Committee meetings 1869-74

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The following notes have been extracted from the Minutes of the Committee of Management 1869-74 held at the Dorset History Centre (NG/HH/DO(C)/1/2/4).


1869 continued

Thursday, 10 June 1869

  • “The Porter Summers being obliged to leave from ill-health, a man, named Richard Telford, highly recommended by E. W. Williams, Esq., was chosen to come here on Monday-fortnight, to occupy the Cottage at the gate; Coals to be found for him, and 15/ per week.”

Thursday, 8 July 1869

  • Cheques included one for Nurse Burton (£2 2s. 10d.).

Thursday, 15 July 1869

  • “Nurse Ardley is allowed to have her little boy to stay here for a fortnight”.

Thursday, 29 July 1869

  • “Henry Welch, Dispenser, applied for leave of absence for 3 weeks from next Monday. Granted.”

Thursday, 16 December 1869

  • Patients Henry Knight and Charles Johnson were dismissed for smoking in the wards.



Thursday, 10 March 1870

  • The house surgeon was called away due to the illness of his mother.  Mr. Parmiter acting as locum in his absence.

Thursday, 2 June 1870

  • The salary of Henry Welch (dispenser) to increase to £30 per annum from 1st March last.

Thursday, 7 July 1870

  • The Matron’s salary was increased to £60 per annum from the beginning of the quarter.

Thursday, 22 September 1870

  • The house surgeon resigned.

Thursday, 20 October 1870

  • The eligible candidates for the post of house surgeon were:

John Small Leland

Henry Bennett Bailey

Arthur H. Morrill

L. Y. Dubois

Daniel McClure Ross

Alfred Hollis

Thursday, 3 November 1870

  • General meeting – Mr. Ross had withdrawn his candidacy for the post of house surgeon.  The voting was Hollis, 237 papers and 609 votes; Leland, 51 papers and 66 votes; Bailey, 2 papers and 11 votes.  Hollis was declared the winner.

Thursday, 17 November 1870

  • “The ale was complained of”.  The chairman to write to Messrs. Devenish stating that unless there was an immediate improvement “the contract must be broken”.

Thursday, 29 December 1870

  • The Committee heard complaints from the house surgeon and matron against the porter: he was “strongly admonished” by the Committee and informed that if there were further changes “he must go”.



Thursday, 16 February 1871

  • The beef was rejected as “unfit for human food”.

Thursday, 20 April 1871

  • “The Porter having been seen by Mr. Tudor in the Act of improper dealing with a young female Patient, the Committee gave him notice that he was to quit in a month – or Earlier, if his Conduct was not satisfactory to the House Surgeon in the mean time”.

Thursday, 27 April 1871

  • The Porter was “very penitent” and “the matter being to some extent explained” the notice was withdrawn upon his promising good behaviour in future.

Thursday, 11 May 1871

  • Nurse Burton’s pay to increase to £25 per annum “in consideration of her Capabilities & Experience”.

Thursday, 8 June 1871

  • Henry Welch (dispenser) gave a month’s notice.

Thursday, 29 June 1871

  • George Palmer had applied for the post of dispenser (in answer to an advertisement).  Dr. Hollis to make enquiries about him and if satisfactory employ him on one month’s trial at £30 per annum.

Thursday, 21 September 1871

  • “The Committee approved of Isabella Bailey’s being trained by Nurse Burton for six months, to take the Head Nurse’s place upstairs”.

Thursday, 12 October 1871

  • The Medical Committee presented a resolution disowning responsibility for the dispensing of medicines due to serious complaints of inefficiency.  The Management Committee responded that they had in fact that day appointed “a Dispenser of so much experience” so that there should be no more complaints.
  • Mr. Charles Thomas Carter was appointed dispenser at £30 per annum.

Thursday, 14 December 1871

  • Reported that the physician Dr. Cowdell is so seriously ill he cannot perform his dutires.  The surgeons to provide cover.

Thursday, 21 December 1871

  • It was announced that Dr. Cowdell had died the previous Friday.



Thursday, 11 January 1872

  • Letter received from Dr. Cowdell’s widow (in full in the original minutes) thanking the Committee for their condolences.

Thursday, 8 February 1872

  • The porter was given a week’s notice for “having been guilty of most disgraceful Conduct in the Kitchen”.  In the meantime he was banned from coming inside the walls of the hospital.  The cook received a month’s notice as she had shown herself incapable of keeping proper order in the kitchen and for failing to report the conduct of the servants. Emily Pitman and Susan Garland were dismissed summarily.
  • Dr. Lush of Weymouth asked permission for his pupil – William Henry Besant – to attend the practice of the hospital (in line with Rule 64).  Permission was granted subject to Besant’s good behaviour.
  • Dr D. W. Williams was the only candidate for Dr. Cowdell’s post.
  • The dispenser’s salary was increased to £50 per annum on condition that he agreed to stay in post for 5 years.

Thursday, 15 February 1872

  • Applications were received from 16 candidates for the post of porter. Henry Keats was selected.

