16th March

1901

Medical Committee Minutes Jan 1900 – Nov 1912 NHNN/A/9/2

Extract from a letter to the Editor of The Times from W.H. Broadbent

The most astounding thing is that the secretary-director and the board continue to arrogate to themselves all the credit of the success which has been attained by the hospital. Apparently, as represented by the secretary-director, they actually believe it and do not see that it is entirely to the medical and surgical staff that the reputation and usefulness of the hospital are due. Their part in the result is very small. If Mr Burford Rawlings and his board were eliminated tomorrow, a new board and secretary would carry out their part of the work equally well next day, whereas the staff could not be replaced. Secretaries and members of boards are cheap. It may be said that doctors are cheap too, but not such men as Hughlings Jackson, Buzzard, Bastian, Ferrier, Semon, Victor Horsley and the rest. It would be interesting to see the list of their successors which the secretary-director is supposed to have up his sleeve.

Extract from a letter to the Editor of The Times from Burford Rawlings

I find, however, by correspondence which has reached me that readers other than the staff, some regretfully, some with approval, share the impression that I charged the staff with desiring β€œto turn the hospital into a mere scientific laboratory.”

Nothing I wrote, if carefully read could bear this construction. The great value of the teaching work of the hospital has always been fully recognised by the lay authorities, as a reference to any of the publications which have emanated from the hospital will show. Without exception they contain a cordial tribute to the educational side of the work, which has been a remarkable feature of the institution.

But that there is already a considerable misapprehension abroad concerning the use to which the hospital is put for experimental purposes, that the idea is fostered by the scientific attainments of certain of the staff, and that the finances of the hospital have suffered in consequence are incontrovertible facts, not unknown to the staff themselves. It is therefore a legitimate and wholly reasonable contention that is these gentlemen were included in the governing body the danger to the hospital would be seriously increased.

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On This Day is a diary of day to day life in the Hospital covering 1859 to the 1940’s.

Extracts are taken from the staff records, letters, the reports of the Matron and the Lady Superintendent, and the minutes of the Board of Management and the Medical Committee. They were compiled with the help of Janet Townsend, Frankie Alves, Louise Shepherd, Michael Clark and Liz Yamada

The item of the month also contains items highlighted by archive staff.