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Royal Edinburgh Hospital

Memorial in the grounds of the hospital

The Royal Edinburgh Hospital is a psychiatric hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. It is operated by the University Hospitals Division of NHS Lothian. It is situated in Morningside Place.[1]



The hospital was established by Doctor Andrew Duncan, following the death of Robert Fergusson, a Scottish poet who died in 1774 following mental health problems caused by a head injury. Duncan wished to establish a hospital where the mentally ill could be humanely looked after. The Edinburgh Lunatic Asylum first opened in 1813, following fundraising efforts by Duncan, and monies gifted by the British Parliament.[2]

Today the hospital is the main mental health hospital for the Lothian region, and has treatment services for alcohol and drug addiction.

In 2005, NHS Lothian announced plans for a redevelopment of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital site, which would see a new modern hospital built in the grounds. In November 2014 Nicola Sturgeon announced a £409m public-private funding package which would be funded through the Scottish government's non-profit distributing model. The Royal Edinburgh Hospital would be the main beneficiary with £120m to complete its redevelopment. This is a form of Private finance initiative which caps private sector returns. Any surplus is directed to the public sector rather than shareholders.[3]

Notable StaffEdit

  • Sir John Sibbald FRSE was Deputy Commissioner from 1870 to 1879 and as Commissioner from 1879 to 1899.[4]

Rivers CentreEdit

The Rivers Centre is a clinic, established in 1997, for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It was set up in memory of the pioneering psychiatrist William Rivers (1864-1922).


The 15 tonne granite work Abraham[5] was carved in the grounds of the hospital in 1982 by sculptor Ronald Rae and remains there permanently.


  1. ^ "Royal Edinburgh Hospital". NHS Lothian. 28 August 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  2. ^ "Our Organisation: About Us: Our History: Royal Edinburgh Hospital History". NHS Lothian. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Nicola Sturgeon hails £400m hospital fund". BBC News. 2 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  4. ^ Biographical Index of Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002 (PDF). The Royal Society of Edinburgh. July 2006. ISBN 0 902 198 84 X.
  5. ^ "Abraham". Ronald Rae. Retrieved 10 June 2014.

External linksEdit