|Emergency and Accident Department|
From 1881 - 1928, patients arriving at the hospital as either emergencies or accidents were examined in a small casualty room, just inside the original hospital main entrance. With the opening of the Front Block on Riddiford Street in 1928, the hospital had its first purpose-built Casualty Department. Initially this comprised a series of single rooms in the NW wing of the ground floor, a larger ward in the NE wing, together with a sterilising room and an emergency theatre. The larger ward was intended for children, and especially for short-term admissions for 'Ts&As'. Ambulances arrived at the basement level, and patients were brought up to the Casualty Department in one of two lifts.
Over time, this Casualty Department expanded first into part of the area originally intended for outpatients, and then into the Front Block extension, opened in 1960. The Department was renamed 'Emergency and Accident' in 1969.
By the 1980s, the department was too small and outdated in design for the increasing workload, and by the 1990s, it was hopelessly inadequate. Planning for a new facility began, and the new Emergency Department to the south of the main corridor was opened in 2000.
|Medical staffing 1881 - 1967|
From 1881 until 1903, there was only one Resident Medical Officer, the Medical Superintendent, available to
attend to patients arriving acutely at the hospital. In 1903 he was joined by Dr James Elliott, the first
'house surgeon', who shared in managing the acute workload. Successive house surgeons increasingly took over the role
of being the first to attend patients arriving acutely, and this practice continued after the opening of the Front Block,
Dr Philip Benham was appointed full-time, though non-resident Senior Admitting Medical Officer in December 1936, a position he
held until 1943, when he took leave for WW2 service, before becoming in 1944, the first Medical Superintendent of Silverstream Hospital. The vacancy in
Casualty was temporarily filled (for 3 months) by George Jennings, who was subsequently appointed Orthopaedic Surgeon.
Dr J Alistair Loan occupied the Casualty role 1945 - 1946, and in January 1947, Dr Colvin McKenzie was
appointed Admitting and Outpatient Medical Officer, a position he occupied until 1959.