British Journal of Nursing (The Nursing Record)

The Nursing Record was published from 1888 to 1956, changing its name in 1902 to The British Journal of Nursing.  Searchable online images are available on the Royal College of Nursing’s website.

Transcripts of articles referring to Dorset County Hospital are on this page, divided into:

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Appointments

Miss Frances E. G. WARD has been elected Matron to the Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester. She was trained at Westminster Hospital. [The Nursing Record, 4 November 1893, page 226]

Miss E. STUART JONES has been appointed Matron to the In–patient Department, Uxbridge Road, W., of St. John’s Hospital for Diseases of the Skin, Leicester Square. Miss Jones received her training at the Royal Infirmary, Preston, and has since held the positions of Staff Nurse at the Dorset County Hospital; Charge Nurse at the Infirmary, Warrington; and Sister at the Cardiff Infirmary. She has also temporarily acted as Matron at the last mentioned institution. [The Nursing Record, 3 December 1898, page 452]

Miss HAYES, who served as matron [of Dorset County Hospital] to the satisfaction of the committee for five years, resigned in September, having undertaken the superintendence ok a private nursing home. Miss EDWARDS, who has been a nurse in the hospital for seven years, has been elected as the new matron. [The Nursing Record, 24 February 1900, page 159]

Miss Margaret Frances TATHAM has been appointed Lady Superintendent of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Aberdeen. Miss TATHAM received her training at the London Hospital and at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, and has held the positions of Sister at the Dorset County Hospital and Matron of the Scottish Branch of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses. She is at present Superintendent of the Nurses’ Institute, Abbey Road, Torquay. [The Nursing Record, 30 November 1901, page 432]

Miss L. Marion WALES has been appointed Matron’s Assistant at the Royal United Hospital, Bath. Sha was trained and certificated at the General Hospital, Bristol, and took the first prize of her year in Medical and Surgical Nursing. She subsequently worked on the Private Nursing Staff in connection with her training school, and for two years was Sister in Charge of the Theatre and Female Floor at the Dorset County Hospital. For the last two years she has held the position of Night Sister at the Royal United Hospital. [The Nursing Record, 4 January 1902, page 5]

Miss Annie BURROWS has been appointed Matron of the Cottage Hospital, Gretton. She was trained at the Royal Infirmary, Manchester, and has held the positions of Head Nurse at the Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester, Charge Nurse of the Northern Hospital, Winchmore Hill, and of temporary Night Sister at the Southport Infirmary. She holds the certificate of the City of London Lying–in Hospital. [The British Journal of Nursing, 25 November 1905, page 431]

Princess Alice Memorial Hospital, Eastbourne.–Miss M. EDMONSTON has been appointed Night Sister. She was trained at the Oldham Infirmary, and has held the position of Sister at Ingham Infirmary, South Shields, Night Sister at Dorset County Hospital, and Ward Sister at Darlington Hospital. [The British Journal of Nursing, 30 May 1908, page 484]

West Suffolk General Hospital, Bury St. Edmunds.–Miss Grace WARNER has been appointed Sister. She was trained at the Borough Hospital, Birkenhead, where she has also held the position of Sister. She has also held the position of Night Sister at the Dorset County Hospital, and of Ward and Night Sister at the Staffordshire General Infirmary, Stafford. [The British Journal of Nursing, 6 July 1912, page 9]

Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester.–Miss M. SMITH has been appointed Sister. She was trained at the Royal Infirmary, Cornwall, and has been Staff Nurse at the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital, and has done Sister’s duties at the Dorset County Hospital. [The British Journal of Nursing, 10 May 1913, page 374]

Royal Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital, Charing Cross.–Miss Elsie E. HARLOW has been appointed Sister. She was trained at Great Yarmouth Hospital, and has held the position of Sister at the Royal Infirmary, Bradford, the Dorset County Hospital, and Ward Sister and Night Sister at the Royal West Sussex Hospital. [The British Journal of Nursing, 20 September 1913, page 232]

Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester.–Miss Mabel COTTON has been appointed Matron. She was trained at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan, where she held the position of Sister in various departments. She has also held the positions of Assistant Lady Superintendent at the Acland Nursing Home, Oxford; and Matron at the Tavistock Hospital. [The British Journal of Nursing, 23 November 1913, page 418]

