The foundation stone of the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary was laid on 25th June 1866 by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales, and the hospital was formally opened by the duchess of Sutherland, 16th December 1869.
The origins of the hospital can be traced back to 1804 when the “House of Recovery” was opened to the public in the nearby suburb of Etruria. That hospital was soon replaced with a larger infirmary, opening in 1819. The infirmary suffered subsidence and plans were drawn up to build a new hospital in Hartshill.
The pavilion principle was adopted by the architects, and the main building had accommodation for 167 beds, with 1,500 cubic feet of air being allowed for each patient in the ordinary wards, and 1,875 cubic feet in the “special case” wards, and in the fever hospital, which forms a detached block. Another separate building was an asylum for incurables, founded by Mr Smith Child. In total the cost to build the infirmary was £33,704
The hospital saw expansion over the years including the addition of a dedicated operating block in the 1950s. The block consists of three theatres and a recovery ward, plus associated facilities such as scrub rooms. The brutalist-styled A&E building was one of the latest additions.
The Royal Infirmary was merged with the nearby Orthopaedic Hospital and City General Hospital to form the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. As a result, new facilities were built and all services were transferred to the new single site in 2012.