Mowbray Maternity Hospital (MMH) was built on the site of Wheatfields Nursing Home. Wheatfields opened its doors in 1916 and served Neurological, Psychiatric and Maternity cases. In 1933, new owners changed the name to Mowbray Nursing Home, and in 1948 it was brought by the government of the Union of South Africa and became Mowbray Maternity Hospital. In the 1960s, the old building was demolished and the present structure was built, opening in 1967. In 1977, the hospital was incorporated into the Groote Schuur Hospital Region and was managed from there.
In 1974, the first Midwife Obstetric Unit (MOU) was opened in Athlone. This was moved in 1979 to the present Hanover Park MOU. In subsequent years, MOUs were established across Cape Town, which have been supported and managed within the Peninsula Maternity and Neonatal Services, who integrate primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care between the MOUs, secondary hospitals (including Mowbray Maternity) and Groote Schuur Hospital.
In 1970, the first private wards at Mowbray Maternity were opened, and until 1990 we provided Maternity services to private and public patients. Major renovations were undertaken from 1990 and were completed over the course of a year. At the same time, Peninsula Maternity Hospital (PMH) was decommissioned, and was officially closed on January 13 1992, on which day MMH and PMH were amalgamated, now without private services.
Currently, MMH provides Obstetric services with 106 beds, and Neonatal services with 74 beds. Apart from our patients from the local primary drainage area, who are cared for in the Liesbeek MOU with six Postnatal beds, all of our obstetric patients are referred, “at risk” patients, identified through clinical protocols that govern the function of the primary level services at the MOUs.
Until early 2009, MMH also provided administrative and management support to five MOUs, namely: Gugulethu, Hanover Park, Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain and Retreat. We also provided one free-standing Antenatal Clinic at Heideveld. Since then, these MOUs were devolved under the management of the Metro District Health Services. However, MMH still provides the obstetric and neonatal support required.
Mitchell’s Plain Level 1 unit was started on the first floor of the old nurse’s home in 2008. It consists of 10 Antenatal and 10 Postnatal low-risk beds. The Mitchell's Plain District Hospital is in the process of being built and on completion the Level 1 service at MMH will be relocated to this hospital.