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Glasgow Royal Infirmary Celebrates 225th Birthday

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI) has celebrated its 225th birthday with the unveiling of a commemorative mural documenting its rich history and positive impact on healthcare. 

The hospital has been serving the public since 1794 and today symbolises one of the busiest and best equipped healthcare facilities in the country, serving a catchment area of more than 320,000 people.   

Earlier this year the GRI was recognised by Newsweek as one of the top 100 hospitals in the world – the only hospital in Scotland to make the list – and has an international reputation as a teaching hospital and healthcare hub, with more than 1,000 beds.  

Over its 225 year existence, GRI has paved the way for numerous medical innovations and historical milestones: 

  • Dr Joseph Lister (1827 – 1912): Arguably the GRI’s most famous resident, Lister pioneered the use of antiseptics in the 1860s.
  • Rebecca Strong (1843 – 1944): Developed the first training school for nurses in 1895 which then became the standard across the world.
  • Professor Jackie Taylor: Current consultant geriatrician and the first ever female President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.
  • Sir William MacEwan (1848 – 1924): A pioneer in brain surgery and a key player in the development of the ‘Erskine limb’ for amputees.
  • Professor David Wheatley: Performed Scotland’s first cardiac transplant in 1992. 

The mural, which forms part of a wider refurbishment of GRI’s main medical block entrance, commemorates the GRIs impressive history. It was unveiled on Wednesday by the Chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and attended by a number of long serving staff from across the hospital. 

Chairman of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Professor John Brown CBE, said:

“Glasgow Royal Infirmary has a long and proud history in the west of Scotland and indeed globally. Its 225 years’ serving Glasgow is testament to staff, past and present, who have worked, and continue to work tirelessly to deliver top class healthcare and treatment, while driving forward positive change and innovation across the health sector.   

“Our new mural pays homage to some of those individuals who helped revolutionise modern medicine and shape Glasgow Royal Infirmary. We hope it provides inspiration to visitors and staff and acts as a reminder to people of what a symbolic place the GRI is, and its position in the history of medicine.” 


For further media information either telephone 0141 201 4429 or email [email protected]

Pic:  From old to new 


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Last Updated: 11 November 2021