Last week, we were delighted to pick up a new accession from the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion. It consisted of 12 operation and anaesthetic books and 8 registers of blind and partially sighted people, which date from approximately the 1950s to 2000. The image shows a selection of the volumes.
These records complement a number of LHSA’s existing collections including the records of RNIB Edinburgh and Lothians (Acc 13/017), case notes relating to the eye department of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and records from the Eye, Ear and Throat Infirmary (LHB32). The Eye Infirmary of Edinburgh was originally founded in 1834, separately from the existing Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. Cases relating to the ear and throat were additionally served here from 1883 and the Eye Infirmary moved to the Eye Dispensary in Cambridge Street in 1922. During this period, some eye cases were also treated at the Royal Infirmary in Lauriston Place as LHSA holds some eye ward books from this time. On the formation of the NHS in 1948, the Eye, Ear and Throat Infirmary as it had become came under the control of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and Associated Hospitals Board. From 1949, in patients were only treated at the Royal Infirmary, however eye out patients continued to be treated at the Cambridge Street premises between 1949 and 1969, until the completion of the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion in 1969 when all ophthalmic services moved to this building. The new accession, therefore, covers the period when services for eye treatment were in transition towards the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion. We hope that the records will help to provide our enquirers with a more complete picture of eye care in Edinburgh over the years.