History of Fireclay Health

Fireclay Health was formed by the merger of St George Health Centre & Lodgeside Surgery on 1st April 2018. This name was chosen due to the historical link with mining in the St George and Kingswood area.

We will continue to use the Lodgeside (Surgery) and St George (Health Centre) names to identify the site at which patients will be seen.

a close up of a sign

St George Health Centre

The medical practice that became St George Health Centre was established well over a hundred years ago. Initially based at Clouds Hill House and served by several generations of the Foss family, the practice moved in 1963 to its current site as one of the first purpose-built and pre-fabricated health centres in the country. With time, the original health centre became unable to sustain the requirements of modern healthcare and a new building was constructed in 1999.

Lodgeside Surgery

It would seem the practice started in Kingswood in about 1911 with Dr Davidson, at a time when the Lloyd George Health scheme was being established with the aim of making health care available to working class people. Dr Davidson practiced from what was then 57 Soundwell Road. Dr Vinter bought the practice in 1932 when Kingswood was a fast growing area. The practice was very small and he purchased two other small practices in Fishponds Road and Devon Road Whitehall, in order to make a living. In 1937 he purchased 267 Soundwell Road with plans to extend the surgery into the back garden however it was not until the lifting of building regulations after the second World War that he was able to achieve this in 1951. Dr Edith Little became an assistant to Dr Vinter in 1948, later becoming a partner. It was rather rare to have a lady partner in those days and this led to a number of enquiries from other male practitioners as to how it worked. An appointment system, which is now taken so much for granted, was introduced in 1954, the practice probably being only the second to do so in the Bristol area.

In 1981, Eastville Health Centre was opened. In 1992 the Partners applied successfully to succeed to the list of Dr O'Brien at Eastville Health Centre and on the 1st December 1998 similarly took over the list of Dr Harold Handel who practiced in Chiphouse Road, Kingswood. This increased the practice list to approximately 11100.

Dr Vinter's idea that health care should be delivered from premises in the grounds of Cossham hospital finally came to fruition in June 1990, when Lodgeside Surgery was opened as a new, purpose built premises in the corner of Cossham Hospital grounds. This building was extended over the years to provide a Pharmacy and further clinic rooms. On the 1st October 2003, the Practice decided after a lot of discussions, both in the Practice and with the local Primary Care Trust, to stop working at Eastville Health Centre and concentrate on services at the Lodgeside Surgery site.

Based on 'A History of the Practice' by Norman Taylor and updated by Michael Doyle and Martyn Nicholls.