Edgbaston Private Nursing Home, Ltd.–Miss M. COTTON has been appointed Matron. She was trained at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan, where she afterwards held the position of Sister. She has also been Assistant Superintendent at the Acland Nursing Home, Oxford, Matron of the Tavistock Cottage Hospital, and Matron of the Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester. [The British Journal of Nursing, 6 June 1914, page 510]

Dorset County Hospital.–Miss L. MARLOW has been appointed matron. She was trained at the County Hospital, Winchester, and has been Matron of the District Nursing Association Homes at Kingswood, and Hanham Private Nursing Home at Richmond and Matron of the Dorset County Nursing Home. [The British Journal of Nursing, 11 July 1914, page 34]

Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.–Miss N. H. McCHEANE has been appointed Sister of the X–Ray Department. She was trained at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, and has been Sister in the military section at the Seaside Hospital, Seaford, and Sister of the Male Wards at the Dorset County Hospital. [The British Journal of Nursing, 10 June 1916, page 502]

Eston Hospital, Eston, Yorks.–Miss Mabel COTTON has been appointed Matron. She was trained at the Royal Infirmary, Wigan, and has held she following positions :–Sister in Training School; Assistant Lady Superintendent, Acland Nursing Home, Oxford; and Matron of Tavistock Hospital; Dorset County Hospital; and St. Chad‘s Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham. [The British Journal of Nursing, 10 May 1919, page 320]

Crumpsall Infirmary, Manchester.– Miss Nora McCHEANE has been appointed Sister–Tutor, She was trained at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, and has since been ward sister at Seaford, at the Dorset County Hospital, and in charge of the X–Ray and electrical department at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. Miss McCHEANE took the course for sister–tutors at King’s College for Women. She also holds the certificate of the Incorporated Society of Trained Masseuses. [The British Journal of Nursing, 11 September 1920, page 148]

Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester.–Miss E. M. BELLAMY, S.R.N., has been appointed Matron. She was trained at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Norwich, where she obtained her Housekeeping Certificate, and has been Ward Sister at the Deaconess Hospital, Edinburgh, Sister Housekeeper and Assistant Matron at the Royal Infirmary, Huddersfield, Home Sister and Sister Tutor at the Royal Infirmary, Oldham, and Matron at the Central London Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. [The British Journal of Nursing, October 1931, page 278]

Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester.–Miss M. BENJAFIELD, S.R.N., has been appointed matron. She was trained at the Royal Infirmary, Bristol, where she was later Ward Sister and Senior Tutor Sister, and has also been Home Sister at the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford. [The British Journal of Nursing, May 1935, page 132]

City General Hospital, Derby.–Miss Freda B. MORLEY, S.R.N., S.C.M., has been appointed Sister Tutor. She was trained at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle–on–Tyne, and has been Casualty and Out–Patient Department Sister and wad Sister at Royal West Sussex Hospital, Ward Sister at Dorset County Hospital, and holds the Sister Tutor’s Certificate of Icing’s College, University of London. [The British Journal of Nursing, November 1936, page 304]

THE NURSING SERVICE RESERVE. The War Office announces that the following have recently been appointed members of Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve:–

Name and Training School. … Miss A. ROBERTS, Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester.

[The British Journal of Nursing, June 1938, page 160]

Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester.–Miss D. M. GOODWIN, S.R.N., has been appointed Matron. She was trained at the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, Stoke-on-Trent, and has been Ward Sister and Night Sister at the Royal Hospital, Wolverhampton; Ward Sister, Home Sister and Sister Tutor at St. Luke’s Hospital, Lowestoft; Home Sister and Sister Tutor at the Victoria Hospital, Accrington; Assistant Matron at the Gravesend and North Kent Hospital, Gravesend; and Matron at the Central London Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. Miss GOODWIN received her Housekeeping Training at the General Hospital, Nottingham. [The British Journal of Nursing, January 1939, page 8]

