Health Care in Birmingham

November 2009
35 black and white illustrations
288 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843835066
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

Health Care in Birmingham

The Birmingham Teaching Hospitals, 1779-1939

Jonathan Reinarz

A history of the wide range of general and specialist hospitals associated with the University of Birmingham Medical School, set in the broader context of health care in Birmingham.
In the middle of the eighteenth century, hospitals were unfamiliar institutions to the inhabitants of most English towns and cities. As early as the late nineteenth century, however, hospitals had become central to both the provision of health care and medical education in most large urban population centres. Drawing on hospital records, the publications of associated medical staff and a wealth of other local documents, Health Care in Birmingham carefully maps the evolution of nine voluntary hospitals, and their associated medical specialities in Birmingham, England over the century and a half before the introduction of the National Health Service, a period that witnessed significant social, economic and cultural change. From the emergence of the town's first General Hospital in 1779, the wealth of this key industrial centre in particular encouraged the development of a full range of medical institutions, including those established to treat afflictions of the bones and joints, eye, ear, teeth and skin, as well as ailments peculiar to women and children. Besides charting the local development of a wide range of specialist fields, Health Care in Birmingham firmly situates each hospital in its local and national contexts. Though greatly reorganised on the eve of the Second World War, these institutions influenced considerably the history and landscape of the city, and continue to do so today. This is the first time their history has been considered collectively in a single volume.

Jonathan Reinarz is Director of the Centre for the History of Medicine at the University of Birmingham.

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Table of Contents

Birmingham's First Voluntary Hospital
Optic and Orthopaedic Charities: Birmingham's First Specialist Hospitals
Birmingham's School of Medicine and the First Provincial Teaching Hospital
Mid-Victorian Specialities: Hospitals for Women, Children and the Deaf
The Importance of Good Teeth and Skin
Late Nineteenth-Century Reorganisation: The Associated Teaching Hospitals
Reconstruction Delayed: The Development of the Teaching Hospitals, 1900-1939
The University of Birmingham Medical School
The Hospitals in the Interwar Years
Modernising Medical Education in the Midlands


This is a well-written, very readable book, based on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, which should interest scholars of medicine and education alike. HISTORY OF EDUCATION RESEARCHER

[A] sound, informative, and beautifully produced general narrative. THE LOCAL HISTORIAN

[P]laces England's 'second city' firmly on the map of medical history. [...] Here is a work of extensive empirical research which provides an essential overview of Birmingham's development as a regional, and ultimately national, teaching centre. SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINE
This book is important historically and interesting for anyone who wants to learn about the history of the Teaching Hospitals in Birmingham. I would recommend it strongly. AESCULAPIUS (The University of Birmingham Medical & Dental Graduates Society)

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