Southampton General Hospital

Southampton General Hospital is a large teaching hospital in Southampton, Hampshire, England run by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

Southampton General Hospital
University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
Sgh panorama.jpg
The front of Southampton General Hospital, showing from left to right the North Wing, Centre Block, and West Wing
Southampton General Hospital is located in Southampton
Southampton General Hospital
Shown in Southampton
LocationSouthampton, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Coordinates50°55′59″N 1°26′02″W / 50.933°N 1.434°W / 50.933; -1.434Coordinates: 50°55′59″N 1°26′02″W / 50.933°N 1.434°W / 50.933; -1.434
Care systemPublic NHS
TypeTeaching Hospital, Tertiary Specialist Centre, District General,
Affiliated universityUniversity of Southampton
Emergency departmentYes, and Major Trauma Centre
ListsHospitals in England


Removed from the original building during demolition work in 1985, the foundation stone can now be seen outside the main entrance

The hospital was founded in 1900 as the Southampton Union Infirmary in Shirley Warren, Southampton, to replace hospital beds previously provided at the workhouse infirmary in St Mary's, Southampton. The Royal South Hampshire Hospital was the voluntary hospital, founded in 1835 in the city.[1] The initial 35-acre (14 ha) site cost the Poor Law Guardians £8,200, and the foundation stone was laid on 31 March 1900.[1] The original building, housing 289 beds, cost £64,800 to construct; it has since been demolished.[1]

Southampton Borough Council took responsibility for the hospital in 1929, expanding the number of beds to 431.[1] At this stage, the hospital became known as the Borough Hospital.[1] When the National Health Service came into being in 1948, the hospital took its present name.[1]

The Wessex Neurological Unit opened on the site in 1965, and the East Wing was constructed in 1974, providing 450 additional beds, a new Accident and Emergency Department, and a children's unit.[1] Three years later, the Centre Block was built, which still provides the main entrance to the hospital.[1] The 7-level Centre Block cost over £9 million to construct.[1]

In 1983, the £10 million West Wing was constructed, adding 472 beds to the hospital; this was followed a year later by installation of the Wessex Body Scanner at a cost of £1.5 million.[1]

In July 2006, a new cardiac centre was opened, together with accommodation for relatives of cardiac patients.[2] In September 2006 the Steve Mills Stem Cell Laboratory, which had been established by a charity created by Southampton F.C. footballer Steve Mills, moved from the Royal South Hants Hospital to a new location at Southampton General Hospital, and was officially opened on 27 September 2006 by Steve's widow Jo and former Southampton footballer and manager, Alan Ball.[3]

In autumn 2016 the hospital was upgraded to become an adult and paediatric Major Trauma Centre (MTC) under the NHS plans for Regional Trauma Networks.[4] It was one of a small number of accident and emergency departments to benefit from Pearson Lloyd’s redesign - ‘A Better A&E’ - which reduced aggression against hospital staff by 50 per cent. A system of environmental signage was introduced providing location-specific information for patients. Screens were installed providing live information about how many cases were being handled and the current status of the accident and emergency department.[5]


Ashya KingEdit

In August 2014, Brett and Naghemeh King took their 5-year-old son Ashya from the hospital, where he was being treated for medulloblastoma, without doctor's knowledge.[6] Brett King claimed this was in order to avoid the proposed treatment of chemotherapy and photon beam radiation therapy which he feared would result in brain damage to Ashya.[7] The family's preferred treatment was proton beam therapy which is currently unavailable in the United Kingdom except through an NHS overseas referral programme to fund treatment in America or Europe for specific indications.[8] Although clinicians at Southampton felt proton beam therapy was not beneficial in this case, it was discussed with the Kings and referred to the Proton Clinical Reference Panel although medulloblastoma is not an approved diagnosis to qualify for the overseas programme.[9]

The Kings were keen to arrange proton beam therapy at a hospital in Prague. When the parents asked what would happen if they refused any kind of treatment, they were told the hospital could seek an emergency protection order.[10] When the child subsequently went missing the hospital informed the police and the CPS issued a warrant for the arrest of the parents. Once it was revealed that the child had left the country, extradition back to the UK was also sought. The family were eventually located in Spain, where the parents were arrested and child put in a high dependency ward in a hospital in Málaga.[11] David Cameron, the prime minister, called for "an urgent outbreak of common sense".[12]

