140 YEARS OF CARING FOR FAMILIES

The Marshall Liberal Government has congratulated staff and volunteers at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, which has today marked 140 years since the laying of the foundation stone. 

The Governor attended an official function at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital at 11am, exactly 140 years since the foundation stone was laid.

“From its humble beginnings as the ‘little charity hospital for the poor’, with five nurses and 168 admissions in the first year, the hospital now sees hundreds of thousands of people every year from all over Australia and the South Pacific region,” said Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.

“Over the decades the Women’s and Children’s Hospital has become highly regarded for its commitment to high quality research and teaching, as well as the high level of care it provides some of our youngest and most vulnerable children and babies.”

Lindsey Gough, the Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, said it is an honour to lead a hospital with such an extensive history in South Australia.

“There are very few South Australians who don’t have some connection with the Women’s and Children’s Hospital or the former Queen Victoria Hospital – whether that’s the birth of a child or having a broken bone set – and it holds a very special and well-deserved place in the hearts of the community,” Ms Gough said. 

Other Adelaide institutions - The Adelaide Oval, the Adelaide City Council and the Adelaide Festival Centre - will also mark the occasion, posting messages of congratulations on screens across the city and turning their lights red and blue, the official colours of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network. 

“The Women’s and Children’s Hospital and its wider network leads the way in providing specialist care to children, women and babies, and will continue to do so when it opens at its new site adjacent to the Royal Adelaide Hospital,” said Minister Wade.

“The new taskforce driving the co-location of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be seeing how we can build on the network’s proud past to support the significant impact it will continue to have on South Australians well into the future.

“I congratulate everyone who has contributed in some way to the excellent care and stellar reputation of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. On behalf of the wider community, I say thank you.”

  

BY THE NUMBERS

1878 - The Adelaide Children’s hospital had five nurses and 168 admissions which did not include children under the age of two.

Bronchitis, chorea and congestion of the lungs were the most common conditions. There were also several outbreaks of measles, gastro and polio in the early years.

2018 - Approximately 4,800 babies will be born at WCH; 46,000 will come to the Paediatric Emergency Department, 16,000 to the Women’s Assessment Service and 220,000 outpatients across the network.

Tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies, bronchitis and asthma, dental procedures, middle ear infections, upper respiratory infections and acute leukaemia are the most common admissions.


TIMELINE

20 June 1878 – Foundation stone laid.

6 August 1879 – The hospital was declared open by Lady Jervois, wife of the Governor of SA and hospital patroness.

1879 –The Children's Hospital established the first nurse training school in South Australia.

1893 – South Australia's first female medical school graduate Dr Laura Fowler starts work at the hospital.

1895 - The hospital built the first Bacteriological Laboratory of its kind in South Australia.

1964 – Research collaboration begins with the University of Adelaide Department of Paediatrics moving on-site.

1989 – Amalgamation of the Children’s Hospital with the Queen Victoria Hospital, making the Women’s and Children’s the first hospital in Australia to combine health services for women, children and young people.

8 May 1995 – The Women's and Babies Division, housed in the new Queen Victoria Building at the North Adelaide site, opened for business. The first baby is born on the same day.

2004 – The Midwifery Group Practise (MGP) is formed, assigning future mums identified as low-risk with their own primary midwife.

2009 – Australia’s first high definition CT scanner was installed at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

2014 – SAHMRI launched the Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children theme in collaboration with the Women’s and Children’s Health Network.

Queen Victoria Hospital

Almost a quarter of a million South Australians began life at the Queen Victoria Hospital.

1900 – The South Australian Company donated land in Rose Park and grants of £2550 were made to enable the building of a private maternity hospital.

24 May 1902 – The hospital known as “The Queen’s Home’ was officially opened on what would have been Queen Victoria's 83rd birthday.

1917 – Unmarried women were admitted to the hospital for the first time.

1920 – Antenatal clinics began in the Queen's Home.

1946 – Declared a public hospital under the provisions of the Hospital Benefits Act.

1975 – State's first Neonatal Intensive Care Unit opens.


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