Star and Garter Home for Disabled Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen, Richmond, Surrey.–Miss Margaret E. EATON, S.R.N., S.C.M., has been appointed Matron. She was trained at the West London Hospital, Hammersmith, where she was later Staff Nurse and Sister. Miss EATON has also held posts as Sister–in–charge, Male Accident Ward, Royal Hants. County Hospital, Winchester; Sister (temporary), Private Wards, Dorset County Hospital, Dorchester; Night Sister at the Royal West Sussex County Hospital, Chichester; Sister–in–charge, Maternity and Children’s Ward, Dorset County Hospital; Sister–in–charge, Male Accident Ward, Royal Infirmary Worcester. Miss EATON served in the Territorial Army Nursing Service from 1940–1946 as Sister, in Iceland, England and India, and as Assistant Matron, Principal Matron and Matron. Miss EATON is at present on the administrative staff of the Royal Infirmary, Worcester. [The British Journal of Nursing, June 1947, page 68]

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News articles

PROVINCIAL NURSE TRAINING SCHOOLS, 1894  … DORCHESTER. – DORSET COUNTY HOSPITAL. –Established 1841. 50 beds. Nursing Staff–Matron, Miss H. Lawrence, and 6 Nurses. [The Nursing Record, 6 October 1894, page 229]

From the annual report of the Dorset County Hospital we learn that much good work has been done during the past year. On the 22nd April the Bishop of the Diocese dedicated a new stained glass east window in the chapel, which had been presented by Colonel Robert WILLIAMS, M.P., and his sisters, in memory of their father and brother. It has added greatly to the beauty of the chapel, which was the gift of the late Sir Robert WILLIAMS. A new frontal for the Holy Table has also been given by friends of the hospital.   Miss HAYES, who served as matron to the satisfaction of the committee for five years, resigned in September, having undertaken the superintendence ok a private nursing home. Miss EDWARDS, who has been a nurse in the hospital for seven years, has been elected as the new matron. [The Nursing Record, 24 February 1900, page 159]

PROFESSIONAL REVIEW

[Article listing hospitals that have adopted the three-year nursing certificate]

…The Dorset County Hospital, which had adopted the three years’ standard, has now retrograded, and grants a one year’s certificate. With these regrettable exceptions, nearly all the hospitals in the country have come into line, and though uniformity of training has still to be attained in the future, have adopted the three years’ standard. [The Nursing Record, 14 August 1900, page 303]

The Dorset County Hospital has been presented with two portraits of Dr. Vawdrey Lush, for thirty– two years physician to the hospital, who died suddenly in the Board Room of the institution while attending a committee meeting. One, which has been presented by Mrs. Vawdrey Lush, hangs in the out–patient room, which Dr. Lush attended for so many years to give advice. The second portrait hangs among those of other medical men and benefactors to the institution on the walls of the Board Room, where Dr. Lush breathed his last. [The British Journal of Nursing, 2 September 1905, page 198]

PRESENTATION.  Many friends who subscribed to present Miss EDWARDS, the late Matron of the Dorset County Hospital, with an expression of appreciation of their regard for her will learn with pleasure that this has been warmly appreciated by the recipient.  In acknowledging the cheque for £60, which was sent to her with the request that she would make use of it in some personal way, Miss EDWARDS wrote that she never had so delightful a surprise in her life. She had no idea she had so many kind friends although she knew that no place could be to her what Dorchester and its dear old hospital, had been. As a result she is now arranging to spend some time in a warm place on the South Coast. In addition to the cheque Miss EDWARDS’ friends have presented her with a handsome ink–stand, candlesticks, and a bound book containing the names of subscribers to the gift. [The British Journal of Nursing, 25 January 1913, page 70]

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Nursing dispute (1888)

In 1888 a series of articles and “gossip” pieces appeared in the Nursing Record about a dispute at Dorset County Hospital between the management committee and two of the medical officers, concerning the role of the matron.  The committee wanted the matron to superintend the nursing (rather than just the nurses) as well as overseeing the housekeeping arrangements.  The articles include one by Mrs. Gordon Fenwick (1857-1947), who led the campaign for state registration of nurses.

Nursing Record, 31 May 1888, page 104

I HAVE not previously referred to the trouble which has been in progress at the Dorset County Hospital, because I could not obtain a full account from both sides. But I have now done so and given it to Mr. Editor, who thinks the matter SO important that he will “devote a leader to it” as soon as possible. But the facts of the matter, it appears, are that for the last three or four years there has been a continual contention between the committee of management and two members of the medical staff––one physician and one surgeon. The committee have decided that the matron ought to be fully trained, and superintend the nursing as well as the nurses. The two doctors say she shall not go round the wards with them, nor attend operations, and that they will give all their orders direct to the nurses, not through her. The net result has been that in three years there have been and gone no fewer than six matrons!

