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Our history - a 130 year celebration

West Wing garden areaThe Oxford Eye Hospital celebrates its 130 year anniversary in 2016.

The hospital was founded by Robert Doyne, who was a local doctor equivalent to a modern day GPSI (General Practitioner with Special Interest) in July 1886. It was initially an Eye Dispensary in a builder's yard, which then moved to 21-22 Wellington Square (now the site of the University Chest).

In 1894 the Eye Hospital Committee obtained a lease from the County Hospital and the hospital moved to Walton Street, into the Fever Block of the Radcliffe Infirmary.

In 1902 Robert Doyne was made an honorary M.A. of the University of Oxford and was appointed Senior Surgeon to the Oxford Eye Hospital, Consulting Ophthalmic Surgeon to the Radcliffe Infirmary, and to the new post of Reader in Ophthalmology to the University. He resigned from the Oxford Eye Hospital in 1912, after 25 years' continuous service

The Fever Block was not an ideal environment for a hospital. It was reported that walls collapsed and that it was plagued by mice and black beetles. After several break-ins a dog was bought to warn off burglars. It was the role of the surgeon of the day to exercise the dog!

In the late 1970s the operating theatre was moved from the Fever Block in to the newly built Towler Theatre Suite, and in 1988 the inpatient ward moved into an empty ward within the Radcliffe Infirmary building. The original Fever Block was then developed into the outpatient facilities for the Oxford Eye Hospital.

The Oxford Eye Hospital, now part of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, moved with all the Radcliffe Infirmary services in to the West Wing on the John Radcliffe Hospital site in January 2007.

During 2016 the Oxford Eye Hospital is celebrating its 130 year anniversary with a series of events for patients and staff.

For more information please see:

Rebecca Turner, Nurse Consultant and Clinical lead
March 2016

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