Committee meetings 1894-1917

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The following notes have been extracted from the Minutes of the Committee of Management 1894-1917 held at the Dorset History Centre (NG/HH/DO(C)/1/2/8). This volume – unlike previous ones – has page numbers.


1894 continued

Thursday, 14 June 1894

  • [Page 2] The collection box at the South Western Railway station at Dorchester had been stolen – “wrenched from its fixings”.

Thursday, 5 July 1894

  • [Page 6] Samuel Wesley Wilson was selected house surgeon in place of Mr. Bartlett.
  • [Page 6] A letter received from Ellen Kerley “late housemiad of the Hospital” claiming unpaid wages was referred to solicitors for advice.

Thursday, 16 August 1894

  • [Page 14] A collection (of 10s. 6d.) was received from “Queenie”, a terrier at the Royal Oak Inn.

Thursday, 6 September 1894

  • [Page 17] A County Court summons had been received in respect of monies owing to Ellen Kerley. The Committee decided that, as she had not been dismissed, they would pay her demand.
  • [Page 18] The house surgeon complained of serious differences with the matron. He also complained of insolence from Under Nurse Aldis. Aldis was sacked.

Thursday, 13 September 1894

  • [Page 20] The matron (Miss Ward) was asked to resign in consequence of the differences with the house surgeon.

Thursday, 20 September 1894

  • [Page 22] The Committee received Miss Ward’s resignation.

Thursday, 18 October 1894

  • [Page 27] “The Chaplain reports that he had reason to fear some play on the harmonium who ought not. The foot board string on one side is broken”.

Thursday, 8 November 1894

  • [Page 31] The following candidates were shortlisted for the matronship:
    • Miss E. E. Eardley
    • Miss Annie E. Whittaker
    • Miss Eliza Baker
    • Miss Jesey M. Hayes

Thursday, 15 November 1894

  • [Page 32] The matron candidates were interviewed and the voting was: Miss Hayes (10 votes) mand Miss Eardley (1 vote)

Thursday, 6 December 1894

  • [Page 36] A letter was received from Mr. D. Henry Bailey regarding Miss Ward’s application for the matronship in a Dublin hospital. The clerk was instructed to write to Mr. Bailey to inform him “that the Committee feel that they cannot interfere in the matter”

Thursday, 20 December 1894

  • [Page 38] A letter was received from the house surgeon tendering his resignation.


Thursday, 3 January 1895

  • [Page 40] Again it was noted that the Committee had received a letter from the house surgeon tendering his resignation which was accepted.

Thursday, 14 February 1895

  • [Page 51] The following candidates were shortlisted for the post of house surgeon:
    • Mr. Robert K. Howat
    • Mr. Percy Lambert
    • Mr. Francis Parris Piper
  • Howat and Piper each received 6 votes. The chairman used his casting vote in favour of Howat.

Thursday, 4 April 1895

  • [Page 60] The matron was given permission to appoint Miss Ethel Pope as a nurse probationer on “the usual terms”. Permission was also given to the matron to purchase a sewing machine.
  • [Page 61] The house surgeon asked if he could resign at short notice to take up post at the Minto House Medical School at Edinburgh. It was agreed if he provided a locum.
  • [Page 61] The clerk to write to Piper (the runner up) to ask if he wants the house surgeon’s post.

Thursday, 18 April 1895

  • [Page 63] Mr. Piper was unable to accept the house surgeon post.
  • [Page 64] Mr. Lambert had also declined the vacancy. The clerk to write to S. J. Stuck to ask if he was open to taking the post and in which case to invite him for interview.

Thursday, 2 May 1895

  • [Page 65] The house surgeon post to be advertised [it appears Stuck had turned it down].

Thursday, 13 June 1895

  • [Page 75] William Norbury was elected house surgeon.

Thursday, 4 July 1895

  • [Page 79] Captain Acland offered to supply pictures of the late Mr. R. Williams and the late Mr. Acland, free of cost.

Thursday, 1 August 1895

  • [Page 84] The matron “applied for permission to order soda water for her own use and the house surgeon’s use instead of beer which was granted”.

Thursday, 5 September 1895

  • [Page 89] The Committee received the resignation of Mr. George’s resignation of the office of honorary surgeon.
  • [Page 90] Mr. Fisher and Mr. Good asked if they could take over Mr. George’s patients.

Thursday, 3 October 1895

  • [Page 96] William Burroughs Cosen (only candidate) was elected honorary surgeon.



Thursday, 2 January 1896

  • [Page 113] The resignation of the house surgeon was received and accepted.
  • [Page 113] The chairman resigned because he disagreed with the decision regarding the number of medical staff to sit on the general management committee.

