Birmingham Health & Welfare

Birmingham & Midland Ear, Nose & Throat Hospital – Edmund Street

Birmingham Ear and Throat Hostpital - Edmund Street

Birmingham Ear and Throat Hospital - Edmund Street

Opening in 1891, the  Birmingham & Midland Ear, Nose & Throat Hospital in Edmund Street is one of a handful of what we would now call ‘sepcialist’ hospitals that were constructed around the City Centre during the 19th Century.  Designed by Jethro Cossins and F. B. Peacock, the building today cuts an impressive figure as can be seen above.

The hospital closed in 1989 with a move to concentrate all medical treatment into a small number of large hospitals in the suburbs – Queen Elizabeth, East Birmingham etc.

I remember going there myself for some allergy testing in 1976 and it was incredibly antiquated then and a warren of tiny, high ceiling rooms:  I don’t whether or not their wards were operational at that time – or if indeed they took in-patients at that time, or whether, as it seemed, they just ran a series of clinics and day-patient procedures:  any further information would be greatly appreciated.

Whilst an impressive building, its interior was far from suited to being a modern hospital and accommodating the equipment and data systems needed for treatments today, not least due to its fairly restrictive size.

It is good to see that the building now enjoys Grade II listing status so will hopefully be around for many years to come albeit in a somewhat reduced form as it does now have a glass office edifice rising from the middle of it which, apparently, was designed to complement “beautifully the listed facade of [the] cherished building” – according to E.H.Smith who supplied the ceramic glazing tiles for the ‘One Eleven Edmund Street’ development within the facade of the hospital under the guidance of Glazzard Architects in 2001.

I, on the other hand, have a very different opinion of the ‘complementary’ nature of the construction . . .

Discussion

2 comments for “Birmingham & Midland Ear, Nose & Throat Hospital – Edmund Street”

  1. You mentioned that there didn’t seem to be in-patients in 1976 – I had my tonsils out there c. 1972. As you say, it was extremely old-fashioned.
    Christine.

    Posted by Christine Kendell | November 27, 2009, 5:58 pm
  2. I actually worked at this fine ENT hospital from 1973 until I moved to USA in 1977. We indeed had a very full in-patient population. We had 3 wards and I was the ward Sister on ward 2 which was mainly adults head and neck surgery. We had our own ICU on ward 1 and recovered all our own patients following total Laryngectomies, skin flaps, pedicle grafs, colon transplants etc. It was a fine teaching facility and we taught the Certified ENT course for nurses.We had one ward specializing in just childrens ENT that was always full.I still remember the ENT surgeons and staff that I worked with with fond memories. If anyone of you read this I would love to hear from you.

    Posted by Kathryn A Morris | February 5, 2010, 11:12 pm

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