Our History

In September 1869 a meeting was held in Mansfield where it was decided to proceed with the establishment of a hospital for the town.

The Mansfield Independent carried a report of the meeting that heard that £92 had been subscribed by the public. Although there was opposition within the ranks, the committee decided to build a hospital rather than rent a building. A month later the committee had £115 in hand.

The foundation stone was laid on January 11th 1871 by the hospital’s first president, Alfred Chenery.

By May of that year the building was sufficiently advanced for the committee to recruit staff and, after advertising for a matron appointed Miss Harriet Quirk “to commence duty from the 1st of June”.

Dr Samuel Reynolds, one of the founders of the Mansfield Benevolent Association and the town’s only practising doctor had previously been appointed as medical officer.

At the end of June, according to the Independent, “The Secretary reported that on the 21st of June he had placed the nurse, Miss Quirk, in possession of the hospital and it was now open for the reception of patients…”

The first building had two wards, one for males and one for females. Each ward had six beds.

According to newspaper reports from the time, most of the admissions were the result of mining accidents. The use of chloroform in operations to reset broken bones was reported about this time.

Within a short time it became apparent more room was needed and a new wing was opened in 1874.

According to hospital records, the hospital was incorporated as a public hospital in 1876.

In 1916 Bentley House began operating as a private hospital for midwifery. Under widely used rules at the time, most public hospitals would not accept confinement cases, a practice that seems to have continued well into the 20th century. Later, in 1952, Bentley was purchased by the hospital and initially used as accommodation for the nursing staff and the matron.

A major development in 1935 saw the main north-south wards constructed, significantly increasing the size of the hospital.

During the 1960s the midwifery and theatre block were added and in 1975 the hospital converted Bentley House to an aged care facility with 10 beds. In 1983 the Buckland Wing was added, bringing the nursing home accommodation to 20 beds. A further 10 beds were added in 1996.

Recognising the ongoing generosity of the Buckland Foundation, the redeveloped Bentley House and Buckland Wing were renamed Buckland House in 1996.

In 2000 the Bindaree Retirement Centre amalgamated with the Mansfield District Hospital, giving the hospital a complete range of aged care facilities.

In 2003 Bindaree was expanded to comprise 42 beds, including an 11 bed Dementia unit and two respite beds, and eight independent living units on site.

In 2015 the Primary Care Centre was completed. This new service will provide community care services in a ‘one-stop-shop’ where people can make one phone call or visit one service to access a range of primary health care services.

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