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Date: 28 May 2017
The future of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Not far from the old Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), a new hospital opened its doors to patients in June 2010. More than 40% of these beds will be in single rooms, with the remainder in four-bed rooms.
Among other features are a 100-bed critical care ward, the largest single-floor critical care unit in the world.
The hospital’s construction has cost nearly £600 million and it will, for a time, be one of the most up-to-date and innovative medical facilities in the world.
While the old hospital buildings will go on to serve other purposes, the patients and staff of the old Queen Elizabeth and Selly Oak hospitals, which it replaces, will influence the character of the new hospital in the coming years.
So, too, will the name chosen for the new hospital influence its mission. Called the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, the new teaching hospital, like the QE, should invoke a much longer tradition of local healthcare.
By Dr Jonathan Reinarz and Professor Robert "Bob" Allan
Dr Jonathan Reinarz is Director of the Centre of the History of Medicine, University of Birmingham.
Jonathan has a specialist interest in many aspects of the history of the Midlands. His main areas of expertise are in the history of hospitals, medical education and occupational health. He has published extensively on those topics and several others, including the social and economic history of England in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.
He is author of a forthcoming book on the history of the Birmingham teaching hospitals. Details of the book and how you can purchase it are available on the Boydell and Brewer website.
You can learn more about the University of Birmingham's Centre for the History of Medicine on the University of Birmingham website.
Professor Robert Allan is a retired physician who has worked at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the General Hospital and Selly Oak Hospital. He set up the Gastroenterology Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
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