In 1941, as a result of World War II, many members of the Polish Army found their way to Britain. Amongst them were some medical specialists from Polish Medical Schools.
On 24 February 1941, the President of the Polish Republic issued a decree officially instituting the Polish School of Medicine. On the same day, the University of Edinburgh signed an agreement with the Polish exiled government.
Part of the Western General Hospital became the Polish or Paderewski Hospital. 120 beds were made available for soldiers and civilians, while clinical medicine was also taught. The School closed in 1949, having admitted a total of 337 students.