Our achievements

Our AchievementsSince opening its doors in 1862, Birmingham Children’s Hospital can boast many achievements and a number of firsts including:

  • 1928  Leonard Parsons is first to treat children with rickets, by administering irradiated cholesterol. He later became the first Professor of Paediatrics in the UK
  • 1933  Parsons, Howarth, Hickmans and Cant are the first to use synthesised vitamin C to treat children with scurvy
  • 1953  Bickel, Gerrard and Hickmans develop the first dietary treatment for the metabolic disease, Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • 1954  Dr Roy Astley performs the world’s first cine-angiogram of a child’s heart
  • 1958  Abrams, d’Abreu and their team, are the first to complete paediatric open heart surgery, using a cardiopulmonary bypass
  • 1960  Anderson, Gerrard and Smellie identify gluten as the harmful factor in coeliac disease and successfully treat the disease by removing it from the diet
  • 1978  Following a successful pilot study, Raine, Griffiths and Mann started, for the whole of Birmingham, the first screening programme in the UK to test newborn babies for sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemia
  • 1989  Kelly and Buckels pioneer ‘cut-down’ liver transplants for infants in the UK
  • 1993  A joint BCH and Queen Elizabeth Hospital team performs Britain’s first combined liver and bowel transplant in a young child
  • 1999  Joseph De Giovanni fits a pacemaker into a three-day-old baby—Britain’s youngest patient to have one fitted
  • 2001  The successful separation of conjoined twins, joined at the base of the back, was performed by Tony Hockley—the first operation of its kind in the UK
  • 2001  The Eye Department is designated as one of two national centres for the treatment of cancer of the eye (Retinoblastoma)
  • 2003  The Dermatology service opens to provide a national service for patients with Epidermylosis Bullosa (EB)
  • 2003  A building to house the specialist unit for children with sickle cell anaemia and Thalassaemia is opened
  • 2003  The first Acute Admissions Unit outside London, for children and adolescents with mental health conditions opens
  • 2007  HRH Prince Edward opens our nationally designated Burns Centre, thanks to the fundraising of the general public
  • 2009  We are the first beneficiary to work with BBC WM as their charity partner, to build a super-regional renal unit
  • 2010  We are the first hospital in the UK to open a hybrid operating theatre for our heart patients, putting us at the forefront of cardiac surgery in the UK. This was made possible by a fundraising campaign
  • 2014  We win an international award for our Extra Corporeal Life Saving programme, in recognition of the outstanding work delivered in our intensive care unit