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Department of Surgical Neurology Papers, 1908-1972

 Sub-Fonds
Identifier: LHB1/61A

Scope and Contents

Correspondence; minutes; reports; photographs; patient case notes; lecture notes and teaching materials; journals; offprints; plans; diaries; illustrations; books.

Dates

  • 1908-1972

Creator

Language of Materials

From the Fonds: English

Language of Materials

From the Fonds: English

Conditions Governing Access

Public access to these records is governed by UK data protection legislation, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, and the current Scottish Government Records Management: NHS Code of Practice (Scotland). Whilst some records may be accessed freely by researchers, the aforementioned legislation and guidelines mean that records conveying sensitive information on named individuals may be closed to the public for a set time. Where records relate to named deceased adults, they will be open 75 years after the latest date referenced in the record, on the next 1 January. Case records of individuals below 18 years of age or adults not proven to be deceased will be open 100 years after the latest date recorded in the record, on the next 1 January. Further information on legislation and guidelines covering medical records can be found on the LHSA webpage.

LHSA encourages the use of these records for legitimate clinical, historical and genealogical research purposes, and records that are designated as closed can be consulted by legitimate researchers if certain conditions are met. Please contact the LHSA Archivist for more details regarding procedures on how you can apply for permission to view closed records. Telephone us on: 0131 650 3392 or email us at lhsa@ed.ac.uk

Biographical / Historical

In 1931, Norman McOmish Dott was appointed Associate Neurological Surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (RIE) and was given access to four post-operative beds for his patients in Wards 13 and 14 and use of the operating theatre by surgeon, Sir David Wilkie. This was the beginning of the Department of Surgical Neurology at the RIE, which was the first of its kind in Scotland. This move was followed in 1936 with the allocation of Ward 20, located in the Infirmary clock tower, for Dott to set up his own department. However it wasn't until 1938 that Ward 20 received its first patients, as space had to be extended and made fit for purpose. Changes included adding an operating theatre (with a special steel elliptical lighting dome imported from Paris and a sound-proof viewing room which featured one-way glass for students to view operations), twenty beds, an ophthalmic room, staff-room and out-patient facilities.The modifications to the department were aided by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, a contribution from Dott and his circle, various individual donations and funds from the trust of Sir Alexander Grant, head of biscuit manufacturer McVitie and Price Ltd.

Further accommodation was made available to Dott and his team in 1939 at Bangour General Emergency Service Hospital at Broxburn in West Lothian, where he established the Brain Injuries Unit providing treatment to military and civilian cases. The Department of Surgical Neurology, now firmly established as a specialist unit, operated over two sites providing different services at each location throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Although the department was extended in the 1950s, the growing number of patients (in 1959/1960 Ward 20 dealt with 1,100 patients, performed 900 operations and saw 6,000 out-patients – still with only twenty beds) and the demands on the expertise of Dott and his team meant that more space was needed.

On the opening of the new Department of Surgical Neurology in the Western General Hospital in 1960, Ward 20 became a specialist head injuries' unit dealing with acute and out-patient care.

Extent

From the Fonds: 1582 shelf metres: bound volumes, papers, photographic material

Repository Details

Part of the Lothian Health Services Archive Repository

Contact:
Centre for Research Collections
Edinburgh University Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44 (0)131 650 3392