The Northfield Infectious Diseases Hospital was opened in 1932 at Northfield. It was run by a board of management to care for and isolate people suffering from infectious diseases including influenza, scarlet fever, diphtheria, poliomyelitis and tuberculosis (also known as TB or consumption). Both children and adults were patients at the Hospital. In 1948 the management of Northfield Infectious Diseases Hospital was transferred to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and it became known as the Northfield Wards of the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
The Northfield Infectious Diseases Hospital was opened at Northfield in 1932. Until this time patients with infectious diseases were cared for in the Infectious Diseases Block at the Adelaide Hospital in the former Adelaide Lunatic Asylum building. The unsuitability of the building led to calls for a new hospital to be built. However, despite the passing of relevant legislation in 1922 arrangements for the building of the new hospital did not commence until 1928.
The South Australian Government arranged contracts for the building of the hospital on an area of land at Northfield known as 'Conrad's land'. The hospital was to be managed by a Board comprising the Lord Mayor of the City of Adelaide and representatives of Local Boards of Health and the South Australian branch of the Australian Medical Association.
The first patients were transferred from the Adelaide Hospital's Isolation Block to Northfield Infectious Diseases Hospital's in October 1932. New patients were referred by medical officers of the Local Board of Health.
By the 1940s, immunisation and the introduction of new drugs reduced the number of patients requiring isolation and the hospital was under-used. The management of the Northfield Infectious Diseases Hospital was taken over by the Royal Adelaide Hospital on 1 April 1948 and it was re-named the Northfield Wards of the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
1932 - 1948 Northfield Infectious Diseases Hospital
1948 - 1981 Northfield Wards of the Royal Adelaide Hospital
1981 - Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre
Sources used to compile this entry: State Records of South Australia, 'Agency Details: GA1279 Northfield Infectious Diseases Hospital, later Northfield Wards of the Royal Adelaide Hospital', in State Records of South Australia, ArchivesSearch, http://archives.sa.gov.au.
Prepared by: Gary George and Karen George
Created: 15 November 2012, Last modified: 10 June 2014