History of Ashburn

In 2012 Ashburn Clinic celebrated its 130th anniversary as New Zealand’s oldest private psychiatric hospital. Originally established in Dunedin in 1882, Ashburn Hall (as it was then known) was an alternative to the public asylums of the day. The small patient numbers, pleasant surroundings and superior facilities meant Ashburn Hall was attractive to those seeking the best possible care for their mentally ill relatives.Old image of the Ashburn Clinic

Initially, patients were sought from the wealthier end of the spectrum. However as a consequence   of changes in health funding over the latter half of  the twentieth century, treatment at Ashburn Hall   became more accessible for New Zealanders at  all income levels.

Under the dedicated leadership of some of the most forward-thinking psychiatric practitioners of the day, Ashburn Hall evolved from simply providing superior custodial care for the mentally ill, to being an active treatment centre incorporating therapeutic community principles.

The twenty-first century has seen the hospital complete a major programme of redevelopment, including a thorough upgrade of its buildings, and an overhaul of services. An eating disorders programme was established, and following consolidation of ownership as a charitable trust, Ashburn Hall was reopened as Ashburn Clinic in 2001.

Further reading:
The Ashburn Clinic: The place and the people by Cameron Duder. 2007. Dunedin, The Ashburn Clinic.

Phone us: 03 476 2092 (weekdays 8.30am-5.00pm)

E-mail: ashburn@ashburn.co.nz

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