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Early historyEdit

The clock tower at the old Stobhill Hospital

Stobhill was originally a Poor Law hospital, commissioned by the Glasgow Parish Council. The design competition, which was judged by John James Burnet, was won by Glasgow architects, Thomson & Sandilands. The foundation stone was laid in September 1901 by Lord Balfour of Burleigh, the then Secretary of State for Scotland, and Stobhill Hospital was formally opened on 15 September 1904, the same day as the Western District Hospital at Oakbank in Maryhill and the Eastern District Hospital at Duke Street. The original buildings are now graded as category B listed buildings.[1][2]

It was built with 1,867 beds organised in several two-storey red brick Nightingale ward blocks on a sprawling, 47-acre (19-hectare) campus on the edge of Springburn Park. The Hamiltonhill Branch of the Lanarkshire and Dumbartonshire Railway, which ran past the northern boundary of the hospital grounds, facilitated the transport of coal and supplies to the hospital. The cost of the building was £250,000. It featured a large clocktower at the centre of the site, which has become a dominant landmark in the north of the city. The motto of the new hospital was Health is Wealth.[3]

During the First World War, the building was requisitioned by the War Office to create the 3rd and 4th Scottish General Hospitals, facilities for the Royal Army Medical Corps to treat military casualties.[4] Wounded servicemen arrived by specially converted hospital trains terminating at a temporary railway platform built within the hospital grounds.[5] A staff of 240 TF nurses as well as volunteers from the St. Andrew's Ambulance Association cared for over 1,000 patients at a time, suffering from battlefield wounds to venereal disease, until the return of the hospital to civilian use in early 1920.[6]

In 1928 a new radiology department was opened and Stobhill became a general hospital in 1929. In 1930 Stobhill came under the control of the Glasgow Corporation and changed from being a Poor Law Hospital to become a Municipal Hospital. In 1931 a new maternity unit opened. In 1935, on the death of Sir Hugh Reid of the North British Locomotive Company in Springburn, he bequeathed the family's mansion at Balgrayhill, Belmont House, to the hospital in memory of his wife, and it was converted to become the Marion Reid Home for the care of babies and very young children in 1936. Stobhill became a teaching hospital in 1937 with the arrival of Noah Morris, Professor of Materia Medica at the University of Glasgow Medical School.[7]

National Health ServiceEdit

In 1948 it was transferred to the National Health Service, under the Board of Management for Glasgow Northern Hospitals, and designated one of the five major central hospitals of the new Western Regional Hospital Board. Extensions followed, including a geriatric unit, which opened in 1953, a pharmacy in 1961, a premature baby ward in 1962, the Edward Unit for Mothers and Babies in 1963, a staff library in 1964, the Clinical Teaching Centre and the Group Training School in 1967 and a modern Pathology Department in 1968. A new operating theatre and postgraduate medical teaching complex opened in 1970.[8]

With the reorganisation of the National Health Service in 1974, Stobhill became the responsibility of the Northern District of the Greater Glasgow Health Board. A 52-bed Marie Curie Cancer Care hospice was opened adjacent to the hospital in 1976. The maternity unit was closed in 1992, leaving Stobhill as a general and geriatric medicine hospital.[9]


The Greater Glasgow's Acute Services Review, published by NHS Greater Glasgow in 2002, recommended replacing the existing Stobhill Hospital building and its 440-bed general medical and surgical inpatient facilities with an outpatient Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic Hospital. Controversy over this decision resulted in Jean Turner's election as an Independent Member of the Scottish Parliament for Strathkelvin and Bearsden over this single issue in 2003.[10]

Despite this, a new hospital, specialising in areas such as day surgery, was procured under a Private Finance Initiative contract in November 2006. The new hospital building, which was designed by Reiach and Hall and built by Balfour Beatty at a cost of £100 million, opened in June 2009.[11] The new hospital building was voted the world's best hospital of its size in the 2010 Design and Health International Academy Awards in addition to being recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects.[12][13]

This reorganisation resulted in the nearest Accident and Emergency and general inpatient facilities being relocated to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in the city centre, as inpatient and A&E services were eventually phased out by the end of 2011.[14]


Ambulatory care facilitiesEdit

The new Stobhill Hospital provides general outpatient treatment and diagnostic services such as: physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy, dietetics, speech and language therapy, renal dialysis, heart and lung investigations, cardiac rehabilitation, elderly day care, diabetic care, a chronic pain service, x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, ophthalmology, dentistry, ENT and audiology, gynaecology investigations, haematology and dermatology. It has 12 short stay surgical beds, which will enable clinicians to extend the range of outpatient day surgical procedures offered within the new hospital, as well as an in-hours Minor injuries unit and out-of-hours GP service.[15]

