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How Legends Began: The History of Ryde Hospital

By December 22, 2021 No Comments
How Legends Began: The History of Ryde Hospital

The legacy left by members of our community more than 130 years ago continues to support us today through our hospitals and research institutes. 

In this edition of ‘How Legends Began,’ we take a look at Ryde Hospital – a hospital that was built by the community, for the community.  

The Northern Sydney Local Health District has always strived to be there for the community when they needed us the most. Our clinicians, healthcare workers and researchers continue to build on a spirit of service and a legacy of excellence in healthcare and patient services.  

Through this series, we want to inspire you to consider, ‘What is a legacy and how does it form?’ – because at the NORTH Foundation, we believe that it’s never too early to start thinking about making a difference. 

Ryde Hospital: The legend began with the community 

In December 1918, rather than erect an obelisk or stone memorial, a decision was made to build a War Memorial Hospital to honour the local men and women who served their country during WWI. 

Although it was originally thought to be too expensive for a hospital to be built in Ryde, the community banded together to advocate and raise funds to purchase Denistone House (back then it was an aged-care facility) to act as the first hospital building. The community was able to raise half the funds and then successfully lobbied the government to provide the remaining funding for Denistone House to be transformed into a properly equipped hospital.  

This spirit of advocacy and action is still a strong part of the hospital and the Ryde community to this day.  

Denistone House

Originally named the Ryde District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, the hospital opened its doors to the public on May 12, 1934 with facilities for 56 inpatients.  

Since its establishment in 1934, Ryde Hospital has provided patients around Denistone, Macquarie Park and Ryde with access to emergency care, specialty rehabilitation and a variety of outpatient services.  

With approximately 200 beds, Ryde Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient and community services as well as acute services for the local community.  

Other services provided by Ryde Hospital include general medical, elective surgery, maternity, orthopaedics, aged care, and rehabilitation. Community health services including dental, child and family, drug and alcohol and mental health care are also available.  

In 2013, the Graythwaite Rehabilitation Centre was opened on the Ryde Hospital campus to cater to the general inpatient medical rehabilitation needs of patients within the community and to act as a direct link to the emergency, general medicine and surgical care facilities at Ryde Hospital.  

Ryde Hospital today

Staffed by specialised medical and nursing staffs, occupational therapists, social workers, psychologists, and allied health professionals (including dietetics and orthotic and prosthesis fitters), the centre is purpose built with 64 rehabilitation beds to rehabilitate patients and assist elderly patients to regain a sense of independence with skills development. Specialist burns services are also provided by the centre.  

With surrounding suburbs expecting to welcome 30,000 more residents over the next decade, the NSW Government has identified the need to invest in the redevelopment of Ryde Hospital. The existing Ryde Hospital campus will be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility following extensive consultation with hospital staff and the local community to determine the best location. 

The redevelopment will feature expanded and improved emergency, critical care, medicine and surgery, community and ambulatory care (outpatient) services. It will also preserve the historic Denistone House, retain the rehabilitation services at Graythwaite and make best use of the current services already available at Ryde. 

Ryde Hospital redevelopment plans

Just as they did in the past, the Ryde community will continue to play an important role in shaping the development of our hospital. We are excited to see how this next phase of growth for Ryde Hospital will improve our patient services and healthcare facilities.  

What will be your legacy?  

The reason we call a Gift in Will a legacy gift is because it is something that an individual is giving after their lifetime. 

It is a truly selfless act that has the potential to impact the lives of others for years to come. Whilst those who choose to leave a Gift in Will may never get to see the impact of their donation, the community who benefits from their generosity often remembers them for it – it becomes their legacy.  

By choosing to leave a legacy gift in your Will, you will become an important part of our journey and join a community of visionaries that we call the Northern Stars, who are committed to improving our healthcare services and medical research for generations to come.  

To learn more about how Gifts in Wills have positively impacted our hospitals and research units please click here 

In the next edition of the ‘How Legends Began’ series, we take a look at the history of Royal North Shore Hospital and discover how a letter helped to build the hospital we know today.  

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