St Andrew's Ipswich Private Hospital
Part of Ramsay Health Care

110 years of History

With the passing of the years, institutions and organisations either flourish or die; they either make considerable contribution to a community or by their very nature, become obsolete.

The creation of any beneficial service demands foresight, the commitment of skills and the finances of people. Looking back to the establishment of St Andrew’s Private hospital in Ipswich, I am convinced the men involved were of this calibre.

The years bear witness to the wisdom of the decision made in 1909 by Dr John Alexander Cameron, who saw a need and accepted the challenge.

Celebrating seventy-five years (now one hundred years) of service to Ipswich, this once small cottage hospital has become the ultimate in caring skills and administrational capabilities. It is able to offer facilities which are abreast of contemporary technology.
All serve to the utmost, the patients within it’s care!
St Andrew’s, created from the past, caught in the progress of the present, prepares for the future.

Margery Brier-Mills

St Andrew’s Private Hospital

In 1904, the occupants of a late colonial Queensland home, on the corner of Pring and Roderick Streets in Ipswich vacated. Dr John Alexander Cameron, the son of a former headmaster of Ipswich Grammar School, acquired the cottage style property to establish his surgery. Greater than 100 years later, the cottage style home still stands as what is now called Cameron Ward, of St Andrew’s Ipswich Private Hospital; housing the hospital’s professional services.

Founding Doctors

In 1909 Dr John Alexander Cameron founded St Andrew’s; he was a highly respected practitioner. He was tall, and gentlemanly, and very conscious of his Scottish heritage; naming the facility ‘St Andrew’s’. In 1912 Dr Basil Lloyd Hart commenced at St Andrew’s before his deployment to the First World War (1914-18). In 1921 Dr Mervyn Stuart Patterson and Dr Benjamin Gilmore Wilson, the former Superintendent of Ipswich General Hospital, joined the partnership. In 1924 the first Board of Directors of St Andrew’s Private Hospital was formed.

St Andrew’s First Matron

In 1909 Miss Louise Wilde, a trained nurse form Yorkshire, England, was appointed the first matron. Miss Wilde was later assisted by Miss Emily Pedley, and Miss G. Humphreys; responsible for managing the hospital’s midwifery care.

Growth and Expansion

St Andrew’s experienced steady growth during the period 1926-1939. After the retirement of Matron L. Wilde, and under the direction of newly appointment Matron V. Hoskins, a maternity and nursing wing was constructed on the western side of the cottage. At completion it was the only obstetric ward in Ipswich, providing maternity and midwifery services. The construction of this wing enabled one of the back cottage rooms to be redeveloped into an operating theatre. Prior to this redevelopment, operations were performed on wards with a privacy partition.

In 1939 the Board purchased a property on the eastern boundary of the campus; an East Wing of 10 beds was constructed and used as a surgical ward. A cottage was built adjacent to East Wing to accommodate night staff. By 1944 a sterilised operating theatre had been constructed and the hospital housed thirty four beds. The late 1940’s saw further expansion with an addition of a further 14 beds, the construction of a second operating theatre, autoclave and recovery room.

In 1964, an additional home in Roderick Street was purchased to accommodate nursing staff. In 1967 the centre block and back wings were demolished and replaced with an intermediate block. A further extension of 10 beds occurred and a section of East Wing was converted into a Children’s Ward.

In 1977 a further property was purchased on Pring Street which saw the construction of the current three story extension; completed in 1980. Post completion, the hospitals became a 102 bed facility servicing the communities of the West Moreton region.

Current Times

During the following three decades, the hospital changed ownership a number of times from the original doctor’s “St Andrew’s Holding” to a series of corporate owners and is now in the safe hands of Ramsay Health Care, who have committed to considerable investment in the present and the ongoing future and development of St Andrew’s.

….and so, the hospital that bears the name of a saint, can reflect with a wonderful sense of achievement, it’s contribution to Ipswich, Queensland.
St Andrew’s Private Hospital of the past offered true dedication and endeavour. That of the present epitomises commitment and foresight. The St Andrew’s of the future will be the ultimate of professionalism, dependency and service.

Margery Brier-Mills

Edited and amended from the publication:
Margery Brier-Mills

(St Andrew’s Hospital Ipswich 75 years of Service, 1909-1984).