The Lady Bowen Hospital, situated in Ann Street, Brisbane, was previously known as the Queensland Lying-In Hospital. It was renamed the Lady Bowen Hospital, after the wife of Queensland's first governor, in November 1867. The Lady Bowen Hospital provided hospital care for indigent, unmarried and destitute women of Queensland and their babies. On 29 December 1889, the new Lady Bowen Hospital, located at 497-535 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill, was opened. A Ladies Committee ran the hospital from 1864 to 1924 when the government's newly created Brisbane and South Coast Hospitals Board took control. The Lady Bowen Hospital closed on 25 March 1938 when the new Brisbane Women's Hospital was opened at Herston.
The Ladies Committee encouraged paying clients to make use of the hospital's facilities, as the income would help fund the running of the hospital.
Medical officers advocated the benefits of a hospital birth in an effort to reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate.
In 1913, Florence Featherstonhaugh resigned as Matron of the Roma Hospital to take up the position of Matron of the Lady Bowen Hospital. She was the Matron of the Lady Bowen Hospital from 1913 to 1938, and Matron of the Royal Women's Hospital, Brisbane, from 1938 to 1943.
Robert Allan was Acting Medical Superintendent at the Brisbane Hospital in 1917. On returning home from World War I, he practised as a specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology in Brisbane from late 1919 to 1925. He was appointed honorary obstetrician to the Lady Bowen Hospital and assistant gynaecologist to the Brisbane General Hospital.
Sources used to compile this entry: Patrick, Ross, The Royal Women's Hospital, Brisbane : the first fifty years, Boolarong Publications, Brisbane, 1988, 186 pp.
Prepared by: Lee Butterworth
Created: 22 August 2012, Last modified: 6 November 2014