Astley Ainslie Hospital

Scope and Content

Management and administration 1876-1974; patients (bound records) 1931-1975

Administrative / Biographical History

The hospital arose from the residue of the estate of David Ainslie of Costerton, Midlothian who died in 1900. It was opened in 1923 and called the Astley Ainslie Institution and was specifically for the relief of convalescents from the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. From being a convalescent hospital it became a leading rehabilitation centre and also a training school for occupational therapists. In 1948 it came under the South Eastern Regional Hospital Board and was later linked with Edenhall Hospital, Musselburgh under the Board of Management of Edinburgh Convalescent Hospitals. In 1974 it became part of the South Lothian District of Lothian Health Board. In 1986 it became part of the United Hospitals Unit.


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

Astley Ainslie Hospital, October 1988


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


Further accessions are expected

Related Material

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh Samaritan Society (GD2)South Lothian District, Lothian Health Board (LHB28)


Smith, Charles J., Between the streamlet and the town: a brief history of the Astley Ainslie Hospital. Edinburgh: Astley Ainslie Hospital, 1989