Grosvenor Hospital was a psychiatric facility and disability institution established by the New South Wales Government at Summer Hill in 1965. It was operated by the Health Department and occupied the buildings that had formerly been the Benevolent Society's Renwick Home for Infants, Summer Hill. It provided care for children until the 1980s. In 1985 it stopped being listed as a hospital for the developmentally disabled and became known as the Grosvenor Centre.
State Records Archives Investigator provides an account of the history of Grosvenor Hospital:
Grosvenor Hospital functioned as both an in-patient and out-patient facility. The out-patient service "provided for the diagnosis and assessment of mentally retarded persons of all ages", which from the beginning experienced a heavy demand for clinic appointments. In-patient facilities totalled 80 cots; 50 cots were allocated for patients requiring permanent care and these were fully occupied at all times, 6 cots were reserved for patients admitted for investigation, and the remainder were utilized for patients requiring temporary, short-term care. The hospital continued as a facility for children through the 1970s.
An inquiry into Mental Health was undertaken in 1983. Known as the Richmond Report, in part it recommended progressively reducing the size and the number of existing Fifth Schedule hospitals by decentralising the services they provided. The Richmond recommendations were adopted as government policy and their implementation commenced in 1984.
The Mental Health Act 1983 specifically excluded anyone with a "developmental disability of mind" being defined as a mentally ill person. From 1 August 1985 the separation of institutional services for mental health and developmental disability became effective as recommended by the Richmond Report, and Grosvenor Hospital was removed as a Fifth Schedule hospital. This report also recommended the development of small community residential units to re-house those currently living in existing institutions. Known as deinstitutionalization, many families were concerned that life in a group home would not be as good for their loved ones. In their view, life in a well-run institution would provide more opportunities for organised activities and recreation.
In 1985 Grosvenor was identified as a hospital for the developmentally disabled in the Department of Health Annual Report but by 1986 it was no longer listed.
1965 - 1985 Grosvenor Hospital
1985 - 2009 Grosvenor Centre
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Artistic paediatrician cared for disabled', The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 August 2011. Also available at http://www.smh.com.au/comment/obituaries/artistic-paediatrician-cared-for-disabled-20110809-1ikre.html; 'Grosvenor Centre', in State Records Authority of New South Wales website, State of New South Wales through the State Records Authority of NSW 2016, https://www.records.nsw.gov.au/agency/6529; 'Property ID: 40 [46-56 Liverpool Road, "Carleton", "Renwick Hospital for Infants"]', in knowthatproperty.com, http://www.knowthatproperty.com/PropertyDetails.aspx?propid=40.
Prepared by: Naomi Parry
Created: 6 May 2014, Last modified: 19 March 2015