The decision to found the Manchester Eye Hospital was taken on 21 October 1814. Throughout the 19th century the hospital operated from various premises in central Manchester until Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI) was approached in 1905. MRI sold 1600 sq yards for £2,500 subject to it being relieved of the cost of supplying beds and that the eye hospital would provide training for Manchester University medical students.
A special extension committee ran from 1905 and secured funding for £20, 000. By September 1906 the first contract was let. There was a desire for hiring nurses with ophthalmic training as well as experience in a general hospital.
During WWI 49 beds were set aside for the military. During that time they treated 1,831 army inpatients and 14,000 outpatients. 415 operations were performed. John Street partly closed during the Great War due to staff shortages. John Street finally closed in 1920 after 53 years on the site.
The hospital acquired further property after WWI with a new outpatients opening in converted houses opposite the hospital. In 1935 an orthoptics department opened to treat squints. Local authorities paid for children to be treated due to demand. By 1937, 10,509 people had passed through.
During the blitz of 1940 the hospital escaped serious damage from air raids. It served as a clearing station and was closed to outpatients who transferred to Withington. In 1941 it reopened. On creation of the NHS in 1948 the board of management became the committee of management.
Between 1948 and 1974 it came under the management of United Manchester Hospitals, a major grouping of hospitals such as Manchester Royal Infirmary and the St. Mary' Hospital. In 1974 it became part of Manchester Central District Health Authority.
We hold the records for 1897 to 1982, including these patient records:
- reception journals, including military services 1939 to 1964
- private patients registers 1943 to 1978
- inpatients reports registers 1939 to 1984
- operation registers 1942 to 1963
- inpatients notes 1901 to 1966
Minutes and annual reports are held by Central Manchester University Hospitals Heritage Archive.
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