St. Andrew's Hospital was established in 1935 as a hospital of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. Built in East Melbourne it soon obtained a reputation as one of the finest general surgical and maternity hospitals in Victoria.
With the inauguration of the Uniting Church in 1977, the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches accepted a recommendation from the Commission appointed to divide the Presbyterian property between the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches that St Andrew's be incorporated under a separate Act of Parliament and be known as “St. Andrew's – a hospital of the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches’.
During the 1980’s, in the course of a major development programme, the hospital suffered financial difficulties because of delays and cost overruns in the construction. The Victorian Government, which had guaranteed the loans for the new buildings, was forced to appoint a Receiver/Manager to the hospital and after considering the various alternatives, the Receiver ‘sold’ the hospital to the Peter MacCallum Hospital for the amount of the Government’s guarantee. The Receiver, however, did not have the right to St. Andrew’s endowment funds which were made up of perpetual gifts made in the Wills of the hospital’s supporters – many of whom were members of either the Presbyterian or Uniting Churches.
These endowment funds were only available for use by the hospital which by then was no longer in existence, so there followed lengthy negotiations with the Government which resulted in the 1978 Act being amended to provide for the St. Andrew's Foundation as the successor to the former St. Andrew's Hospital. At the time the Foundation was established by an amending Act of Parliament in 1997, the available funds were approximately $800,000 and now stand at some $5,000,000 as a result of additional bequests and a prudent investment policy.
The Foundation is run by seven trustees, the chairperson being independent with three representatives from each of the Churches. In 2015 Dr Ian Ross retired as the Chair, a position he had held for 19 years having been one of the medical specialists who worked at St Andrews Hospital prior to this.
Each year the Foundation makes available approximately $200,000 to be used in providing grants and donations to the hospitals, aged care facilities and community services provided by the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches. Each church receives an equal amount for distribution.
Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible and the support of members of the two denominations is encouraged. Bequests can also be made in Wills. If you would like to make a donation or a bequest in your will please contact our administrator via the contact page on this website.
Access to patient records
The Foundation does not have access to patient records; we have been informed that as at 31 January 1991 records were sent to MSS Records Management Services, 22 Summit Road, Noble Park VIC 3174. The records for all adult patients discharged since 1 January 1983 were to be stored for seven years and destroyed in January 1998. Minors' medical records since 1 January 1977 were to be stored for 7 years after the patient’s 18th birthday and then destroyed. Medical records prior to 1977 have been destroyed.