In 1767 there were no hospitals as such in Leeds. The Industrial Revolution caused employers to focus on the need for an institution that could treat employees’ injuries and illnesses in order to get them back to work.
A meeting was held in 1767 at the New Inn in Leeds to consider the need for an Infirmary and 16 ‘subscribers’ met and identified a house in a court off Kirkgate, known as the Old Infirmary Yard, which by October of that year became the original Infirmary and admitted its first patients.
The hospital was paid for by individual subscriptions of 2 guineas which entitled the person paying the subscription to recommend patients for treatment. Collections were also made in churches and in the inns. In its first year it cost £469 to run the hospital and the annual subscriptions were just under £305. 89 inpatients and 272 outpatients were treated in that year. Four surgeons, an apothecary a matron and a nurse were appointed.
The first annual report said “ the frequent attendance, and in cases requiring it, the immediate consultations of learned and experienced physicians and surgeons; the careful appointment of good and proper diet and of medicines the best of their kind and regularly administered; airy rooms with clean furniture and the constant attendance of persons well approved for their diligence and tenderness, may be sufficient to show that the poorest have in this method of charity, all the help towards a recovery which even those of a better sort can reasonably expect or be able to procure”
Within a couple of months the Board were already looking for larger premises. These were found and the ‘New General Infirmary’ was opened in 1771 with 27 beds. Almost immediately plans were made for its expansion.
This information, along with more of the LGI's history, is displayed on a timeline on the blue link bridge in Jubilee wing - to view each section, please click on the links below.
19th century (part 1)
19th century (part 2)
20th century (part 1)
20th century (part 2)