The property was bought from the Gillitt family and consists of 34 acres. The price paid was £3,443-19-9d. On the property there was a house, cow shed and a stable.
In March 1928 two wards were built, with a few ancillary buildings and on the 1st August 1929 the hospital was opened by Dr. Clive Smith, who was the Medical Superintendent. The two wards were for male patients only, until two female wards were added in 1930. During the Second World War, all female patients were sent to Kloof Convalescent Home, leaving room in case Addington patients had to be evacuated because of the Japanese threat. The hospital was named The Chronic Sick Hospital and in 1948 the name was changed to Hillcrest Hospital.
During the ‘70s & ‘80s the hospital was a training school for nursing assistants and some of those who were trained are still working at Hillcrest.
In 1980 a chapel was built and dedicated to commemorate the hospital’s 50th jubilee and in March 1997 a new forty-bed ward was added. This ward boasts a beautiful recreation room, which leads onto a patio overlooking the spacious gardens and picnic areas.
Currently we have 213 authorised beds and 152 usable beds.
Patient profile: Most of the patients present with Hypertension, Heart Disease, CVA, Hemiplegia, Paraplegia, Quadriplegia, Head Injury, Dementia, Psychiatric Disease & Congenital Diseases.
Hillcrest Hospital is a provincial resource and could play a meaningful role in assisting to decongest other provincial hospitals, by providing acute nursing for those patients who are in need of step down care. To realise this objective, Hillcrest Hospital would have to be developed to provide more holistic care with a fully established rehabilitation and occupational therapy department under 1 roof, providing for both in- and outpatients.
Hillcrest hospital has the potential to a primary health facility and full outpatient department for the surrounding communities and it would be nice to be able to develop the institution to provide hospice or terminal care for chronic diseases and HIV/AIDS plus a voluntary counselling and testing centre.
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Copyright © KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, 2001