The hospital only contains fifty beds, and so there can be no doubt that a matron with her heart in the work could easily superintend the nursing of every patient, and supervise all the domestic arrangements besides. It is equally certain that nothing tends so greatly to raise the standard of the nursing in any hospital as the presence of an enthusiastic thoroughly trained woman at its head. And the better the nursing, of course, the better it must be, not only for the patients, but also for the credit of the institution. I have just heard from Mr. Editor that he has received and will publish this week a communication from Mrs. Bedford Fenwick on this subject, so it is quite unnecessary for me to say any more.

*****

Nursing Record, 31 May 1888, pages 102-103

THE DORSET COUNTY HOSPITAL.

BY ETHEL GORDON FENWICK (Late Matron of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital).

IT gives me much pleasure, in accordance with the request of the Editor, to open a discussion in the columns of this journal concerning the raison d’etre of the unfortunate crisis through which the Dorset County Hospital is now passing, as it is a matter which must necessarily interest the nursing profession.

It appears that part of the lay committee and some members of the medical staff are at variance concerning the best method (for, from what I hear, I am convinced that all desire the best method) of nursing the patients efficiently. The lay committee are of the opinion that owing to the small number of beds, their matron (a gentlewoman) should be a thoroughly-trained nurse, and act as “sister” in the wards, taking the medical men’s orders, and superintending their performance, as well as being responsible for the housekeeping and general management of the hospital. Two members of the medical staff are keenly opposed to this arrangement, and prefer a housekeeper pure and simple as administrator, and that the entire charge and responsibility of nursing the sick – which, of course, is the most important item in the whole of a hospital’s internal management – should be in the hands of a head nurse, thereby inevitably creating a division of authority in this small institution – I say advisedly small institution, because an arrangement for division of labour, which may be necessary in a hospital of 300 to 800 beds, is not the most efficacious method of working a hospital comprising 50 beds – the size only of many wards in large institutions.

After some years’ experience of hospital life, and having worked in a small country hospital – concerning the nursing of which the self-same discussion took place some nine years ago, and which ended in the lady superintendent acting also as ward sister, with thoroughly-trained charge or staff nurses under her, to the ultimate satisfaction of all concerned – I should like to state unhesitatingly, that my entire sympathy is with the lay committee on this question, and proceed to give my reasons.

We all know the inevitable result of a house divided against itself, and I believe the Dorchester Hospital, after changing its matron six times in three years, cannot be in a satisfactory condition – at least I hear, and am little surprised at the intelligence, that matters are in a most disorganised state. The first and principal sufferers under these circumstances are, of course, the patients, and therefore the matter becomes at once interesting and of importance to the public at large.

I believe the majority of women, at least those endowed with average energy, intelligence and love of occupation, will agree with me, that to superintend the domestic department alone of a hospital of fifty beds means comparative idleness, and that no gentlewoman, trained as the nursing head of every hospital or infirmary should undoubtedly be, would be satisfied to be deprived of all interest in the ward work and well-being of the sick, for whose comfort her more trying and routine duties have to be daily performed.

To be placed in such a position is to be asked “to make bricks without straw.” When a lady is appointed matron of a small hospital, she becomes responsible to her lay authorities and to the public for the general management of the establishment, which means that in every department efficiency with economy shall be maintained, that her subordinates, nurses and servants, shall be diligent and upright in the performance of their individual duties. The one goal being the well being and recovery of the sick, and unless this lady be endowed with sufficient and indisputable authority, how is it possible for her either to perform her own duties satisfactorily or to insist that others should do likewise? Without such authority her position is an anomaly and failure inevitable, even with the most conscientious endeavours, and no woman of ability (such as every hospital matron should be), unless she wishes to eat her heart out in desperation and self-contempt, will ever undertake duties for the efficient performance of which she has neither scope nor power.

