Records of Bellshill Maternity Hospital, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Registers, 1924-1962;
  • Case sheets, 1930-1954;
  • Maternal death reports, 1939-1943;
  • Metal, post 1950s.

Administrative / Biographical History

The original hospital was built by the Bothwell Parochial Board in the 1870s and became the property of the County of Lanark in 1899 when it consisted of two eight bed wards and administrative accommodation. In the early years (1892-1898), the hospital was used for various infectious diseases such as enteric fever, typhus fever and smallpox. When smallpox assumed epidemic proportions in 1899, Bellshill became specially devoted to the treatment of patients suffering from the disease, dealing not only with cases occurring in the middle, upper and lower Wards of the County, but also with those occurring in the Lanarkshire Burgh areas. During the First World War, the hospital was utilised for discharged disabled soldiers.

The County of Lanark Maternity Hospital at Bellshill was the first of its kind in Lanarkshire, complicated cases having previously been sent to Glasgow. The hospital began its functions in 1917 by admitting infants under 5 years of age under the Maternity and Child Welfare Scheme and two years later a few beds were set aside for confinements and there were 40 cots for children. The total staff included a matron, with general training, four probationers with three of a domestic staff and a boiler-fireman-gardener. The treatment of so many children with so few experienced nurses was therefore difficult and unsatisfactory. By the end of 1920, the domestic department has a complement of seven and the outdoor boiler and ground attendants numbered three.

Admissions to the hospital continued to increase therefore more accommodation had to be provided. In 1923, a nurses’ home was erected and Pavilions 4 & 5 were built in 1932 to meet demands for additional needs.

From 1917, the Institution was under the care of Dr J T Dick who attended to the children. Any confinements that occurred in the year 1918 were attended by the matron, Miss Crawford and any complications were dealt with by the local medical probationers in Bellshill. From April 1919, Dr Thompson took charge of the hospital and in 1920 Professor Cameron was appointed as Consultant to deal with any difficult cases. The number of assistants increased from then onwards. In 1921 the training of pupil midwives began.

With the introduction of the NHS in 1948, the hospital came under the control of the Board of Management for Coatbridge, Airdrie and District Hospitals. At this time, the need for a new hospital was recognised and discussions and planning proceeded over a long period. A scheme was first drawn up for the building of a new nurses’ home and a training school. This section of the major development of the hospital was opened on 16th October 1958 and immediately thereafter the former nurses’ home was adapted to provide temporarily, 30 additional ante-natal beds. The new hospital block which was officially opened on 2nd July 1962, provided 132 beds and 56 paediatric cots together with ancillary accommodation such as theatres, delivery rooms, x-ray facilities, kitchen, dining room, central sterile supply department and offices. A new boiler house was built simultaneously with the erection of the new hospital block.

An Isolation and Abortion Unit of 26 beds, dispensary, laboratory, mortuary, stores and residential accommodation for medical staff remained in the old buildings with the intention being to provide a new unit nearer the new hospital block to bring those departments together under one roof. With the reorganisation of the NHS in 1974 the hospital passed to the control of the Monklands/Cumbernauld District of Lanarkshire Health Board.

Bellshill Maternity Hospital closed in 2001, and was demolished in 2003.


Chronologically within series.

Access Information

There is a 75 year closure period on medical records of adults, and a 100 year closure period on medical records of minors.

If you seek patient records within these periods, or information regarding your own treatment, you should contact the Archivist.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material.

Appraisal Information

Appraised according to standard GB 0812 procedure.


None expected.

Related Material

GB 812 HB 28: Records of Western Regional Hospital Board, Glasgow; GB 812 LK 31: Records of Calderbank House Hospital, Baillieston.