Dr Gray’s hospital is a district general hospital based in Elgin, Moray. It is an Acute Teaching Hospital with 5 Theaters, a High Dependency Unit and part of the Scottish major trauma network. In 2013 Dr Gray’s had 55000 patient admissions, both in and out patient. Once carers, visitors and staff are included, this annual figure rises threefold. The potential audience is extremely diverse as it is drawn from all those using the hospitals, encompassing all ages, and the full spectrum of social and economic populations, as well as a wide geographic spread.
In-patient services at Dr Gray’s are provided in, geriatric assessment, gynaecology, medicine, obstetrics, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, paediatrics and surgery. By January 1997 redevelopments included a new acute psychiatric ward and new out-patient, accident and emergency and imaging departments. The site is a mixture of new and historically listed accommodation with an interesting history of development in Elgin, a town with a population of approximately 22,000.
The hospital was founded as a result of a bequest by Dr Alexander Gray (d. 1807), who was born in Elgin but worked as a surgeon for the East India Company. His will was contested by his family, but eventually his bequest of £20,000 ‘for the establishment of a hospital in the town of Elgin for the sick and poor of the county of Murray (Moray)’ was proven in the Court of Chancery, and work on building the hospital at the western end of the town’s High Street took place between 1815 and 1818.
The hospital was designed by James Gillespie Graham, 1815-19, featuring a large classical block with giant Doric columns that supported a portico and was topped with drum tower and dome. The hospital opened on 1 January 1819, providing 30 beds that could be used for any parishioner of Moray who could produce a note of recommendation from their local minister of the established church. Often those of the Episcopalian or Catholic faith were turned away, causing conflict with the Burgh council on a number of occasions.