Ashya began proton beam therapy at the Proton Therapy Centre in Prague on 15 September.[13] In late September NHS England agreed to fund the cost of the proton therapy treatment.[14] NHS England has been told by the European Court of Justice to fund treatment abroad in previous cases.[15] In March 2015 the King family announced that the treatment appeared to have been successful and Ashya's most recent scan showed no sign of the tumour.[16]

Burger KingEdit

There was a Burger King outlet in the foyer of the hospital since 1997. In November 2014 the Trust announced that they would not be renewing its lease due to expire in 2016 - because it no longer fits with the "healthcare environment" it is trying to create in its main reception area.[17] Hampshire GP Dr Hilary Jones approved and said that in the grip of an obesity problem in the UK, hospitals should be setting a good example to patients. However some patients started a petition against this decision on the basis that hospital food was "of a poor standard. Burger King seems to have a much higher quality of food that's cooked fresh and to order."[18]

A hospital spokesman responded: "The trust, as with all NHS hospitals, is regularly assessed by a variety of independent bodies on all aspects of care, including the quality of patient food. In the most recent of these inspections, the trust scored highly on food quality (92%) according to panel members from the national patient-led assessment team and fully compliant with all of the Care Quality Commission's essential standards, which incorporate quality of food and drink."[19] The fast food outlet was replaced by a Marks & Spencer shop and cafe and a Subway franchise as part of a £2.5m redevelopment which began in mid-2015.[20][21]

Media coverageEdit

The hospital was the location for the daytime TV fly-on-the-wall documentary series, The General and the ITV documentary series Trauma: Level One.[22] The neighbouring Princess Anne Hospital was the setting of the first two series of Channel 4's One Born Every Minute.[23]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Brown, Jim. The Illustrated History of Southampton's Suburbs. Breedon. ISBN 1-85983-405-1.
  2. ^ "Annual Report 2005/2006" (PDF). Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust. p. 7. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  3. ^ "This one's for you, Steve". Daily Echo. 28 September 2006. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Major Trauma Centres in England", "NHS", October 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
  5. ^ "A&E department redesign 'cuts aggression by half'". Design Week. 28 November 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Ashya King: Southampton hospital staff 'receive abuse'". BBC News. 11 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  7. ^ Perry, Keith; Harley, Nicola; Malnick, Edward (3 September 2014). "Ashya King: Hospital wanted to kill our son, turn him into a vegetable, claims father". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  8. ^ "NSCT Proton Overseas Programme". The Royal College of Radiologists. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  9. ^ Portsmouth City Council v King et al (High Court of Justice 8 September 2014). Text
  10. ^ "Ashya King: Hospital denies blocking proton beam treatment". BBC News. 3 September 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  11. ^ "Ashya King's parents fight extradition from Spain". BBC News. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  12. ^ Moore-Bridger, Benedict (2 September 2014). "David Cameron calls for 'common sense' as Ashya King's parents plan to sue". London Evening Standard. London. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  13. ^ "Ashya King: Prague proton beam therapy begins". BBC News. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  14. ^ Gregory, Andrew (26 September 2014). "Ashya King U-turn: Brain tumour patient's pioneering treatment WILL be funded by NHS". Daily Mirror. London. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  15. ^ "NHS told to fund treatment abroad". BBC News. 16 May 2006. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  16. ^ Davies, Caroline (23 March 2015). "Ashya King's parents say he is cancer-free after proton therapy". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  17. ^ Davies, Sian (22 November 2014). "Hospital chiefs reveal fast food chain's lease will not be renewed". Southern Daily Echo. Southampton. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  18. ^ "Petition is launched to save Burger King in Southampton General Hospital from closing". Southern Daily Echo. Southampton. 24 November 2014. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  19. ^ Curtis, Joe (7 December 2014). "Southampton General Hospital bosses have defended the food its contractors Medirest provide after it was criticised by locals". Southern Daily Echo. Southampton. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  20. ^ Curtis, Joe (1 April 2015). "Marks & Spencer and Subway will be part of Southampton General Hospital after a £2.5million redevelopment". Southern Daily Echo. Southampton. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  21. ^ "Southampton General Hospital reveals Burger King replacements". BBC News. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  22. ^ "Trauma: Level One Episode 1". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  23. ^ "One Born Every Minute: About the Show". Channel 4. Retrieved 21 January 2015.

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