Thursday, 6 January 1896 (Annual general meeting)

  • [Page 122] The names of the wards was discussed.
  • [Page 124] The rules were changed to allow new patients living outside of the Borough of Dorchester to attend on Saturdays if more convenient. The discussion included consideration of the number of carriers’ vans visiting Dorchester each day. The proposal to make Wednesday the admission day was opposed by Dr. Lush as he woulds have to alter his entire practice.
  • [Page 124] The meeting changed the rule regarding the admission of children. Dr. Lush opposed the rule change (with the exception of cases of accident or emergency).

Thursday, 5 March 1896

  • [Page 129] The following candidates for the post of house surgeon were invited for interview: Mr. William Drake; Mr P. E. Adams; Mr. Wyke-Smith.

Thursday, 19 March 1896

  • [Page 134] The house surgeon candidates were invited and voting took place: Mr. Wyke-Smith (11 votes); Mr. Percy Adams (4 votes); and Mr. Drake (no votes). Mr. Wyke-Smith was declared the winner.
  • [Page 134] The proposals for the organisation of training of nurses were pasted into the minutes:

“The Junior Probationers would come for six weeks on trial, paying £6 6s., which would be refunded on their being accepted as suitable persons to learn nursing”

“Probationers shall not pay for their training, but when accepted by the Committee shall bind themselves for Three Years to the service of the Hospital – The first two years shall be spent in the wards, the last year they shall be liable to be sent out Private Nursing. They shall receive the following salary:- 1st year, £5 ; 2nd year, £15 ; 3rd year, £20.”

The proposal included the recommendation that the hospital should pay for one set of in-door uniforms for the nurses (estimated at £2 per nurse). The training would consist of lectures in “Elementary Physiology and Anatomy, by the House Surgeon, and Medical and Surgical Nursing, by the Matron”.

  • [Page 134] The proposal regarding the uniform was amended to include a cloak and bonnet.

Thursday, 26 March 1896

  • [Page 136] This is the last time that patients for admission and discharge were named in the minutes; from this point on numbers only were recorded.

Thursday, 7 May 1896

  • [Page 144] The proposed rules for the honorary dental surgeon pasted into the minute book. The votes for the new dental surgeon were: C. Prideaux (376 votes); J. Laws (127 votes); J. H. Wallis (46 votes).

Thursday, 2 July 1896

  • [Page 150] It was decided (after a query from the matron) that uniforms must be worn however the matron had power to grant permission for the nurses to wear “private dress” occassionally.

Thursday, 6 August 1896

  • [Page 152] The Committee approved the ward names – Victoria, Floyer and Digby.
  • [Page 153] It was agreed to issue certificates to the nurses trained at the hospital.
  • [Page 153] Nurse Scott (who was leaving) was given permission to keep her uniform (as requested) but she had to hand back her bonnet and cloak.

Thursday, 27 August 1896

  • [Page 154] The house surgeon’s resignation was received.
  • [Page 154] A case of scarlet fever was reported by the house surgeon.

Thursday, 3 September 1896

  • [Page 155] There was a presentation of certificates to the nurses who had passed their examinations in massage: Nurses Edwards, Baldwin, Curry, Fisher, Carter and Pope.
  • [Page 156] Dr. Lush was given permission to admit a case of leprosy.

Thursday, 1 October 1896

  • [Page 159] The matron’s salary was increased from £50 to £60.
  • [Page 159] The Committee received a progress report on the leprosy case. It was agreed that the ticket should not be renewed.
  • [Page 160] A cheque for £15. 6. 2. was signed for the Weymouth Nursing Institution in respect of the scarlet fever case.

Thursday, 15 October 1896

  • [Page 161] The following candidates had been selected for interview for the post of house surgeon following the resignation of Mr. Wyke Smith: Mr. P. E. Adams (for the second time); Mr. Wilkes (who did not turn up). Mr. Adams was elected.

Thursday, 5 November 1896

  • [Page 163] It was agreed to supply winter cloaks to the nurses.
  • [Page 163] The Committee commissioned another list of donors of £25 and upwards to be painted on the panels.

Thursday, 18 November 1896

  • [Page 165] Special general meeting to sanction the establishment of a private nursing scheme. The meeting agreed the adoption of the scheme, with some opposition.

Thursday, 3 December 1896

  • [Page 169] It was agreed to purchase knives and forks for the patients “in lieu of the present system of the Patients providing their own”.



Thursday, 7 January 1897

  • [Page 171] A letter in the Dorset County Chronicle signed “by Member of Committee” was considered a breach of privilege.

Thursday, 14 January 1897

  • [Page 173] Permission was given to the Dorchester Wesleyan Boys Brigade to attend the hospital “to exhibit their drill Gymnastic exercises for the amusement of the Patients”.

Thursday, 4 February 1897

  • [Page 176] The Committee agreed that Mr. W. L. Hawkins can come as a medical student.
  • [Page 177] Annual general meeting – the Governors discussed the proposal for a Private Nursing Scheme. [A copy of the printed proposal is pasted into the minutes.]

