The Sheffield Free Hospital for Sick Children opened on 15 November 1876 in Brightmore House, Brookhill. Founded by Dr William Cleaver, with John Webster and Henry Vickers, and supported by voluntary subscription, its appearance caused some opposition, since Sheffield already sustained three voluntary hospitals. After preliminary meetings in 1876 to enlist promises of support, a three-year lease was taken out on Brightmore House, 222-224 Brookhill, with the aims to treat sick children; to gain and spread knowledge of childhood diseases; to give advice to the poorer classes for the better care of children in both sickness and health; to train women as children& apos;s nurses.
It originally only treated out-patients; 45 were treated from 15 November to 31 December. In June 1877 the hospital, with eight beds, was opened to in-patients and 29 were taken in during that year. Shares in two additional sources of income were made available to the hospital: in 1878 it was admitted to the Hospital Saturday Fund (weekly subscriptions collected from factories and works) and in 1879 to the Hospital Sunday Fund (annual church collections).
As demand grew, the inadequacies of the premises became obvious and two houses were purchased for new accommodation at 267 and 269 Western Bank, to which the hospital moved in September 1880, when it also changed its name to the & apos;Children& apos;s Hospital& apos;. Extensions were built in 1888 and 1896, and a new out-patient and administrative block, replacing the two original houses, followed in 1903. The hospital then had 50 beds for in-patients and over 2,000 out-patients were treated every year; demand continually grew: in 1921 878 in-patients and 4,768 out-patients were treated.
Links were forged with the University from its very founding in 1905, with students taking courses taught by hospital house surgeons. The Department of Child Health was established in 1947.
Further extensions and wards were added in 1906 and 1920. Later developments and running costs were largely funded with the proceeds of money amassed by the Penny in the Pound Scheme, set up in 1921 by the Sheffield Joint Hospitals Council; more extensions followed in 1959, 1964 and 1972. An additional first phase development in the 1980s was completed and opened by the Princess of Wales in 1989. A second phase was completed in 1999 and its extensive departments and units include the City& apos;s Accident and Emergency Department for children, moved from the Northern General Hospital in 1994.
In 1893 the East End Branch Hospital in the Wicker (Nursery Street) was opened as a branch of the Sheffield Children& apos;s Hospital , with the original aim of treating both out-patients and in-patients. It was founded by deed of endowment of 1891 which set up the Sheffield Children& apos;s Hospital Special Fund. A new out-patients department and administration block were opened in 1903, and two new wards were opened in 1927. It closed in 1931, following the order of the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division, 1930. Its trustees were discharged from duty and the income of its endowments and its management were transferred to the Sheffield Children& apos;s Hospital. Its name was preserved by naming a separate ward at the Children& apos;s Hospital & apos;The Eastern Ward& apos; and reserving it for patients from the east end of Sheffield.
Thornbury Annexe (in 1976 renamed & apos;The Children& apos;s Hospital, Thornbury& apos;) in Fulwood Road was a medical annexe, isolation ward and convalescent home for the Children& apos;s Hospital. Purchased in 1947, it opened in 1951 with 50 beds and continued in use until 1982, after which it was sold by the trustees of the former United Sheffield Hospitals for development as a private hospital.
Ryegate Annexe (in 1976 renamed & apos;The Children& apos;s Hospital, Ryegate) in Manchester Road, a continuation hospital and convalescent home, was donated to the Children& apos;s Hospital in 1936. It is now (2006) known as Ryegate Children& apos;s Centre. Other care locations currently are: Beighton Community Hospital; Centenary House; Flocton House; Oakwood Young People& apos;s Centre; Shirle Hill Hospital; St Peter& apos;s Close.
As a voluntary hospital, management was vested in a board of governors who annually elected a chairman.
At the introduction of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948 (National Health Service Act, 1946), the Children& apos;s Hospital and the other former voluntary hospitals in Sheffield were brought together for administrative purposes into one group as The United Sheffield Hospitals, under a Board of Governors.
This was abolished at the reorganisation of the NHS in 1974 when Sheffield Area Health Authority (Teaching) was established as one of the health areas within the new Trent Regional Health Authority. From 1974 to 1978 the Children& apos;s Hospital was in the Central (Teaching) District of SAHA. Following SAHA& apos;s redistricting exercise in summer 1978, the hospital was put into the Southern (Teaching) District, as was Ryegate hospital. Further reorganisation of the NHS in 1982 abolished one tier of management, and responsiblity for the hospital& apos;s administration was thus brought under Sheffield Health Authority of Trent Regional Health Authority. In the internal market created in 1991 the HAs purchased services from the hospitals which, following the NHS and Community Care Act, 1990, were encouraged to become self-governing trusts.
The hospital gained trust status in 1992 as Sheffield Children& apos;s Hospital NHS Trust, later dropping the name & apos;Hospital& apos; to reflect the changed emphasis of drawing together hospital, community paediatrics and mental health. The Trust is managed by the Trust Board of non-executive and executive Directors, supported by a Council of Governors, and a Membership Community. The responsibility for operational and financial management of the Trust is shared between members of the Corporate Management Team. Foundation status was achieved on 1 August 2006 and as Sheffield Children& apos;s NHS Foundation Trust it has greater autonomy to manage its own affairs.
Trent RHA was replaced in 1996 by NHS Executive Trent. That too was abolished in 2002 when South Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority was set up, which itself was merged with other SHAs to form Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Health Authority in July 2006.