A little bit of history

A doctor, an architect and a solicitor made history. They also left us an incredible legacy here in Sheffield.

In 1876 – at a time when the industrial revolution had made Sheffield a dirty and unhealthy place and there were frequent outbreaks of infectious diseases - a doctor, an architect and a solicitor decided it was “expedient to found an institution for the relief of poor sick children” and opened Sheffield Children's Hospital.

They made history. They thought that children would get the best possible care if they were in a hospital dedicated to treating them.

From then on, surgeons performed world first operations, parents heard about the doctors that were experts in their field and scientists found ground-breaking cures and treatments for all kinds of conditions.

They left a legacy in Sheffield, one which placed the hospital as a centre of excellence and one of only four stand-alone children’s hospitals in the country.

Let’s make it better together and continue the original founding vision of Sheffield Children's Hospital – to significantly improve child health care across Sheffield, the region and beyond.


1876 – The hospital opens, seeing outpatients only

1877 – The hospital gains eight beds, but no running water

1880 – The hospital moves into a bigger home at Western Bank and St. Barnabas’ School donates £1 specially and solely for the hospital

1896 - a new central block with operating theatre and isolation room is installed

1903 – A new outpatients block is built – the old part of the hospital which still stands today. The first electric lights are switched on and an x-ray machine is installed. There are now 50 beds.

1972 – Two new wards are built which means there are now 85 beds at the hospital. The outpatients department is extended, electric lifts installed and the operating theatre is improved.

1970s – The accident and emergency department on Western Bank is extended. Over 50,000 children visit the department each year!

1976 – The Children’s Hospital Charity is born to raise vital funds for the hospital

1990s/2000s – The hospital now has over 150 beds, 10 wards and departments, seven operating theatres and specialist units for burns and neuro-care

2015 – There are now over 260,000 patient visits to the hospital every year. Children come from across the UK and even the world to receive specialist treatment in Sheffield so the hospital is transforming with the development of a new hospital ward

2016 - A new spacious Outpatient Department opens in the new wing of the hospital following a fantastic £10 million raised.

2018 - The new wing to our hospital opens with brand new state of the art bedrooms, and play tower making a childs stay at our hospital an adventure!