The Gisborne District has always been fortunate to have within its community, people with a vision and a determination to provide health services to meet the needs of the community. Following a successful appeal, the Gisborne and District Bush Nursing Hospital opened on March 23 rd 1958, with six beds. This was achieved without financial assistance from the government. An expansion in 1960 took the beds from six to ten and again in 1976, a further expansion took the beds from ten to sixteen beds. Due to changes in the early ‘90's with the declining number of people with private health cover and with the advanced technology of today's hospital, Gisborne Hospital was faced with many challenges to ensure its viability. The Hospital Committee saw the need to plan for the construction of a 30 bed Nursing Home which was opened on 5th May 1989, again with funds raised by the community and with the continuing support of the Friends of The Oaks.
The Gisborne and District Community Health Centre commenced on July 1 st 1985, with an objective of providing a comprehensive range of health services to the local community. The Shire of Gisborne sponsored the construction of the 30 bed hostel for the frail aged which opened on March 21 st, 1994. Macedon Ranges Health Services was formed by the amalgamation of the Gisborne Bush Nursing Hospital, The Oaks Nursing Home, The Elms Hostel and Gisborne and District Community Health late in November 1994 to provide a comprehensive, financially viable health service for the residents of the district.
In 1997 the Gisborne Hospital closed and the development of the Lifestyle Enhancement Program began. Minor conversions to the former hospital were undertaken to cater for the Lifestyle Enhancement Program and the Division of General Practice. The Lifestyle Enhancement Program continues to develop and foster friendships through the interactive philosophy of the program. An extension to the hostel living and dining areas was completed in 1999 and a further eight bedrooms with ensuites were erected as part of The Oaks in 2000. An additional 15 hostel bedrooms were built in 2004 and includes a special care unit named Grevillea Court. The current hostel now consists of 45 beds.
The foundation Board Members comprised Ms. Judy Cameron, Mr. Graeme Heath and Mr. Gavin Low (nominated by the Hospital), Dr. Robert Harbison, Mr. Alan Hobbs and Father Geoff Terry (nominated by the Community Health Centre), and Cr. Barbara Annison, Mr. Terry Larkins and Mrs. Rhonda Bradley (nominated by the Shire of Gisborne).
This new organisation has successfully integrated services within the organisation and has expanded its role to provide a comprehensive service to residents of the Macedon Ranges Shire. It was the challenge of the new organisation to enhance the framework which has been established by the hard working commitment of the Board, Management and staff.