Thanks to its strong educational tradition and its willingness to lead where others have yet to go, Edendale Hospital has grown into one of the most respected medical facilities in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Edendale Hospital is a regional- and district-level facility in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, known in medical circles for its post-graduate teaching opportunities across all major medical disciplines.
The facility was established in the 1950s and is closely linked to nearby Grey’s Hospital and Northdale Hospital.
Today, this 900-bed hospital is guided by a vision to be as efficient and as dedicated to its health service as possible.
Its mission is to deliver a sustainable, co-ordinated, integrated and comprehensive health service through its caring, compassionate and motivated workforce.
The hospital’s management works with members of the local community to design its services and ensure its staff have access to quality training programmes.
Since 1994, the hospital has been administered by KwaZulu-Natal’s Department of Health and is used as a training centre for the College of Nursing, receiving a number of applicants from across the country.
The hospital’s core values are based on the southern African philosophy of Ubuntu, as well as a commitment to openness and transparency in the way that the facility is operated.
A story of strength
In 1855, a Methodist missionary known as Reverend James Allison acquired an area of land on a farm called Welverdient, which was previously owned by Andries Pretorius, where he established his second mission called Edendale.
In 1945, the site was chosen to house a new hospital. After administrator Dr D.S. Shepstone laid the foundation stone in July 1951, it took just three years to build the seven-story structure, with Edendale’s first patients admitted in March 1954.
Originally the facility was built to accommodate 620 patients, but due to rapid population growth, many more building have been erected on the Edendale site.
Today, Edendale is home to professionals from across the medical sphere, with paramedical staff joined at the hospital by physiotherapists, radiographers, medical social workers and dispensary staffs.
As well as servicing the health needs of the local population, Edendale also provides its staff with a range of social participation activities, from the hospital’s own drum majorettes troupe and a successful staff soccer team, to basketball matches against staff at other hospitals and local educational facilities.
Doctors who work at the hospital have participated in other sporting activities, including cricket, hockey and golf, and every year a representative from the facility runs in one of two local marathons.
As well as playing an important role in providing the local population with high standards of care and treatment, Edendale Hospital has also been at the forefront of introducing medical solution to South Africa.
Throughout its history, the hospital has also demonstrated that rapid growth need not act as a hindrance to good service.
It was one of the first South African hospitals to open a post-operative recovery ward through which all patients pass after surgery and was the first hospital in the country to provide intensive care units for surgical and medical conditions known as 2R. A medical intensive care unit was added in 1974 and eight years later a paediatric surgical intensive care unit was opened.
Edendale was also unique in South Africa for introducing the provision of a central sterilising department and a separate burns unit.
A new wing was built and opened in 1966, providing an additional eight wards, while in 1968 a new laboratory, stores department and blood bank were built.
In 1969, medical and paediatric out patients departments were added and in 1970 a nearby disability care centre, previously administered by the government, was transferred to the Edendale’s administration.
Edendale Hospital has grown into an essential part of its local community and has provided medical care to thousands of people throughout its history. As it looks towards a healthy future, this facility is likely to continue growing in size and statue, as it gears up to look after future generations.