History of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital
The now abandoned Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool was originally intended to be a workhouse the for insane. Despite being the original intent of the site when the land was purchased by the Board of Poor Law Guardians, plans changed and the Hospital first opened its doors in 1914 as a military hospital during the First World War. The site was occupied by the United States Army and the Hospital became a Camp Hospital. By 1924 the Hospital was treating sick children from the Liverpool area which formed the groundwork for it later becoming one of the most famous hospitals in the country specialising in the care of children.
Alder Hey Hospital was used in part at least by the military during the Second World War, however, the majority of the ever expanding site remained in use for civilian children. 1944 Penicillin was tested and ultimately saved the life of a child suffering from pneumonia and this became a groundbreaking moment in medical history.
The hospital’s footprint within the grounds continued to grow over the post-war years and following multiple visits by various members of the royal famil plus lots of private investment the hospital became known for its advanced treatments and excellent levels of patient care.
The reputation of the hospital did become slightly tarnished in 1999, when, following a public enquiry, details emerged which revealed that Alder Hey among other NHS hospital’s were retaining patients organs without the consent of family members for medical tests. Despite no doubt best intentions being at heart, such practices were completely unacceptable, unethical and illegal. After a formal report was published in 2001, victims were awarded a total out of court settlement of £5,000,000 which equates to £5,000 per child.
Visited with Mick and Andy Kay of Behind Closed Doors. Quite a well-known location which we heard would be closing following the recent opening of the new hospital which was built right next door on a neighbouring site. It was rumoured that the old site would be demolished by February 2016 (which turned out to be incorrect) and so we thought we had to take our opportunity to see the inside before it was reduced to rubble. I was quite surprised to find the condition of the buildings actually very good with little signs of maintenance issues or any other problems, in fact, the operating theatres were probably some of the most advanced I have ever seen certainly in any of the abandoned buildings that I have visited. Most of the newer equipment is earmarked to be moved over to the new site and be reused. The main corridors which had most of their side doors locked at the time of my first visit were incredibly long and flanked with large pieces of artwork designed for children, I captured a few in the photos below but there were many more of them. I also revisited this one at a later time when it was a little more empty and partially stripped, quite a different atmosphere in those shots which will end up in the site reports section in due course. For now enjoy these shots from shortly after the closure…
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