Mental health facilitiesEdit

  • MacKinnon House is a purpose built adult inpatient mental health unit, opened at Stobhill Hospital in April 2000 following the closure of Woodilee Hospital. The unit comprises three twenty-bed wards (Broadford, Armadale and Struan Wards) and a 12-bed Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit (Portree Ward) and an ECT suite.[16]
  • Eriskay House, a 15-bed inpatient ward opened in October 2004 as an addition to the MacKinnon House adult inpatient mental health unit. This purpose-built ward, which compliments inpatient services at Parkhead Hospital and replaces those at the former Ruchill hospital, providing services for patients with substance addiction problems.[17]
  • Skye House, opened in February 2009, replaces an existing interim facility for young people at Gartnavel Royal Hospital. Housing 24 beds, the purpose-built unit has separate residential, educational and therapeutic facilities and has been designed to meet the needs of young people who need inpatient mental health care.[18]
  • Rowanbank Clinic, opened in July 2007, is a new 74-bed mental health secure care centre. This facility will provide Forensic psychiatry services for people with acute mental health problems who may pose a risk to others or have the potential to commit a criminal offence due to their mental illness.[19]

Marie Curie HospiceEdit

Marie Curie Cancer Care has a hospice at Stobhill. The charity built a new hospice which was opened in January 2010. The 30-room hospice replaces the charity's old building in nearby Belmont Road which cared for more than 1,200 patients and their families each year.[20]

In popular cultureEdit

  • Richard Wilson, OBE worked as a lab technician at the hospital for several years before becoming an actor.[21]
  • Alasdair Gray's 1981 novel Lanark features a complex, rambling building called The Institute which the author states was physically inspired by Stobhill and BBC Television Centre in London.[22]
  • According to his autobiography American On Purpose, Scottish-American TV personality Craig Ferguson was born at the hospital at 6:10 a.m., 17 May 1962.[23][24]
  • Bert Jansch, founder member of The Pentangle was born at Stobhill hospital.[25]


  1. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Administration Building, Stobhill Hospital, 133 Balornock Road, Glasgow  (Category B) (LB33290)". Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  2. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Water Tower Block, Stobhill Hospital, 133 Balornock Road, Glasgow  (Category B) (LB33289)". Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  3. ^ "The Career of a Stobhill Nurse". NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Records of Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland". Archives Hub. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  5. ^ "Wounded in Glasgow. Arrivals at Stobhill. Scottish Horse represented". The Glasgow Herald. 8 November 1915. p. 10. Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Celebration of Stobhill" (PDF). NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. 1 April 2011. pp. 4–5. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Noah Morris (1893–1947)". British Geriatrics Society. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  8. ^ "The NHS Years". NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Down Memory Lane – February 9, 2012 - Local History". Kirkintilloch Herald. 7 February 2012. Retrieved 14 February 2012.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Kindly GP terrifies the opposition Independent candidate's bedside manner proves a winner on the stump in forgotten by-election". The Herald. Glasgow. 7 June 2001. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
  11. ^ "New Stobhill Hospital Ambulatory Care and Diagnostic Centre". Architects Journal. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  12. ^ "NHSGGC / Media Centre / News Story". 21 May 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  13. ^ Vivienne Nicoll (9 June 2010). "£100m Stobhill named world's best hospital - Evening Times | News | Editor's Picks". Evening Times. Retrieved 14 February 2012.
  14. ^ "Anger at move to speed up A&E closures". The Scotsman. 19 May 2004. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Minor Injuries Unit". NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  16. ^ "MacKinnon House". NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Eriskay House". NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Skye House". NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Rowanbank Clinic". NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  20. ^ "Marie Curie Hospice, Glasgow". NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Richard Wilson – Drama Faces". BBC. Archived from the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 28 December 2008.
  22. ^ "Lanark: A Play In Three Acts. Citizens Theatre Company". Glasgow Punter. 16 August 2015. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1259): 27. 17 May 2013.
  24. ^ Tennant, Thomas. "Bio Brief: Craig Ferguson". Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  25. ^ Harper, Colin (2006). Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British Folk and Blues Revival (2006 edition). Bloomsbury. ISBN 0-7475-8725-6.

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