Scope and Content


In the 1960's, Oxford was beginning to pioneer a revolutionary way of designing and building new hospitals. The Oxford Regional Hospital Board had to find a way of creating buildings that worked well for their users, could be designed and built quickly, and built within the cost guidelines. The answer was the Oxford Method. Oxford Method was basically a building philosophy and its use was integral to the planning process. It provided a common language understood by all who used it, thus it facilitated briefing design and construction.

The thing that made it possible to build hospitals cheaper and quicker was 'computer-aided-design'. Hospital planners and architects could work with the computers to test out the effectiveness of different designs for hospitals, using the standard components of the Oxford Method, but trying them out in different formats. By 1974 there were over 40 Oxford Method projects completed or under construction in the Region. Other European counties also used the Oxford Method. By the 1980's, the Oxford Method had evolved, and different and more attractive materials were being used for the outside of buildings.


OXSYS was a computer-aided-design system developed by Oxford Regional Health Authority and was a fundamental part of the approach to the design and provision of health buildings known as Oxford Method. OXSYS was a computing framework on which various analysis, co-ordination, and information programmes were hung in order to implement the Oxford Method Strategies. OXSYS was developed for Oxford Method, but later was also used for other purposes.

Most of the above information about the Oxford Method and OXSYS was taken from the book 'Diary of a Regional Health Authority, 1947-1994'

For records relating to the Oxford Method after 1974 see catalogue H5/37