View Full Version : Admission to hospital 1880s
13-11-2008, 5:28 PM
My ggrandfather's first wife died in St Thomas's Hospital, Lambeth in March 1886 (phthisis 6 months) and I was wondering what the criteria was for admission in those days. Ggrandfather Thomas was a warehouseman in those days, so presumably would not have had a lot of money to pay for treatment. (He also had a young daughter born in Jan 1884 and I don't know how she was cared for, either.)
I rather assumed that people would normally die in their own homes, but it must have been difficult to care for a very sick woman if you had to work as well.
All I can find from a quick google is:
"The patients at St Thomas's Hospital were mainly poor people who were expected to contribute to their care if they could afford it. Rich patients were treated and operated on at home rather than in hospital. The patients at the Old Operating Theatre were all women."
13-11-2008, 6:11 PM
Phthisis was a very contageous disease and families of sufferers had to keep away from them at all costs for fear of infection. Phthisis was TB of the lungs and could take months or years to kill a sufferer. Often they would be kept isolated in the back room of a two or three room tenement or two up two down house but if there wasnt enough accomodation ie, a one room tenement for an infected person then they may have been taken into hospital.
It is very likely that a local Relieving Officer ordered the admission of the patient into the St Thomas's Hospital. That has happened with a few of my London ancestors.
Normally admission and discharge registers give the "By Whose Order Admitted" column and it will normally say the name of the person but he was probably a doctor or relieving officer or workhouse master.
The London Metropolitan Archives may have registers of the hospital. Their website has an online searchable database catalogue.
13-11-2008, 7:22 PM
I have a relative who was a patient in the Tottenham Training Hospital at the time of the the 1881 census. Does anyone know anything about that establishment, and if there are records?
13-11-2008, 7:50 PM
Wealthy people could Endow a bed, or even a ward, so that people who couldn't afford to pay for treatment could be admitted. They would have to obtain a ticket. to benefit. I have tried to search for "Endowed Hospital Beds" to get you a reference - but this resulted in some amusing combinations of Well-endowed women in Hospital Beds :D.
14-11-2008, 8:26 PM
This goes to show how some wealthy people were philanthropic if they endowned a bed for poorer people.
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