Leith Hospital

Scope and Content

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

Administrative / Biographical History

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.


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 (http://www.lhsa.lib.ed.ac.uk/).

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 lhsa@ed.ac.uk

Acquisition Information

Leith Hospital Administrator, May 1986


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

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.