Thursday, 4 March 1897

  • [Page 181] The Committee discussed a letter from the Earl of Ilchester proposing a county-wide nursing scheme. The hospital’s nursing scheme was put into abeyance. The letter mentions Lady Baker’s her private nursing staff.
  • [Page 181] Electric bells to be fitted from the surgeons’ room to the male ward and from the physicians’ room to the female ward.

Thursday, 7 April 1897

  • [Page 184] John Tudor resigned as consultant surgeon. He was asked to reconsider his decision.

Thursday, 5 May 1897

  • [Page 187] Mr. Tudor withdrew his resignation.

Thursday, 13 May 1897

  • [Page 189] Another panel with donors’ name was ordered.

Thursday, 4 August 1897

  • [Page 194] Lady Baker has decided to give up her private nursing staff and to throw her weight behind the County Nursing Home.

Thursday, 14 August 1897

  • [Page 195] Tom Dunn came to the hospital on 12 August with an in-patient ticket from C. C. Dunn and was admitted, but the Committee did not consider him a poor and needy person.

Thursday, 1 September 1897

  • [Page 197] The clerk instructed to write to the father of Tom Dunn of Stratton “to express a hope that he would give a Donation to the Hospital”.
  • [Page 197] A picture of the late chairman Mr. Kindersley was received.

Thursday, 16 December 1897

  • [Page 207] A letter was received from the house surgeon resigning his post with effect from next March.
  • [Page 207] Mrs. Williams of Winterborne gave an indoor ticket to Sarah Stratton to be admitted as a paying patient. She was not admitted as it is contrary to the rules.
  • [Page 207] Permission was given for a Boys Brigade Drill to entertain the patients.



Wednesday, 2 February 1898

  • [Page 211] “It was proposed that the County Surveyor (Mr Fletcher) be invited to become Surveyor of the Hospital at a yearly salary of £10 his duty shall be to superintend and pass all structural works, repairs to Buildings &c. and he should receive a further payment of five per cent on all new work over £100 on any one Contract”

Wednesday, 2 March 1898

  • [Page 215] “Mr Fletcher was appointed Surveyor of the Hospital on the terms mentioned in last month’s minute and to include travelling expenses”.



Thursday, 2 February 1899 (Annual general meeting)

  • [Page 245] Mr. Fred. B. Fisher resigned as surgeon and asked to be made consulting surgeon. He was appointed unanimously.
  • [Page 245] It was proposed that domestic servants on small wages should be helped by the hospital. Dr. Lush opposed the motion. It was not put to the meeting as there were fewer than 30 governors present.

Wednesday, 1 March 1899

  • [Page 250] The house surgeon asked to be supplied with bottled beer.

Wednesday, 5 April 1899

  • [Page 251] The Committee agreed bottled beer, cider or lemonade for the house surgeon
  • [Page 251] A letter had been received from Capt. Foster asking that his servant John Bower be allowed to stay in the hospital – Foster would pay the costs. The request was granted.

Wednesday, 3 May 1899

  • [Page 253] Cosens proposed that gynaecological cases requiring operation, and cases of abdominal tumours should be admitted. Cosens also proposed that patients with diseases of the eye should be admitted [page 254]. Dr. Lush opposed the proposal. The vote on the proposal was lost.
  • [Page 253] A letter was received from Messrs. Lott and Walne saying that the house surgeon had changed 10s. 6d. for a certificate for a patient under the Compensation Act. A note that the Committee thought 6s. was sufficient is crossed out.

Wednesday, 7 June 1899

  • [Page 255/256] A plan of a proposed reorganisation of the rooms is pasted in.
  • [Page 256] Dr. Lush opposed the room reorganisation.
  • [Page 256] The house surgeon resigned.
  • [Page 256] It was agreed that the house surgeon should make a charge of not less than 5s. for a Compensation Act certificate.
  • [Page 256] The supply of bottled beer and cider is not to apply to the house surgeon’s successors.

Wednesday, 5 July 1899

  • [Page 258] Probationer Groomridge was under the age (23) stated in the by-laws and so she cannot stay, but she would not be charged a fee.
  • [Page 258] Rather than advertise for a house surgeon, the chair will apply to the London Hospital.

Wednesday, 2 August 1899

  • [Page 260] The house surgeon post was advertised in the Lancet but no applications were received. The advertisement to be repeated in the Lancet and the British Medical Journal
  • [Page 260] The Committee rescinded its resolution of 7 June regarding charges for Compensation Act certificates. The motion to rescind was supported by Dr. Lush. It is not for the Committee to interfere in a matter which according to the Act was a private arrangement between the patient’s employer and a medical practitioner.
  • [Page 260] An application from Miss Van Eysinga to be a probationer was rejected because she was under 23 years of age.

