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Featured Article Of The Week

Enfield Hospital


The Enfield Receiving House was opened by the government in 1922 at Enfield. It was used for the observation and temporary treatment of patients who were not certified and sent to the mental hospital. It also admitted voluntary psychiatric patients. Children with intellectual disabilities, including State-children, were placed at the Receiving House, often in wards with adult patients. In 1963 the Enfield Receiving House was renamed the Enfield Hospital.

The establishment of a Receiving House as a place where potential patients could go for observation and temporary treatment without being certified and sent to the mental hospital was provided for in the Mental Defectives Act 1913. However, the Enfield Receiving House, which was opened by the government on 22 June 1922, was the first such institution in South Australia.

The term 'mental defective' replaced 'lunatic' in the new Act and referred to both people suffering from mental illness and those with intellectual disabilities.

The Receiving House was located on a 20 acre block at Enfield and opened with accommodation for between 45 and 50 patients. The first patients included 23 men and 20 women. By 1929 the Receiving House was treating 336 patients with a daily average of 37. During the year 159 patients were discharged and 128 patients were transferred to Parkside Mental Hospital. Click here for more...