmingham started at the site of the current Children’s Hospital in 1842
  • It began with the establishment of a charity for treatment of women and children in the city
  • Midwifery and ‘diseases of women and children’ were treated at a site on Whittall Street in that year
  • a former mansion on Broad Street was ‘home’ to the charity and later the Children’s Hospital for a number of years in the 19th century
  • Maternity and women’s care were provided at a base in Loveday Street, the current location of the Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Department
  • Both Children’s and Women’s and Maternity Hospitals joined the United Birmingham Hospitals Group, a teaching group of hospitals that also included the Queen Elizabeth.

An updated timeline charting the two hospital’s joint history has been created along with new written history of the Children’s Hospital’s history up to the establishment of the NHS in 1948.

You can view the new early written history here:

Birmingham Women's and Children's Hospital - Early History BC.pdf