Lewes Hospital for Infectious Diseases – The 1900s

Lewes Hospital for Infectious Diseases > The 1900s

On June 22nd 1900 it was agreed that Councillor Shilton be appointed Chairman of the committee and in taking up his new position he stated that the estimates for the coming six months had increased to £85. The committee decided to join the Corporation of Lewes in the purchase of coal and subsequently Mr. J. Chandler was contracted to supply coal to the hospital at £1 8s. 6d. a ton.

The maintenance account for the past six months contained the following:

J. Chandler, coal £12 15s 6d
W. H. Stevens, oil, etc. £0 18s 3d
A. Geall, repairs, etc. £0 3s
Hammond and Son, mattress £0 14s 6d
HM Civil Prison, Lewes, firewood £0 15s
J.R.Hardwick, curtains, etc. £0 5s 6d
Lowdell, Cooper & Co. lamps and coal scuttle £0 15s 6d
T.G. Roberts, soap, candels etc £0 16s 7d
A. Shaw, repairs to disinfector £0 16s 10d
E. Simmonds, cupboard, etc. £1 3s
Coppard & Likeman, fish £2 3s 10d
O. Harvey, meat £3 6s 6d
Lewes co-op, bread £1 7s 11d
D. Pollard, washing and vegetables £2 13s 3d
W. Richardson, milk £2
W.H. Stevens, groceries £5 4s
A Hoadley, stout £0 17s 6d
F.G. Shilson, cakes etc. £0 6s 1d

At a regular meeting of the committee on July 23rd 1901 at which the Mayor George Holman and Chairman Gerard Lloyd were present, a letter dated June 5th was read by the clerk from the Board of Guardians with reference to the admission of patients especially in the case of Thomas Day which the hospital keeper had refused, the relieving officer having applied in the first instance. He was refused because the conditions of entry were not adhered to.  It was resolved that ‘patients of parochial relief of any kind, suffering from any disease, except smallpox, has a permanent home in the borough of Lewes and as long as the guardians are contracted to pay the fee £3 3s. a week for each person plus the cost of medicine and, in the case of death to remove the body and pay for burial expenses’. If all conditions were kept they would be admitted.

The salaries account for September 20th 1901 was as follows:

Blaker, M.S.  half year £4 15s
Steinhaeuser, J.R.  half year £3 15s
Pollard, D.   hospital keeper 13 weeks £10 8s
Roberts, D.  half year £1
Gardener, J.T.   half year £0 10s

Later in the year references were made to the accommodation at the hospital which was entirely inadequate to deal with a serious outbreak of any disease.  A new form was produced to be sent to all applications for entry.  The clerk reported at this meeting that Mr. Pollard, the hospital keeper, had died on September 20th. The committee regretted Mr. Pollard’s death, whose service had been of great value to the hospital.  It was decided to advertise in the Sussex Daily News and the Southern Weekly News for a man and wife to fill the vacancy at a joint wage of 18s. a week all year, with accommodation, fuel and lights free.  Three applications with testimonials were received but none accepted. It was decided to advertise again, adding that cases of smallpox were not admitted to the hospital. No further applications were received.

At most of the committee meetings the Medical Superintendent, Surveyor and Inspector were in attendance, as well as the nine members of the Management Committee.  Because of unusual circumstances the committee considered the maintenance of four patients recently discharged. It was resolved that the costs of Sidney Holman for nine weeks should be £2 5s. No charges were to be made in the cases of Ethel Roberts (three weeks), Bertram Roberts (three weeks) and Mrs. Ware (three weeks).

In March 1902 Mr Alfred Richardson and his wife were appointed caretaker and nurse at a salary of 18s. a week, subject to the printed conditions of duties.  Since Mr. Pollard’s death Mrs. Pollard had continued to nurse at the hospital and was paid £5 for her services.  It was at this time that an application was made for a telephone to be connected from the hospital to the Town Hall. An estimate was later received, the cost of rental being £9 10s. per annum for five years to include connection, maintenance, wayleaves, etc.  The committee in December of this year comprised Every (Mayor), Dow (MD), Green, Hobden, Pelling, Savage, Shilson, Uridge, Vallance, and Verrall.

The clerk read a letter from Mr. Richardson, the hospital keeper, informing them that his wife had died on November 2nd and that he would be resigning as from the end of the three month agreement but hoped that a replacement could be found earlier. Although two applications for the vacancy had been received none were accepted and Mr. Richardson agreed to carry on until the replacement was made.  An application from guardians to accept a man suffering from Typhoid was discussed but after looking into the conditions of acceptance, no further action was made.

Candidates were interviewed for the vacancy and it was agreed that Alfred Sawer Langridge and his wife Louisa be appointed to take up their duties from January 1st 1904 and Mr. Richardson was requested to leave on that day.  Mr. Alfred Cox was asked to send his account for housing the ambulance every quarter. The two years from April 1902 to July 1904 amounted to £4. 10s. Among items on the maintenance account were:

One dozen night-dresses and night-shirts for both male and female patients in different sizes at a cost not in excess of £5 5s. Other accounts were:

Coppard & Likeman, fish £0 7s 7d
A. Hoadley, ale £0 3s
G.L. Leney, milk £1 1s 3d
G.K. Moppett, bread £0 4s 2d

The hospital estimates for the next six months would be £120.

No charge would be made in the case of Emily Morris for her 37 days keep but 15s. would be charged to George Pannett for his 40 days.  Over the years several patients found it difficult to pay their way and the committee decided in several instances to admit free of charge.  Towards the end of 1906 the Medical Superintendent presented a bill for £2 2s. to the committee to pay for the assistance of a medical practitioner who helped him in the performance of an operation at the hospital.

The hospital was transferred to the Corporation of Lewes who will in future have the entire management of it.  The last meeting of the present constitution was on April 1st 1907, when the balance sheet showed £60 in the hands of the treasurer.  This was signed by Montague S. Blaker, clerk. Alderman Every w Coombe Rock as appointed first chairman of the newly constituted committee.

Claims for maintenance of four patients from the School of Domestic Economy, Southdown House, Lewes, were made as follows:

Winnie Stevens 46 days £3 1s 4d
Florence Marsh 43 days £2 17s 4d
Mabel Porter 34 days £2 5s 4d
Emily Woodgate 49 days £3 5s 4d

Plus £11 for extra nursing staff.

Later in the year suggestions were made for the hospital to be adapted to cater for other infectious diseases and the committee agreed to look at plans for this to be made possible. The surveyor was asked to prepare a sketch plan for the erection of two additional wards and a nurse’s room on the upper plateau. Also requested was a new ambulance to replace the old Brougham. The cost of materials for the additional wards was expected to be around £100 and the general estimate account for the next six months was put at £245. The Town clerk asked Mr Wynne E. Baxter if the trustees of the Wallands Park Estate would sell land adjoining the hospital and, if so, at what price.

A new ambulance at a cost of £68 was obtained in March 1908, from Robert Gates of Gravesend, the cost to be paid in two half-yearly instalments. Also plans were approved for the new wards and the costs to be paid over three years. The tender accepted for the building of the new wards came from Messrs. Errey & Bishop, subject to contract, was £488. Work was expected to begin on September 28th 1908. The hospital was also connected by telephone at this time. A list of articles required for the new wards was drawn up with a cost not exceeding £35. These were approved. Also it was requested that Mr. Firmin supply and erect a 60 yard ‘unclimbable fence’ at a height of four foot, costing £16. 9s. the work to be carried out under the supervision of the surveyor. The final account for the new wards building was settled with Errey & Bishop, the total being £493 2s. 8d.