North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent

A hospital dating back to the 1860s with a grand entrance hall, working operating lights in the theatres and a morgue with three slabs

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Hartshill, Stoke-on-Trent
 

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The foundation stone of the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary was laid on 25th June 1866 by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, and the hospital was formally opened by the duchess of Sutherland, 16th December 1869.

The origins of the hospital can be traced back to 1804 when the “House of Recovery” was opened to the public in the nearby suburb of Etruria. That hospital was soon replaced with a larger infirmary, opening in 1819. The infirmary suffered subsidence and plans were drawn up to build a new hospital in Hartshill.

Exterior view of the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary

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Exterior view of the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary

The pavilion principle was adopted by the architects, and the main building had accommodation for 167 beds, with 1,500 cubic feet of air being allowed for each patient in the ordinary wards, and 1,875 cubic feet in the “special case” wards, and in the fever hospital, which forms a detached block. Another separate building was an asylum for incurables, founded by Mr Smith Child. In total the cost to build the infirmary was £33,704

Aerial photo of the Infirmary taken in 1930s

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Aerial photo of the Infirmary taken in 1930s

The hospital saw expansion over the years including the addition of a dedicated operating block in the 1950s. The block consists of three theatres and a recovery ward, plus associated facilities such as scrub rooms. The brutalist-styled A&E building was one of the latest additions.

Plan of the Infirmary, dated June 1940

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Plan of the Infirmary, dated June 1940

The Royal Infirmary was merged with the nearby Orthopaedic Hospital and City General Hospital to form the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. As a result, new facilities were built and all services were transferred to the new single site in 2012.  

Main Entrance

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Grand main entrance

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Grand main entrance

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Original tiles decorate the entrance

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Original tiles decorate the entrance

 

Corridors and staircases

Many of the corridors retain original features such as arched windows. The original tiles are also mostly still in place but have been covered over.

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Corridor intersection

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Corridor intersection

NSRI - Arched windows

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NSRI – Arched windows

NSRI - Arched windows

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NSRI – Arched windows

NSRI - One of the main corridors

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NSRI – One of the main corridors

NSRI - Staircase with arched windows

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NSRI – Staircase with arched windows

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Staircase and corridor

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Staircase and corridor

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Corridor to the Nurses Accommodation

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Corridor to the Nurses Accommodation

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - The corridor heads up hill

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – The corridor heads up hill

 

Operating Theatres

One of the pavilions was demolished to make way for the operating block which was added in the 1950.

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Operating light in one of the theatres

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Operating light in one of the theatres

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - One of the three operating theatres

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – One of the three operating theatres

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - The third theatre had more modern lights

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – The third theatre had more modern lights

NSRI - Recovery Ward

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NSRI – Recovery Ward

NSRI - Theatre preparation cubicles

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NSRI – Theatre preparation cubicles

 

Accident and Emergency

The A&E building had three further operating theatres.

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - The Accident and Emergency block

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – The Accident and Emergency block

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - A&E Operating Theatre 1

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – A&E Operating Theatre 1

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - A&E Operating Theatre 2

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – A&E Operating Theatre 2

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Operating theatre lights

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Operating theatre lights

NSRI - Operating theatre lights

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NSRI – Operating theatre lights

NSRI - Scrub Room

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NSRI – Scrub Room

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - A&E Recovery Ward

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – A&E Recovery Ward

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Decay had in inside this room

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Decay had in inside this room

 

Wards and Facilities

Historic photo of the Male Ward, taken c. 1895 - 1905

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Historic photo of the Male Ward, taken c. 1895 – 1905

The wards have largely been stripped out or are piled up with junk. Here are a few examples of the areas that are fairly in tact.

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - One of the many wards

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – One of the many wards

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Treatment Room

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Treatment Room

NSRI - Waiting Area

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NSRI – Waiting Area

NSRI - Scrub Room

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NSRI – Scrub Room

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Bean 4 Coffee Cafe

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Bean 4 Coffee Cafe

 

Hospital Chapel

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - The hospital chapel

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – The hospital chapel

 

Mortuary

The mortuary at North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary has three metal examination tables, or morgue slabs. There are also two dissection tables with sinks either side in front of a viewing area along one side. The mortuary services were transferred to a new facility at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, and a little bit of natural decay is now evident.

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Three Mortuary Slabs

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Three Mortuary Slabs

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - View across the examination tables

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – View across the examination tables

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Slabs and Dissecting Tables

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Slabs and Dissecting Tables

NSRI - Slabs

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NSRI – Slabs

NSRI - Whiteboard

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NSRI – Whiteboard

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Side view of morgue slabs

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Side view of morgue slabs

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Body fridges in the mortuary

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Body fridges in the mortuary

NSRI - Body fridges

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NSRI – Body fridges

NSRI - Body fridges

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NSRI – Body fridges

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Mortuary Chapel of Rest

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Mortuary Chapel of Rest

 

Pathology Labs and Haematology

Although contained within the same building, the pathology labs and haematology department appear to have been out of use for a little longer than the mortuary. Some rooms are suffering from a lot of decay, and the ceiling has collapsed due to water ingress in one area, with plants growing inside.

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Blood Laboratory

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Blood Laboratory

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Items left in the Blood Lab

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Items left in the Blood Lab

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Fume cupboard with gloves in the Pathology Labs

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Fume cupboard with gloves in the Pathology Labs

NSRI - Fume Cupboard

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NSRI – Fume Cupboard

NSRI - Decaying office

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NSRI – Decaying office

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Very decayed lab office

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Very decayed lab office

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Haematology Ward

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Haematology Ward

North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary - Haematology treatment area

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North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary – Haematology treatment area

NSRI - Haematology

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NSRI – Haematology

NSRI - Waiting area

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NSRI – Waiting area

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