Wednesday, 17 August 1899

  • [Page 262] Mr. Palgrave was appointed house surgeon.

Wednesday, 4 October 1899

  • [Page 265] Miss Hayes (the matron) resigned. The Committee asked her to reconsider but she refused. Miss Edwards to act as her locum. Miss Hayes was allowed to go within six weeks.

Wednesday, 12 October 1899

  • [Page 266] Mr. Palgrave had written to the matron saying he could not return due to illness. Mr. Betts contacted to see if he will act as locum. Failing that the clerk to telegraph Mr. Sergant at Barts to send locum.

Wednesday, 1 November 1899

  • [Page 267] The coroner had refused to pay the usual fee of 5s. for hire of the room if the inquest was held at the hospital. The coroner also stated that in future he should be informed of any deaths at the hospital.

Wednesday, 6 December 1899

  • [Page 270] The house surgeon’s salary to be increased to £100.
  • [Page 270] The present head nurse Miss Edwards to be appointed matron.

Thursday, 28 December 1899

  • [Page 272] The following were applicants for the post of house surgeon: Mr. Martyn Westcott, Mr. Algernon F. Page, Mr. James Johnson, Mr. John C. Pounden and Mr. H. H. Robinson. Westcott and Page were invited for interview.










Thursday, 6 February 1902

  • Report of the Sub-Committee on the New Operating Room appointed January 1st, 1902, pasted into page 336 and presented to the management committee on 6 February 1902. Extracts:

“Several different positions were carefully considered. Finally it was agreed unanimously to recommend that a New Operating Room should be built at the back, or East side, of the Hospital near the centre of the main block of buildings, and adjoining the room now used as the Nurses’ Dining Room. It would be on the level of the first floor of the Hospital, and would be reached by passing through the present Dining Room, which would be given up altogether by the Nurses, and would be used as an Anaesthetic Room.”

“The New Operating Room would be 22ft. 6in. long by 14ft. 6in. wide ; it would stand on arches built over the back yard, and would be in a perfect position as regards light. Windows of any size could be placed in the North, East, and South walls, and there would be no risk of draughts, as there is at present, nor direct communication with the staircase or corridor. A lift would communicate with the main corridors on the ground floor and first floor, and also with the Anaesthetic Room ; it would be of sufficient size to take a wheel couch, so that patients could be taken from the ground floor wards to the lift, and from thence into the operating room without any carrying whatever.”

Wednesday, 2 April 1902

  • [Page 343] Tenders were opened for building the new operating theatre. They were referred to the sub-committee:

Chas. H. Green – £1400

Merrick & Son – £1419

Chas. E. Slade – £1249

Wednesday, 4 June 1902

  • [Page 347] The piers built as the foundations for the new operating room were interfering with the position of the drains in the scullery so the sink had to be repositioned; the sink was difficult to get out and in the end had to be replaced.

Thursday, 13 November 1902 (weekly board, not the management committee)

  • [Page 352] Noted that one of the female wards was temporarily converted into the operating room due to the building works.



Thursday, 4 March 1903

  • [Page 359] A sub-committee was set up to look at installing electric light.

Thursday, 1 April 1903

  • [Page 361] The committee reviewed the sub-committee’s view of the number of lights that would be required in various parts of the hospital. The matter was deferred.
  • [Page 361] The Ladies of Dorset had donated an X-ray machine.



Thursday, 7 December 1904

  • [Page 385] “Mr. Cosens proposed that Patients’ friends may bring in Eggs or Butter. Dr. Lush opposed the proposition. After several other members of the Committee had spoken the meeting abruptly concluded owing to the sudden illness of Dr. Lush – Our greatly revered Honorary Physician died in a few minutes in the Board Room”



Wednesday, 4 January 1905

  • [Page 387] A retirement age for honorary medical staff was introduced, following the death of Dr. Lush.

Wednesday, 7 June 1905

  • [Page 396] The hospital accepted the proposal to install a telephone.

Wednesday, 1 November 1905

  • [Page 402] It was agreed that provisions for patients (i.e. eggs and butter) can be brought in with the permission of the medical officers.
  • [Page 402] Cracks were appearing in the arches of the operating room; Slade’s estimate for repair £18 15s 0d.

Wednesday, 6 December 1905

  • [Page 403] The wording for the new by-law relating to provisions being brought in for patients was agreed by the committee.




















Thursday, 4 September 1912

  • [Page 506] The committee appointed an electrician to maintain the hospital’s electrical equipment.

Thursday, 4 November 1912

  • [Page 541] The committee approved the installation of electric lighting in the operating theatre and the anaesthetic room.







Thursday, 7 April 1915

  • [Page 548] Electrical lighting to be installed in various rooms.








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