Thursday, 22 February 1872

  • General meeting – Dr. D. W. Williams elected honorary physician.

Thursday, 29 February 1872

  • It was reported that the bread was sour and under-baked – complaint to be made to the contractor.

Thursday, 21 March 1872

  • Edna Randall, formerly a nurse at the hospital, was given permission to bring her baby while acting as nurse for three months.

Thursday, 28 March 1872

  • The matron was authorised to employ a female patient to repair the mattresses.

Thursday, 18 April 1872

  • The house surgeon asked permission to apply for the post of Resident Medical Officer at the Royal Albert Hospital, Devonport.  The Committee agreed to provide a testimonial.

Thursday, 13 June 1872

  • Reported that Dr. Williams had resigned as honorary physician.

Thursday, 11 July 1872

  • The chaplain gave three months’ notice.

Thursday, 1 August 1872

  • There was only one applicant for the post of honorary physician – Dr. William Vawdrey Lush of Weymouth.

Thursday, 15 August 1872

  • General meeting – Dr. Lush was elected honorary physician.

Thursday, 17 October 1872

  • The dietary was discussed, including the possibility of increasing the amount of vegetables – the advice of the medical officers to be sought.
  • A large photograph of Dr. Cowdell had been donated, to be put up in the hospital.

Thursday, 24 October 1872

  • The Rev. John Aldworth was appointed chaplain.

Thursday, 31 October 1872

  • Dr. Lush had compared Dorset County Hospital’s dietary with those of neighbouring hospitals and found it to be almost identical.

Thursday, 7 November 1872

  • The Committee agreed to have earth closets installed in some parts of the hospital for a 6 month trial.

Thursday, 19 December 1872

  • The chaplain’s resignation was received.



Thursday, 16 January 1873

  • The Committee agreed Dr. Lush application that his pupil Mr. Edward Cooper Fenonthet (?) be allowed to attend the hospital.

Thursday, 20 February 1873

  • The Rev. F. F. Morgan was elected chaplain.

Thursday, 27 February 1873

  • “The house surgeon reported that there was one case of decided Scarlet Fever in the House, and another, which was very probably so.  The Committee conferred with the Physician & arranged that all responsibility should be left with the Medical Officers, as to the admission & discharge of Patients, but they recommended that as few admissions as possible should be made, and that no Patient should be admitted without a knowledge of the circumstances”.

Thursday, 3 April 1873

  • “The Porter was authorised to get a suit of working clothes, and it was agreed that he was to have a gratuity of 2/6 a month, for flushing the Drains twice, provided it be done properly”.

Thursday, 10 April 1873

  • Letter from the Medical Committee suggesting ways of reducing expenditure:
    • Marsala wine at £1 per doz should be supplied “instead of the higher priced ‘sherry’ (so called)”
    • Australian meal to be made use of by the Domestics if not by the patients
    • Serve bread sliced at mealtimes rather than small loaves – apparently some patients throw portions of their loaves away to get fresh one
    • Use less expensive drugs where possible and omit from prescriptions “non-essential flavouring adjuncts”.

Thursday, 12 June 1873

  • “Nurse Burton was allowed to have her little Boy here for a week”.

Thursday, 17 July 1873

  • “A sum of £5 was granted to Dr. Hollis to help in the provision of a substitute for three weeks absence”.

Thursday, 24 July 1873

  • Mr. Good had accepted a patient “in good circumstances”. This should not be construed as a precedent. The patient is expected to make full compensation for expenses incurred and to leave as soon as possible.

Thursday, 31 July 1873

  • The Committee has received a letter from the Secretary of the Salisbury Infirmary about establishing a Hospital Sunday throughout the Diocese of Salisbury – they postponed discussion.

Thursday, 7 August 1873

  • The Committee discussed the proposed Hospital Sunday. They agreed to invite clergy and ministers of all denominations in the county “to unite in this object”. A circular to be prepared proposing 28 September.

Thursday, 2 October 1873

  • The Committee received Dr. Hollis’s resignation.

Thursday, 30 October 1873

  • Advertisements for the post of house surgeon to be place in the Lancet and British Medical Journal.

Thursday, 27 November 1873

  • The following were deemed eligible candidates for the post of house surgeon:
    • Mr. D. Charles Davidson LRCP & LRCS
    • Dr. J. Wilson Steele MD MCh

“subject to the approbation of the Medical Committee”

Thursday, 4 December 1873

  • The Committee decided that the Hospital Sunday should be county-wide not diocese-wide – “they preferred to act independently in the matter”.

Thursday, 18 December 1873

  • General meeting – election of the house surgeon: Mr. D. Charles Davidson (82 papers, 265 votes); Dr. J. Wilson Steele (25 papers, 42 votes). Davidson was duly elected.



Thursday, 15 January 1874

  • Mr. D. C. Davidson had begun work as house surgeon on 8 January.

Thursday, 9 April 1874

  • The Committee received the chaplain’s resignation.


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