In 1954 the hospital became an A Grade School of Nursing and in 1957 the new curriculum was introduced, including maternity training.
For some years there had been discussion on the introduction of a different type of nurses’ training, of a shorter duration and for those not able to manage the full Registered Nurses’ training. In 1965, the first Community Nurse Class began.
Another new innovation was made in 1966, when the first male student commenced training and in May of the same year the last State First Professional Examination was held.
Similarly, in 1970, the last Class for 18 months Maternity Student was carried out.
Another change in nursing policy regarding training occurred in 1971. Up to this time, the training had been done independently in Hastings, but in 1971 the Hawke’s Bay School of Nursing was established, whereby the whole of the Hawke’s Bay Hospital Board was merged into one training school.
Prior to the building of Hastings Hospital, a number of doctors in Hastings were members of the Honorary Staff in Napier. When the hospital was built in Hastings in 1928, the doctors in the district looked after their own maternity cases. When it developed into a General Hospital, they resigned from their appointments on the Napier Staff and were appointed to Hastings.
In those days these appointments were of a purely honorary nature, whereby they received no salary and no honorarium and the concept of a salary only started in 19…
It should, in addition, be pointed out that at this stage there were no fulltime Medical Officers nor House Surgeons. All the care of the patients fell on the shoulders of the Honorary Staff (including anaesthetics, casualties, outpatients, and so on).
The first full time salaried Medical Officer to be appointed was Dr Walter Reeve (in 1937). His duties were many and included those of giving anaesthetics, attending to casualties, the Outpatient Department, sometimes doing minor surgery, acting as a sort of House Surgeon on occasion, carrying out antenatal duties and deliveries in the Maternity Annexe for women who had no doctor, and, as he was on the spot, he inevitably found himself carrying out administrative duties.
The house at present occupied by Dr Broughton, the Assistant Medical Superintendent was built for Dr Walter Reeve.
The Hospital’s first House Surgeon was Dr S Webber, appointed in 1939. The first Assistant Medical Superintendent (as opposed to Medical Superintendent) was Dr Broughton, appointed in January 1946 and the first Medical Superintendent was appointed (as has already been mentioned) in 19… ,being Dr Neville Reece (Rees). Therefore, from no original Medical Staff for the General Hospital in 1928 it has grown from 1 in 1937 to a total of Visiting Staff 32, Full Time Staff 5, House Surgeons and Registrars 12.