Queen Alexandra Hospital

The Queen Alexandra Hospital (commonly known as QA Hospital, or simply QA) in Cosham, Portsmouth, is one of the NHS hospitals serving the city of Portsmouth and the surrounding area. There are several small treatment outstations which have been opened to relieve the overload at the QA Hospital. It is publicly owned and is administered by the Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust and has a Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit attached.

Queen Alexandra Hospital
Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust
Queen Alexandra Hospital
Shown in Hampshire
LocationSouthwick Hill Road, Cosham, Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Coordinates50.8505°N 1.0683°W / 50.8505; -1.0683
Care systemNational Health Service
Affiliated university
Emergency departmentYes
Bedscirca 1,400


Early history

Originally a military hospital, The Queen Alexandra (named for Alexandra of Denmark, King Edward VII's consort) was built between 1904 and 1908 to replace an earlier hospital which stood in Lion Street in Portsea, Portsmouth.[1] The original buildings were of red brick construction,[1] and the site was in a largely rural area, linked to Portsmouth and the surrounding villages (now suburbs) by a tram service.[1]

The demilitarisation of the hospital began in 1926 when it was handed to the Ministry of Pensions, to care for disabled ex-servicemen.[1] The Second World War saw the first civilian patients admitted, and several temporary huts added to the site to increase capacity.[1] As with many makeshift hospitals from the era, the huts stayed in place for several years after the war.[1]

Following the creation of the National Health Service (NHS) in 1948, all but 100 of the 640 beds were transferred to the NHS in 1951, with the remainder reserved for ex-servicemen.[1] A League of Friends was established one year later.[1] Development of the hospital under the NHS was rapid, and a Cerebral Palsy Unit was built in 1955,[1] with two classrooms, a physiotherapy room, a speech and language therapy room, a staff room, and a kitchen. The unit opened in 1956. This was followed in 1957 by an outpatients unit, and in 1958 by the hospital chapel.[1]

In 1960 the existing buildings were upgraded with a new boiler system.[1] The League of Friends funded two new day rooms, which were added in 1962, when the main block was refurbished. A library was added in 1969.[1]

Later in the 1960s, it was announced that the Queen Alexandra would become a district general hospital, complete with an Accident and Emergency department. This involved the construction of several new buildings, which began in 1968 with an eye department,[1] a training school for nurses[1] and two three-storey blocks for staff accommodation. A further two accommodation blocks, this time nine storeys high, were added later, being completed in 1976. Only two of the planned three new ward blocks were built.[1]

Patients were transferred from the Royal Portsmouth Hospital in 1979,[1] with the Queen Alexandra Hospital, including a new breast unit, being officially opened a year later by Princess Alexandra.[1] Over the subsequent three years, the South Block was refurbished, culminating in the Trevor Howell Day Hospital opening in 1983.[1] Five years later, a new diabetes unit opened, followed by a rehabilitation unit in 1991.[1]


A further rebuilding of the hospital was announced in 1999 although the procurement under a Private Finance Initiative contract was not completed until 2005.[1] Some of the original buildings of the military hospital were demolished to make way for the new main hospital buildings. The works were designed by the Building Design Partnership and completed by Carillion at a cost of £236 million.[2] In October 2009 the new Queen Alexandra Hospital was officially opened by The Princess Royal.[3]

The annual payment the trust will make to its private sector contractor under the PFI contract is £32.866 million,[2] subject to satisfactory performance by the contractor and other factors such as repayment and refinancing options.[2] The contract is for 35 years; payments commence after 3.5 years upon the successful construction and handover of the new facilities to the trust.[2]

A Care Quality Commission inspection in 2015 rated the trust as "outstanding" in relation to being caring and effective but needed to improve providing "safe, responsive and well-led services". Conditions in the accident and emergency department were so overcrowded that some patients with serious conditions had waited over an hour to be assessed.[4]

See also


  1. Lambert, Tim. "A brief history of the Queen Alexandra Hospital". Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  2. "Written answers". House of Commons. 20 June 2006. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  3. "Royal Diary of Engagements". Buckingham Palace. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  4. "Queen Alexandra Hospital inspectors stopped patients colliding". BBC News. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2015.