The Hobart General Hospital replaced the Colonial Hospital in 1860. It remained on the Liverpool Street site. Until 1878, when a Board of Management took over, the Hospital was run by a committee chaired by the Colonial Secretary. In 1919, the newly formed Hobart Public Hospitals District took over from the Board. In 1901, a children's ward opened. The Hobart General Hospital became the Royal Hobart Hospital in 1938.
In the 1870s, the Hospital began evolving from a pauper institution to a public hospital. This process involved employing qualified nurses and trainees. Florence Abbott became the first qualified Matron during this time. Nurse training began in 1876.
The process of evolution also involved new buildings. In the late nineteenth century, the replacement of the old unsanitary convict buildings with new ones resulted in a cleaner more modern hospital.
A children's block opened in 1901. It had 25 cots for children under 10. This brought the Hospital's capacity to 175. By 1925, it was 250.
Under the 1918 Hospitals Act, which also set up the Hobart Public Hospitals District, the Hobart General officially became a public hospital that treated people from all sections of society.
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'.
1820 - 1860 Colonial Hospital
1860 - 1938 Hobart General Hospital
1938 - Royal Hobart Hospital
Sources used to compile this entry: Norris, Cheryl, Time line: 1803-2008: development of nursing education and the Royal Hobart Hospital, Cheryl Norris, Hobart, 2010, 66 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; Wettenhall, RL, A Guide to Tasmanian Government Administration, Platypus Publications, Hobart, 1968, 206 pp.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 6 May 2014