Lewes Hospital for Infectious Diseases – The 1890s

Lewes Hospital for Infectious Diseases > The 1890s

In October 1891 the following bills were paid over by the committee:-

Mr. Barber, for re-binding the minute book £0 4s
Messrs. Berry & Bussey, coal £2 18s
Mr. Stevens, soap, soda, etc. £0 7s 3d
Mr. Carter, coal scoop £0 4s
Mr. Beck, repairs to water pipe £0 10s 2d
Mr. Buckman, 2 bed pans £0 11s
John Floyd, repairs to sashes/ ventilator £0 14s 10d

Although Mr. Pollard had been paid for looking after Harriett Godden, William Godden, Harriett’s husband had not paid her keep and default proceedings were to be taken to recover money owed.

At this time the Mayor attended committee meetings, along with Alderman Crosskey, Funnell, Gates, Harris, Hayter, Hobden, and Pelling and at a meeting of the committee it was decided to obtain prices for the repainting of the outside of the hospital. The estimates of £11 11s. from Messrs. Card and Son was accepted at a subsequent meeting.  A bill was sent to the Royal Sanitary Authority of the Lewes Union for £20 as their contribution for the year ended March 1893. The Chairman also wrote to the Lewes Dispensary and Infirmary stating that the Medical Officer of Health had been treating outpatients and he considered this was not part of his duties and requested that they should be recompensed to the sum of £3 3s.

Kate and Ernest Ansell were in the hospital at this time for which a bill totalling £5 5s. 9d. was sent to their guardian. The hospital ambulance was to be stripped of cloth lining and refitted with match-boarding by Mr. G. Lanny at a cost of £3 7s. 6d. The committee inspected the hospital this year and the surveyor was directed to prepare specifications of emergency repairs by September 5th.  Tenders were invited from local tradesmen to carry out the work and that of Mr. Joseph Bunker for £35 10s. was accepted. The Baxter family continued to receive land rent at a total of £5.10s. for a half year.

Following a Local government Act of 1894 affecting the constitution of the committee of management it was suggested that in future it would consist of 12 members appointed by the Town Council and two by the Rural District Council. The new committee came into being the following year with Alderman Kemp as chairman and Montague Blaker, clerk to the committee.

Mr Pollard requested an increase in wages in June 1897 but at a subsequent meeting the committee could not at this time grant his request.  Mr. Richard Urry was asked to supply coal to the hospital at a cost of £1 1s. per ton, but he replied stating that he could not supply it at this price. Subsequently the coal was ordered from Mr. James Chandler at a cost of £1 2s. a ton.

Along with Pollard’s wage of £10 8s, he was also paid £5 14s. 3d for ‘patients no’s 36 and 37’.

Outbreak of Scarlet Fever

In late August 1899 a special meeting of the committee was called because of an outbreak of scarlet fever in the borough.  11 cases had been admitted to the hospital since July. Because of this outbreak it was hoped that further assistance would be forthcoming, also extra blankets, bowls, china, etc.  An application was made to the Board of Guardians for contributions and the caretaker would be responsible for obtaining all the extra items needed.  By mid-September the total cases had risen to 15, although five had been discharged.

The estimate for the next six months had jumped to £200 from the normal £50.  Several of the patients were pauper patients; the clerk in writing to their guardians regarding their maintenance costs sent them a letter with a copy of the regulations regarding maintenance.  The clerk applied for the payment of Nellie Brown, Gilbert, Frederick, and Allen Fuller at a total cost of £2 2s. per week.  A letter was subsequently read stating that the cases referred to were sent on instruction of the Poor Law officials and the hospital keeper was instructed not to admit patients by Poor Law officials.  It was also agreed that they could not at present admit anyone from Beddingham, Glynde and West Firle as accommodation was insufficient.

Because of the latest influx of patients Miss Lloyd of the London and Brighton Trained Nurses College was employed at this time at a salary of £28 18s. 6d. a year. Exceptional circumstances led to the admission of two children belonging to the stationmaster at Glynde to the hospital, with Chailey Rural District Council undertaking to pay for their keep.

Miss Onslow, the present nurse, feeling unwell, decided to leave the hospital and the Medical Superintendent was to make arrangements for a temporary replacement. Miss Reed of the Lewes Nursing Association suggested to the committee that they pay a yearly retaining fee of £20. With this payment it might be possible to get the services of a trained nurse at a much-reduced rate. The clerk felt that the sum suggested was rather higher than expected and thought a fee of £5 was more acceptable. Miss Reed replied for the nursing association stating they could not agree to the clerk’s suggestion and would in future provide a nurse when required and if available at a rate of £2. 2s. a week.