History Of The Dental Hospital
The Dental Hospital was founded in 1883 to serve the dental side
of the medical school by allowing staff and students to attend to
patients unable to pay for private dental treatment. All these
hospitals were intended for the poor, for it was not until the end
of the 19th century that richer folk sought hospital
treatment. It was opened in Grosvenor Street, All Saints
Manchester. Since then the Dental Hospital and School have
occupied several other buildings.
The passing of the 1878 Dental Act had introduced a new Register
for Licensed Dentists (an effort to exclude quacks from the trade),
and once the Royal College of Surgeons gave the new hospital formal
recognition as a teaching site in 1884, students began to seek
instruction. As for patients, the hospital's governing body decided
to open the Hospital's treatment rooms three evenings a week for
the working poor who would otherwise lose wages if attending in
day-time. This scheme (which was never adopted in any ordinary
hospital) proved a roaring success, and by 1887 the Hospital was
treating more than 10,000 patients per year, the great majority
during the evenings.
Several large donations during the early 1900s secured a site,
and a new Victoria Dental Hospital was constructed next to the
University Museum on Oxford Road (of which the dental building is
now a part). A major donation to Manchester hospitals in the
1920s and 1930s came from a new trade -- from Sir Samuel Turner,
the Rochdale businessman and head of Turner and Newall asbestos
manufacturers, who paid for a new dental hospital.
It was to have been officially opened in June 1940, but the
Second World War intervened:
The opening ceremony was cancelled but the hospital was at work
from May. Seven months later it was bombed during an air-raid, and
passed much of the rest of the war without windows, but it took on
numerous war duties allocated by the Ministry of Health, including
routine dentistry for all service personnel, evacuees, refugees,
and war-related factory workers.
The long-awaited redevelopment of the University Dental Hospital
of Manchester was finally completed in the early months of 1972.
The clinical workload of the Hospital had continued to increase
sharply, especially in primary care and oral surgery, and the new
facilities were also intended to enhance relationships between the
Dental Hospital, the University and other local teaching hospitals.
New facilities, a new curriculum and new visiting arrangements with
city dental clinics were all intended to raise the profile of
Manchester as a centre of excellence in dental teaching, and the
1970s did indeed see a steady rise in student enrolment. The
re-equipped Dental Hospital also provided better training for
dental technicians (building on the introduction of technician
qualifications in the mid-1960s), and of dental surgery assistants
and other ancillary staff. Specialists in relatively new
fields such as plastic surgery and speech therapy were appointed to
the hospital, and ancillary departments and clinics, such as oral
pathology and paediatric dentistry, were squeezed in alongside the
more established dental work.
In 1991, the MRI, St. Mary's, the Royal Eye Hospital and the
Dental Hospital became the Manchester Central Hospitals and
Community Care National Health Service Trust.
For many decades the state of the teeth of Manchester had been a
cause of serious concern. The 1990s saw a vigorous fund-raising
effort directed at local and national groups for the creation of a
new Dental Education Centre. The School's reputation for education
was already impressive: By the mid-1990s some 25% of all
postgraduate dental students in England and Wales had passed
through its doors. When the new Educational Centre opened in 1998,
£2.25 million had been collected, and the fund continued to expand.
All branches of the profession were served by the Centre including
dental therapists, hygienists, technicians and nurses. Also in
1998, the Dental Hospital was nominated as the regional centre for
the management of specialised Cleft Lip and Palate services. This
service brought together a range of specialists, including
surgeons, orthodontists and speech and language therapists, and
became a template for 15 new regional centres across the UK. That
same year saw the establishment in Manchester of the Cochrane
Centre for Oral Health, one of a range of international centres
covering many areas of medicine, which collected and analysed
research results as a basis for 'evidence-based practice.'
The Dental Hospital also co-operated with the Infirmary for some
surgical cases, and so did the Manchester Foot Hospital, on Anson
Street (near Victoria Park), which had been founded in 1920 to
train chiropodists and give free treatment to the needy. Like the
Dental Hospital it did not have beds, but ran daytime and evening
out-patient clinics. Foot problems, though important to many, were
even less glamorous than those of teeth.