The matron of a small hospital should be the undisputed head, and solely responsible for the nursing and domestic departments; she should be the superintendent, guide, and friend of every female worker within its walls, as Miss Nightingale has written: “herself the best nurse in the place, the model of all her nurses would wish to be.” She should attend the visiting staff during their visit, hear their directions given so that she may know what they are, and see that they are carried out by those whose duty it is to perform the details of nursing; she should be at hand, and actively engaged in the theatre, where the charge nurse and probationer will have their numerous and respective duties during all operations. No department in the hospital where the women are at work must be closed to her inspection by night or day. Performance of what must be a matron’s duties on any other terms is not only difficult but impossible; therefore, they should not be undertaken by an honourable woman on any other terms, because she will only subject herself to the merest humiliation, and in the inevitable and general demoralization which will result become herself demoralized and quite unfitted to assume an attitude of command.

After three years’ futile warfare, I should hope the lay and medical authorities of the Dorset County Hospital will see that for the sake of the sick it is their distinct duty to have a truce; and it is to be  hoped that the former will obtain the services of a thoroughly-trained sister who has a good knowledge of housekeeping to fill the vacant post of matron, from a large liberal-minded hospital, where she has had charge of large wards, where she has gained experience in teaching probationers and in superintending the work of trained staff nurses, and where one of her principal duties has been to maintain a spirit of loyalty and discipline amongst her fellow-workers. She must be a woman of high aim, earnest purpose, possessed of tact and complete self-control, and I have no doubt that in a short time the Dorset County Hospital will regain its equilibrium and rank with such a sister hospital as, for example, the County Hospital at Lincoln, where the excellent system of having a lady superintendent of nursing (not only of nurses) has been for some years in vogue, and where perfect unity with efficiency prevails, to the undisputed advantage of all concerned.

[We shall be glad to hear the views of our readers upon this important subject to the nursing profession, and open our Correspondence Columns to it accordingly. – Ed.]

*****

Nursing Record, 21 June 1888, page 141

I HEAR that Miss LAWRENCE has been the successful candidate for the vacant post at the Dorset County Hospital. She has recently been working with Miss Guinness at the Maidstone Hospital, but was previously Night Superintendent at the Salisbury Hospital, where by-the-bye she had much of the housekeeping duties to perform. And this evidently stood her in good stead, because it is said that it was her experience of these matters which gained her the post. Miss LAWRENCE must have the good wishes of every one interested in Nursing progress, and her career will be closely watched, and if successful where so many have previously suffered so much, she will be cordially congratulated. She must have a good deal of courage, for I fear the opponents of all reform are many, and endowed with astonishing ignorance and vulgarity.

A CORRESPONDENT sends me a local paper in which appears a letter from a person whose place of origin is quite beyond doubt. Among other remarks of equal lucidity he derides ‘the absurd expenditure of £126 15s for converting the Hospital roof into dormitories and bath-rooms for the new Nurses, which had not been found necessary for forty-one years. (The italics are mine.) Does the man mean the new Nurses, or the dormitories, or the Hospital roof, or the £126 15s had not been found necessary for forty-five years? With equal lack of grammar, good taste and sense, he scoffs at “the individuals pluming themselves as Lady Superintendents, Lady Nurses or Nursing Sisters,” informs a hushed and listening world that he has “no sympathy with such maudlin sentimentality ” and “no patience with the idea of rigging out Nurses and perhaps the Matron with mob-caps, to be followed I suppose with scuttle bonnets, scull-bands, strings of beads and slopping shoes.” What does the man mean? There is a long column of similar delirious babblings, or ridiculous ignorance and vulgarity, I don’t know which. But it quite explains why so many Matrons have left the County Hospital, if they were exposed to the sort of language which this Dorchester person would probably employ to a Nurse whom educated people with “maudlin sentimentality ” considered a gentIewoman.

*****

Nursing Record, 12 July 1888, page 176

I HAVE seen an interesting letter from Miss Mary NICOLAY, the late Matron of the Dorset County Hospital, detailing the troubles she underwent during her seven months tenure of office in that institution. She leaves England next month for Freemantle, in Western Australia, with the intention of organizing a Home for private Nurses, and special cases, under high patronage, lay and medical, which has been, I understand, promised to her. In time, it is hoped that, they may be able to build a hospital; but, of course, in a young colonial town, such a work as that will require time. I am sure she will take with her the best wishes of many members of her profession, for her future welfare and success, and that she may have less difficulties and more happiness in her next sphere of work, than she has had in her last.

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