The Royal Hobart Hospital replaced the Hobart General Hospital in 1938, remaining on the same site in Liverpool Street. It was a public hospital run by its own Board and then by the Health Department and its successors. Adoptions took place from the maternity unit at the Royal Hobart and, later, its Obstetric Division at Gore Street. State wards and other children in 'care' were occasionally placed temporarily on its children's and psychiatric wards.
In 1938, the Hobart General Hospital became the Royal Hobart Hospital with its own coat of arms. The Latin motto underneath the coat of arms meant 'to care with compassion'.
The Premier, AG Ogilvie opened a newly built hospital with 304 beds on 18 January 1939.
On 15 November 1943, an 11 bed maternity unit with labour wards and a nursery opened on the third floor of the Hospital. The unit was transferred to the former infectious diseases hospital, Vaucluse, in Gore Street, South Hobart, in the late 1960s. Initially it was known as the Obstetric Division of the Royal Hobart Hospital. Later it became the Obstetric Division, Gore Street. Babies were adopted from the maternity unit at the Royal Hobart Hospital and Gore Street. In 1980, Gore Street combined with the Queen Alexandra Maternity Hospital to be relocated to a custom built building adjacent to the Royal Hobart Hospital.
In 1938, Wingfield House came under the management of the Royal Hobart Hospital Board. Wingfield was established to treat children affected by the 1937 polio epidemic.
In November 1959, building began on a multi storey building that included two floors for children's wards. Previously, these had been at the back of the Hospital. The building opened in 1963. A ward for children aged 6 to 17 was on the first floor with younger children and babies on the second floor.
A psychiatric ward was established in the new building in 1967. It was redeveloped in 1991.
The Royal Hobart Hospital was accredited as a teaching hospital for medical students in 1968.
Sources used to compile this entry: Forced adoptions heartache, Adoptions Rights Alliance, 2011, http://www.adoptionrightsalliance.com/MC_09-10-11.htm; 'Mum tell of years of torment', The Mercury, 1 March 2012; Norris, Cheryl, Time line: 1803-2008: development of nursing education and the Royal Hobart Hospital, Cheryl Norris, Hobart, 2010, 66 pp; Norris, Cheryl, In my day: a history of general nurse training at the Royal Hobart Hospital, 1803-1993, Cheryl Norris, Hobart, 2011, 302 pp; Rimmer, WG, Portrait of a hospital: the Royal Hobart, Royal Hobart Hospital, Hobart, 1981, 328 pp; Rimon, Wendy, 'The Royal Hobart Hospital', in The Companion to Tasmanian History, Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, 2005, http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/R/RHH.htm; Tooth, John, 'Treatment of Mental Illness', in The companion to Tasmanian history, Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, Hobart, 2005, http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/M/Mental%20Illness.htm.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 5 May 2014, Last modified: 6 May 2014