Children’s hospital celebrates 166 years

Patients, visitors and staff with be marking the 166th birthday of the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital in Norwich on 3 April.

The hospital cares for thousands of children each year, from babies aged 23 weeks through to young people up to the age of 16, and over in some cases.

The Norwich infirmary for sick children admitted its first inpatients on 3 April 1854, two years after London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital, and is the second oldest children’s hospital in the country.

This year’s occasion will be celebrated with a special cake which has been kindly provided by Serco.

The children’s hospital was created thanks to the generosity of Jenny Lind, dubbed the Swedish Nightingale, who was one of the best known and most popular entertainers in mid-19th century Europe.

In 1847 she gave her first concerts in Norwich and they proved so popular that a third concert was arranged with proceeds going to open an infirmary for sick children.

In today’s hospital, Buxton Ward treats 3,500 young inpatients each year with a further 900 babies cared for in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Staff on the Children’s Emergency Department care for 24,000 children each year while around 48,000 children attend outpatient appointments.

Laura Schaffer, Divisional Operations Director for Women and Children, said: “We know the hospital is close to the hearts of many people in Norfolk and over the years, donations have helped fund the children’s playground, virtual reality TV and games, a sensory room and so much more.

“We are hugely grateful for the support we receive at the N&N Hospitals Charity for the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital to enhance the environment and provide lots of extras for our youngest patients and their families.”

For more information about the charity and how to donate to the Jenny Lind then visit our website at

CrombieChildren’s hospital celebrates 166 years