The Royal Women’s Hospital is the successor organisation to the hospital created in August 1856 and known as the Melbourne Lying-in Hospital and Infirmary for Diseases of Women and Children. With the exception of a nine year period between 1995 and 2004 when the hospital was compulsorily merged with the Royal Children’s Hospital to form the Women’s and Children’s Health Care Network (subsequently Women’s and Children’s Health) the hospital has been in continuous operation, although occasionally changing its name and organisational structure. Such changes have generally been the result of changes in Victorian state legislation.
During the period 1995-2004 the RWH continued to function under its own name despite legally being part of the network. Network records which only relate to Royal Women’s Hospital functions are attributed to the RWH provenance. Records created at the executive level which relate to both hospitals are attributed to the Women’s and Children’s Health Care Network / Women’s and Children’s Health provenance.
The provenance "Royal Women’s Hospital" will be given to all records of this hospital from 1856 to the present.
Names by which the hospital has been known over the years are:
1856 - c.1886 Melbourne Lying-in Hospital and Infirmary for Diseases of Women and Children
c.1886 - c.1888 Melbourne Lying-in Hospital and Infirmary for Diseases of Women
c.1888 - c. 1943 The Women’s Hospital and Infirmary for Diseases of Women
c.1943 - 1954 The Women’s Hospital
1954 - 1995 The Royal Women’s Hospital (royal warrant conferred by Queen Elizabeth II)
1995 - 2004 The Royal Women’s Hospital (as part of network)
2004 - present The Royal Women’s Hospital (fully independent again)
The Melbourne Lying-in Hospital and Infirmary for Diseases of Women and Children was founded in August 1856 by a group of benevolently inclined women (the Ladies Committee or Committee of Management) led by Frances Perry, wife of Melbourne's first Anglican Bishop and two young doctors, Richard Thomas Tracy and John Maund. Funds were raised to establish the Hospital from subscribers and after a year or so from the Victorian Government. It was first located at 41 Albert Street, East Melbourne, but established itself in Madeline Street (to become Swanston Street) Carlton in 1858 once community and government support were secured.
See Provenance notes for Board of Management and Richard Thomas Tracy.
RWH Executive Structure (February 2005)
Chief Executive Officer
Clinical Governance Unit
Relocation Planning & Imptlementation
Clinical Services Directors
Executive Director, Finance & Corporate Services
Clinical Portfolio - Clinical Operations
Executive Director, Planning, Development & Communications
Service Planning & Development
Clinical Portfolio - Women's Health
Executive Nurse & Midwife Advisor
Policy & Practice
Recruitment & Retention
Clinical Portfolio - Neonatal Services