Bagthorpe Isolation Hospital

“Heathfield Hospital”



Very little remains today of the buildings that once constituted the Bagthorpe Isolation Hospital. A hospital that was once separated by a boundary fence and a row of elm trees has now become swallowed up by the building and clinical developments of its one time neighbour, the Nottingham City Hospital. The buildings still standing now have completely different roles from what they were originally designed and built for.

The last time the buildings had any clinical use was for a sort period of time during the early 1990’s after the closure of Basford Hospital, a small Health Care of the Elderly Hospital that was located about half-a-mile up the Hucknall Road from the City Hospital, and was itself a former sanatorium.

It was in 1976 that the former Isolation Hospital grounds saw the first of many developments. This came with the opening in that year of the Sandfield Children’s Unit. A unit that remains still to this day, albeit with a change of role and is now referred to as the ‘Child Development Centre.’

With the ending of the remaining former isolation buildings clinical role in the early 1990’s came the building of the City Hospital’s new Maternity Unit and Patient’s Hotel, together with the building of a Day Surgery Unit, of which both were opened in 1994.

The Maternity Unit: Opened in 1994 on the site of the former Bagthorpe Isolation Hospital, later known as Heathfield Hospital.

A view of a pavilion ward used for patients recovering from tuberculosis.

Pavilion wards were very much a common feature on many hospital grounds. As you will see by this illustration, of the City Hospitals last remaining example of a pavilion ward. The building that once stood in open grounds now stands between a car park that serves the Maternity Unit and the Day Surgery Unit to the right of the picture. Today this building houses the Archival section of the Hospital’s Patient Records Department.

The Main Entrance to the Day Surgery Unit

This photograph shows an example of how a modern architecturally designed building has been built amongst buildings that were designed and built for a different purpose. In the foreground you will see the former Isolation Hospital’s Headquarters, Heathfield House. Today this building houses the department responsible for all the City Hospital’s Information Technology.



The Above two photographs again show how later developments have been constructed amongst buildings that were designed and built for a different purpose. Photograph 1 is of the car park to the rear of the Day Surgery Unit. The buildings in the foreground from the left to the right are, Rufford Ward, and the Child Development Centre; the building opened in 1976 as the Sandfield Children’s Unit.

In photograph 2 we see another form or isolation ward and that is a lock ward. A ward used for patients with highly contagious diseases, in all probability, smallpox.

Today, as I have already mentioned this former isolation ward is referred to as ‘Rufford Ward.’ Although it no longer houses patients it is used today as the hospitals staff Occupational Health Department. As has been shown in other photographs of this particular ward, it is a wonderful example of the restrictions placed on friends and relatives when visiting loved ones who were patients in the hospital during its days as an isolation hospital. Unlike today, there is free and easy access to the hospitals wards.  However during the days of the ward being‘Locked Ward’ relatives could not gain access like they do today, all the could do was look through the window at their loved ones.


As you will see by the above example and of others at different times of the year, you will notice that at the foot of each window is a platform, or rather a ‘Viewing Platform.’ As I’ve already said all you could do was look at them through the window.

The above two photographs show the front of the former Isolation Hospital. As I have previously mentioned the large building in the photograph above was the Isolation Hospital’s Headquarters. However, the building next to it, until recent times was the Training School for the Breast Screening Unit. A unit, which has since moved into a new purpose built building in another part of the City Hospital Campus.

So what does the future hold for these old red brick buildings that once constituted the Bagthorpe Isolation Hospital? There are building plans afoot that are destined to drastically alter the whole of the hospital campus. Familiar buildings that have been around since the whole of the hospitals formative years are destined to be demolished.

It is my hope that one or two buildings will remain as an example for future generations; so that they will know what the Nottingham City Hospital started life as, both as an Isolation Hospital and a Workhouse and Infirmary.