Our history

Each individual site which makes up Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals has a proud history and tradition…

Doncaster Royal Infirmary started life as the Doncaster Dispensary in French Gate (now Greyfriars Road) in 1792. The foundation stone of the first purpose-built hospital in Doncaster, St James’ Hospital, was laid in 1852. It was demolished in 1963 to make way for town improvements. An infirmary was opened in 1867 as the Doncaster General Infirmary and Dispensary. Within 20 years, the hospital was too small and unsuitable for the town’s needs and developments in medicine. A three-day fund-raising bazaar was opened by HRH Princess Christian, and this connection led to Home Office approval for the institution to be known as Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Dispensary. Plans for another new hospital came to fruition in 1930, when the first part on Thorne Road (now the West Ward Block) opened to patients. The East Ward Block opened in 1968, the Women’s Hospital in 1969, and the Children’s Hospital in 1989.

Bassetlaw Hospital, Worksop celebrated 100 years of healthcare on the Kilton Hill site in 2002. Hospital services began with the opening of the 5-bed Victoria Hospital in 1900. It became part of the NHS in 1948 and was demolished in 1996. The foundation stone for Kilton Hospital (now Bassetlaw Hospital) was laid in 1902; it was known as Worksop’s Poor Law Infirmary and cost £18,300 to build. The first phase of the new hospital was opened on the same site in 1984. Work was completed in 1987 and casualty and inpatient facilities at Retford Hospital were transferred to the new site in 1988.

Montagu Hospital, Mexborough began it’s illustrious history as buildings donated by local landowner, Andrew Montagu. A 14-bed hospital was opened in 1890 in Bank Street. By 1900, the hospital was too small, and land at the junction of Adwick Road and Cemetery Road was purchased for £756. Financial problems dogged the hospital – in 1920, working men agreed to increase their subscriptions to the hospital from a penny to tuppence a week. More land was bought and buildings erected, with 19 foundation stones laid by members of the Board of Management, local dignitaries, and workers’ representatives at the start of further building work in 1924. By 1925, workers were contributing threepence a week to the hospital’s upkeep. With minor changes, the hospital continued in much the same form for 50 years. Significant investment was made, particularly in the 1990s, improving and expanding the services provided.

Retford Hospital was built in 1922; the foundation stone was laid by the Mayor of Retford, Alderman SH Clay, on behalf of subscribers to the Retford War Memorial Fund. It comprised two wards, a private patients’ wing, an operating theatre, casualty service, and X-ray. It was extended in the late 1960s and early 1970s with two more wards, which were used for long-stay, elderly patients. The operating theatre was closed in 1980 and inpatient services were transferred to Bassetlaw Hospital in the late 1980s. The newer wards were converted to outpatient accommodation and a Physiotherapy/Occupational Therapy Department. Genito-urinary Medicine was located at Retford Hospital in the early 1990s.

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