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Health Service In Blairgowrie, Rattray And District

Health Service In Blairgowrie, Rattray And District

Photo courtesy of OH Archive

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1901 Health Services & Hospitals


Health Services



Health Service In Blairgowrie, Rattray And District

Most people in Blair will recognise the Cottage, but did you know there used to be another hospital in Blairgowrie?

The Roman poet Virgil said “The greatest wealth is health” and Blairgowrie is no exception. Read on to find out the history of the health services in the area.


(Now Blairgowrie Community Hospital)

Perth Road, Blairgowrie, PH10 6EE. 

Tel. 01250  874466

In his book ‘The History of Blairgowrie (Town, Parish and District)’ published in 1899, John A. R. Macdonald wrote:

‘To commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee, 1887, the erection of a Cottage Hospital was proposed, but through lack of interest the suggestion fell flat. It was, however, quietly worked up by the late John Panton, and, since his death, by Lieut.-Col. G.G. MacLaren, M.D. of Falcon House, with such success that about £2500 has been raised by subscription ( Lieut.-General Sir J.C. Rattray, £1000; Sir William Laird of Gartsherrie, £500, etc), and ere long the noble aim of the promoters will be accomplished’.

That ‘noble aim’ was accomplished two years later when on 30 May 1901 The Blairgowrie and Rattray District Cottage Hospital was officially opened by General Sir James Clerk Rattray of Craighall.

It was designed by local architects Lake and James Falconer and cost £2643 to build. Patients were charged 3 shillings and sixpence per day, but those who were unable to pay were given free treatment. Fund raising events were held to meet the annual running costs which came to around £335. The hospital was extended in 1940 when the Dr Hood and Dr Shaw Memorial Wing was added, and in 1948 the hospital joined the National Health Service (NHS).

In the 1960s the hospital had an operating theatre and X-Ray unit with a surgeon visiting weekly to carry out operations. Many local residents can recall having their tonsils removed there. In the summer of 1963, a Maternity Unit was opened. In 1990 surgical operations stopped and the Maternity Unit closed, these services are now provided by Perth Royal Infirmary and Ninewells in Dundee.

Over the years there have been many changes  to the services on offer, and in 2014 a £2.36 million redevelopment project was completed. This includes an inpatient GP unit, an enhanced physiotherapy and occupational therapy area as well as a minor injury unit. 

In 2010 an exhibition giving an insight into the history of the hospital and including a display of medical equipment and surgical instruments was set up, which may be viewed in the main reception area. A booklet charting the history of the Blairgowrie and Strathmore Hospitals, written by Dr James McKellican, is available from the Dundee University Online Shop 

For details of the facilities and services available visit: 


The Strathmore Hospital, Rattray, was opened in 1904 to care for patients with infectious diseases. Back then diseases such as tuberculosis, diphtheria and scarlet fever were common. A small portable unit was prepared to cope in the event of a smallpox outbreak. Thanks to vaccines and immunisation this type of hospital was no longer required and it was used for some time as a home for the chronic sick and for geriatric patients before closing in 1982.

For more including maps showing the locations of the hospitals visit: 


The town now has two purpose- built Medical Centres both of which have a number of General Practitioners and nurses working under the same roof.  Before this General Practitioners would use a room within their own homes as a surgery.


Jessie Street, Blairgowrie, PH10 6BT

Tel. 01250 872552 

Opened in 1992, the doctors and nurses at the Strathmore Surgery offer the community all the medical services that can be expected of a modern health service.

For details visit 


Ann Street, Blairgowrie, PH10 6EF.

Tel. 01250 872033 

Opened in 1998 Ardblair Medical Practice offers its patients a wide range of medical services.

For further details visit 


Ambulance Station, Ann Street, Blairgowrie, PH10 6EF

In 2014 Blairgowrie’s Ambulance Station received a £325000 expansion and upgrade. One emergency ambulance and three patient transport vehicles operate out of the Ann Street facility. Every year, the station responds, on average, to 1100 emergency calls and 260 requests from doctors for emergency hospital transfers. More than 7200 patients are transported to and from their hospital outpatient appointments.

It is worth remembering that before the establishment in 1948 of the NHS Blairgowrie and District relied on public generosity for the provision and upkeep of the town’s ambulance service. In 1936 Sir Michael Nairn, Bart. Of Pitcarmick, Strathardle, gifted an ambulance for the use of the district served by the Blairgowrie and Rattray Cottage hospital. The vehicle was supplied by Harper’s Garage (now Norman Laing & Co.,27-29 Perth Street, Blairgowrie). The Dundee Evening Telegraph reported on the inauguration ceremony on 7 January 1936 and that, following the ceremony, the ambulance made a tour of the district it would serve – Blairgowrie and Rattray, Strathardle and Glenshee, Kinloch, Lethendy, Caputh and Clunie.

For more about the Scottish Ambulance Service visit: 

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