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Leith Hospital

Identifier: LHB6

Scope and Contents

Management 1846-1948; administration 1905-1985; patients (bound records) 1904-1987


  • Creation: 1846-1987

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Public access to these records is governed by UK data protection legislation, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, and the latest version of the Scottish Government Records Management: Health and Social Care 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 health records relate to named deceased adults, they will be open 75 years after the latest date referenced, 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, on the next 1 January. Further information on legislation and guidelines covering medical records can be found here:

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

Biographical / Historical

Origins lie in the Edinburgh and Leith Humane Society, 1788. A dispensary opened in 1815 followed by a casualty hospital in 1837. Both combined to form Leith Hospital in 1848, which was formally incorporated in 1907. Thereafter it served as a general hospital for men, women and children and included an accident unit. Women medical students were admitted for clinical instruction in 1886. Leith Hospital became part of the Edinburgh Northern Hospitals under the South Eastern Regional Hospital Board. From 1974, it was part of the North Lothian District of Lothian Health Board. The hospital closed in 1987 and functions were transferred to Western General Hospital.


14.8 shelf metres: papers, bound volumes


Chronological within record class

Other Finding Aids

Manual item-level descriptive list available

Custodial History

Records held within the National Health Service prior to transfer

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Leith Hospital Administrator, May 1986


No further accessions are expected

Related Materials

Bruce, Alexander Ninian (GD1/43)Edinburgh Northern Hospitals Board of Management (LHB11)North Lothian District, Lothian Health Board (LHB27Pathology Department, University of Edinburgh (GD20)Penicillin, wartime distribution to civilians (GD1/74))Western General Hospital (LHB13)


Boyd, David H.A. Leith Hospital 1848-1988. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press, 1990.
Leith Hospital
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Repository Details

Part of the Lothian Health Services Archive Repository

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