A Brief History of Maitland Cottage Hospital

We’ve come a long way since the 1900’s when we started. You May be interested to read further here.

  • Early 1900’s – no orthopaedic departments in any of the Cape Town hospitals and few orthopaedic surgeons. 
  • Children with long-term orthopaedic conditions, could not be accommodated as in-patients.  and were sent home in plaster beds or frames or splints and calipers. 
  • Voluntary workers found most children severely neglected.
  • 1929 – the Cape Town Society for the Protection of Child Life publicised the tragic plight of these children.  Money was raised and the 2 cottages rented in the Maitland Garden Village and were called “Maitland Cottage Homes”, accomodating 7 children
  • 1938 – 64 children in the Homes.
  • 1940 – Maitland Cottage Home recognised as hospital
  • 1949 – cottages no longer suitable for the care of these patients . Fund launched for a new hospital building. 
  • 1952 – a new hospital is built in the present location, Kildare Road, Newlands.
  • The hospital, is called the Maitland Cottage Home for Disabled Children accommodates 85 children. 
  • 1956 – Mr Martin Singer from the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital London joined his brother Mr Alec Singer as honorary consultants and the operating theatre started functioning on a regular basis. 
  • 1973 – Dr AW Husband replaced Mr Alec Singer and  were helped by the services of Honorary Anaesthetists, Pathologists and Medical Officers while all the X-rays were taken at the Red Cross Children’s War Memorial Hospital.
  • 1977 – Maitland Cottage Home became an integral part of the Orthopaedic Department of the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital. Registras were allocated to the Maitland Cottage Home.
  • 1977 – 1987 – operations increased by 900% and admissions by 320%.  Therefore a more sophisticated theatre became essential. 
  • 1988 –a 40m² state of the art theatre is built.  Headed by Professor Teddie Hoffman and his team the complete spectrum of paediatric orthopaedics is covered.
  • 1990 – 2005 Prof Hoffman and his team have had 32 papers published in international peer review journals. Eminent orthopaedic surgeons, international Professors and several groups such as  the ABC Travelling Fellows , the American Outreach Orthopaedic Group and the German Orthopaedic Fellows  have visited the hospital.
  • 2014 – Dr Stewart Dix-Peek takes over as Head of Surgery
  • The Maitland Cottage Hospital is the most prominent paediatric orthopaedic hospital in Africa.
  • Currently performing over 550 life changing operations per annum
How can I make a difference?

Maitland Cottage Childrens orthopaedic Hospital welcomes and appreciates any and every donation. No matter how much or little you can spare, you can be sure it will go towards making a huge difference in the lives of our children. Whether you choose to give a big or small financial contribution, donate toiletries, stationery, books or any other items our children need, or organise a collection at your work or school, you will be making their lives better.

What will you do with my money and how much of it will actually go towards caring for the children?

All donations go towards maintaining the hospital, caring for our young patients and, where possible, building new facilities that will make it even more effective. Every single cent you give goes directly to the hospital.

Does Maitland Cottage Hospital get government funding?

Yes. Through its affiliation with the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Maitland Cottage Home receives a set operating budget from the provincial government. However, this is not enough to cover the day-to-day running costs, let alone improve the care and services offered by the hospital.

What exactly does Maitland Cottage Hospital do?

We offer surgery, care and rehabilitation of children with physical disabilities. The hospital has a fully equipped operating theatre in which specialists perform orthopaedic surgery and provide a training platform for post graduate students from the University of Cape Town.