Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Northfield - A Birmingham Gem!

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital is situated on the Bristol Road South in Northfield, Birmingham. Based in a house called The Woodlands, given by George Cadbury in 1907. 

Where is the  Royal Orthopaedic Hospital?

The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital is on Bristol Road South, Northfield, Birmingham, B31 2AP


In brief

An NHS special orthopaedic hospital in Northfield. The building known as The Woodlands dates to 1840, and was home to George Cadbury, who gave it to an organisation called the "Crippled Childrens Union" in 1909.

Royal Orthopaedic HospitalRoyal Orthopaedic Hospital - Briistol Road South, Northfield (March 2012). Photography by Elliott Brown


Royal Orthopaedic Hospital - history

The General Hospital in Birmingham was established in 1766, taking care of patients with medical and surgical problems.

However, in an expanding city, there was no provision with people with bodily deformities caused by bone and joint problems.

In 1817 a Committee was chaired by the Earl of Dartmouth to establish a general institution for the relief of persons labouring under bodily deformity.

In the early years the institution had a variety of premises.

In 1877, it moved to a new hospital in Newhall Street.

In 1888, a new wing was added to the Hospital with the help of a donation by Queen Victoria, who allowed the Institution to call itself the Royal Orthopaedic and Spinal Hospital.

In 1891, the Hospital started to receive medical students from the Birmingham Medical School.

By 1898, the Royal Orthopaedic and Spinal Hospital was developing at Newhall Street. An organisation known as the Birmingham Cripples Union was in Hurst Street, looking after children with a variety of bone, joint and spinal problems.

In 1907, Mr George Cadbury gave a house and land known as The Woodlands in Northfield to the organisation known then as the Cripples Children's Union.

In 1925, the Royal Orthopaedic and Spinal Hospital and the Birmingham Cripples Union merged and King George V approved the title of "The Royal Cripples Hospital, Birmingham".

In the 1920's and 1930's the Hospital was able to invest in outpatient facilities at Broad Street (Islington House) and inpatient facilities at the Woodlands and other facilities.

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital


One of the surgeons at the time was a Mr. Naughton Dunn, he was based at this hospital from 1913 to 1939.

Other surgeons included Sir Robert Jones who provided treatment during the First World War.

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital


In 1932 the Hospital was visited by Sir George Newman, Chief Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health.

In 1933, there was a reported 50% reduction in the waiting list, and in 1938 there was reported to be a significant reduction in length of stay.

After the NHS was founded in 1948, the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital became a part of it.

There has been advances and technical achievements in the years following the start of the NHS.

Individuals who advance orthopaedic surgery include: Francis Allen, Rodney Sneath and Derek McMinn.

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

Royal Orthopaedic HospitalRoyal Orthopaedic Hospital - Briistol Road South, Northfield (March 2012). Photography by Elliott Brown


Contact details

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Bristol Road South



B31 2AP

Switchboard: 0121 685 4000

Project dates

12 Mar 2022 - On-going


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