Bruntsfield Hospital and Elsie Inglis Memorial Maternity Hospital

Scope and Content

Bruntsfield and Elsie Inglis: management 1883-1966; administration 1879-1989; history, press and publications 1909-1988; photographs 1885-1987; Bruntsfield: patients (bound records) 1885-1969; Elsie Inglis: management 1948-1988; administration 1919-1988; patients (bound records) 1903-1988

Administrative / Biographical History

Developed from the Edinburgh Provident Dispensary for Women and Children and opened by Sophia Jex-Blake (1840-1912) in 1878 at 73 Grove Street. In 1885 it began to offer a limited number of hospital beds and changed its name to the Edinburgh Hospital and Dispensary for Women and Children. In 1899 the Executive Committee of the Hospital acquired the home of Jex-Blake after she retired, which became known as Bruntsfield Hospital. In 1910, the Hospital amalgamated with the Hospice founded by Elsie Inglis (1864-1917). In 1925 the surplus funds of the Scottish Women's Hospitals set up by Inglis was used to provide a memorial to her work. The Elsie Inglis opened in 1925. With the coming of the NHS, the hospitals became part of the Edinburgh Southern Hospitals under the South Eastern Regional Hospital Board. Bruntsfield Hospital closed in 1989. Elsie Inglis became part of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Associated Hospitals Unit in 1984 and closed in 1988.


Chronological within record class

Access Information

Public access to these records is governed by the UK Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the latest version of the 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 with sensitive information on named individuals may be closed to the public for a set time.

Where records are about named deceased adults, they will be open 75 years after the latest date in the record, on the next 01 January. Records about individuals below 18 years (living or deceased) or adults not proven to be deceased will be open 100 years after the latest date in the record, on the next 01 January. Further information on legislation and guidelines covering medical records can be found on the LHSA webpage (

LHSA can support the use of records closed to public access for legitimate clinical, historical and genealogical research purposes. 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

Acquisition Information

Miss Baxter, Nursing Officer, Bruntsfield Hospital November 1982, Miss Harrison, Senior Nursing Officer, Elsie Inglis Memorial Maternity Hospital November 1982, and Bruntsfield Hospital, 1989


Compiled by Mike Barfoot and Jenny McDermott using existing handlists

Other Finding Aids

Manual item-level descriptive list available

Custodial History

Records held within the National Health Service prior to transfer


No further accessions are expected

Related Material

  • Edinburgh Southern Hospitals Board of Management (LHB9)
  • Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Associated Hospitals Unit (in LHB1)
  • Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Samaritan Society (GD2)
  • South Lothian District, Lothian Health Board (LHB28)


Balfour, F. Dr Elsie Inglis. London: Hodder and Stoughton, [1918]

Bell, E. Moberly. Storming the citadel. London: Constable and Co.,1953

Leneman, Leah. Elsie Inglis; founder of battlefield hospitals run entirely by women. Edinburgh: National Museums of Scotland, 1998

Leneman, Leah. In the service of life: the story of Elsie Inglis and the Scottish women's hospitals. Edinburgh: Mercat Press, 1994

McLaren, E Shaw. A history of the Scottish Women's Hospitals. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1919

Tait, H P. Dr Elsie Maud Inglis (1864-1917): a great lady doctor. Edinburgh: Bridgend Press, 1964

Allen, Maggie and Elder, Michael. The walls of Jericho : a novel based on the life of Sophia Jex-Blake. London : British Broadcasting Corporation, 1981

Roberts, Shirley. Sophia Jex-Blake: a women pioneer in nineteenth-century medical reform. London: Routledge, 1993

Todd, Margaret Georgina. The life of Sophia Jex-Blake. London : Macmillan, 1918