Archive centreWhitehaven
ReferenceYTHOS 3
TitleWorkington Infirmary
DescriptionIncludes: Minute books 1886-1943; Annual reports 1887-1930; Admission registers 1929-1950; Registers of patients (various) 1942-1971.
Date1886-1973
Access conditionsPatient medical records subject to restricted access for 100 years due to personal information within. Please ask staff for details if you would like access
ContextWorkington's Infirmary opened in 1886. From 1888 the town also had a fever hospital - Ellerbeck Hospital for Infectious Diseases - in the former workhouse building, which later became part of Workington Infirmary but closed in 1965.

The formation of the National Health Service in July 1948 added impetus to the need to revisit hospital provision in West Cumbria. The small voluntary and local authority managed hospitals in Workington and Whitehaven were inadequate to meet the needs of the population in an area with heavy industry and its associated morbidity. In 1957, approval was given to build a new hospital at Hensingham, the first built in England following the creation of the NHS. This became the centre for hospital care in West Cumbria, officially opened on 21 October 1964 by HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Workington Infirmary closed in 2005, in favour of the Private Finance Initiative Workington Community Hospital on the site of the former Technical College.
Related materialSee also YTHOS 1 for records of West Cumberland Hospital Management Committee (NB these records retained at an outstore and available via Carlisle Archives). These contain many papers relating to the establishment of the NHS, and the construction of a new hospital in Hensingham for the west of the county.
Publication detailsPublished books: 'Bleeding, Blister and Opium: Joshua Dixon and the Whitehaven Dispensary' by Michael Sydney 2009; 'History of the Whitehaven and West Cumberland Infirmary' by Dr GJ Muriel 1924; 'New Extensions to Workington Infirmary: History and Programme' by West Cumberland Hospital Management Committee 1966
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