Miles Irving Papers

  • Reference
      GB 133 MHI
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      5 items
  • Location
      Collection available at University Archive Centre, Main Library.

Scope and Content

Medical papers of the surgeon Sir Miles Irving (MHI). The archive comprises a small body of files relating to Sir Miles Irving's work on intestinal failure and parenteral nutrition, and the establishment of specialist treatment activities in Greater Manchester. Miles Irving was responsible for setting up the Intestinal Failure Unit at Hope Hospital, Salford, which was formally launched in 1980, but had been active for several years previous to this. It was the first dedicated surgical nutritional unit of its kind in the UK.

The IFU provided clinical services for the treatment of acute and chronic cases of intestinal failure. The idea was to provide a careful programme of nutritional support for patients recovering from surgery, who were unable to digest food orally and hence at risk of malnutrition. The Unit provided four beds (later expanded to 12) for high dependency cases, with intensive nursing to support intravenous feeding. However, Irving was also keen to develop self-administered feeding procedures for patients to give them some autonomy over their lives, and developing effective home parenteral nutrition (HPN) procedures. Irving developed a national HPN register to collect data on patients involved in these schemes at Salford and elsewhere.

Other subjects covered by these records include the IFU's status as a specialist regional centre within the North West, cooperation with other specialist units in the UK, especially St Mark's Hospital, London, attempts to get supra-regional status for the Salford Unit, the designation of the Intestinal Failure Unit as a centre of excellence by the National Specialist Commissioning Advisory Group in 1997, and development of professional organisation for clinical specialists in intestinal failure.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Miles Irving was educated at Liverpool University (MB ChB 1959, MD 1962 ChM 1968). He originally held house appointments in Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne. from 1972-4 he was assistant director of the professorial surgical unit and reader in surgery at St Bartholomew's Hospital London. In 1974 he was elected to the chair of surgery at the University of Manchester and was made a honorary consultant surgeon at Hope Hospital, Salford. He retired from these posts in 1999.

From 1992-4 he was regional director of research and development at the North West Regional Health Authority. Sir Miles has been responsible for the establishment of the MRC Trauma Unit at Hope Hospital, Salford, which was formerly the MRC Experimental Pathology of Injury Section, Carshalton; this was the first MRC unit of the University of Manchester. He was also responsible for the UK's first Intestinal Failure Unit at Hope Hospital, which is now the UK's largest Home Parenteral Nutrition Unit.

Professor Irving was also the first director of Health Technology Assessment for NHS R and D which established health technology assessment as a formal foundation for the National Institute of Clinical Excellence. Sir Miles was president of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland in 1995/6 and president of Manchester Medical Society in 1999/2000. He was knighted in 1995. Sir Miles has been a honorary consultant surgeon to the British Army. He was chairman of the Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust from 1998 to 2006, and has been a visiting professor of surgery at the University of Newcastle. He was chairman of NHS Innovations (North) from 2004 to 2010. Sir Miles is the author of many publications, particularly in the field of gastroenterology and coloproctology.


Arranged chronologically.

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader unless otherwise stated.

The collection includes material which is subject to the Data Protection Act 2018. The University of Manchester Library (UML) holds the right to process personal data for archiving and research purposes according to the provisions of the Act. In accordance with the DPA, UML has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately. Users of the archive are expected to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, and will be required to sign a form acknowledging that they will abide by the requirements of the Act in any further processing of the material by themselves.

Conditions Governing Use

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.


None expected.

Related Material

The bulk of Sir Miles Irving's papers are in the custody of the Wellcome Library, London (ref.PP/MHI); it is believed these also contain some papers on intestinal failure and parenteral feeding.

The Library's Manchester Medical Collection has a biographical file for Miles Irving.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names