Emergency Services => Medical => Topic started by: kyn on February 16, 2012, 00:07:46

Title: Chatham Garrison Hospital
Post by: kyn on February 16, 2012, 00:07:46
1858 report.

Chatham Garrison Hospital.

This Hospital, originally constructed for the sick of the Ordnance, has had several considerable additions made to its accommodation since its conversion to its present use.  It now consists of two buildings, Nos. 1 and 2, situated in an open airy position, on the hill slope above the Barracks.  The main line of building faces east and west, and on each flat there is a range of wards, and a corridor extending the entire length of the range.  The wards are situated on the eastern side, and the corridor on the western side.  The milder and warmer aspect of the Hospital is thus protected by the corridors, whilst the colder side has no protection.  The range of corridors communicate by stairs extending from the top to the bottom of the building, so that the entire ventilation of the hospital wards can communicate throughout.
There are 37 sick wards, exclusive of two for the separate treatment of itch patients.
The following table shows the extent of ward accommodation in this Hospital:-

Wards.Present Number of Beds.Number of Beds at 1200 cubic feet each.Deficiency of Bed Space.
No. 1 Hospital. 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10..42 2121
13 to 32 inclusive..200100100
33 to 37 inclusive..301515
No. 2 Hospital. 1 to 6 inclusive..603624
Total 38332172160

The wards are low and confined.  With six exceptions, they are only 10 feet 8 inches in height, and the remaining wards are 12 feet high.  Their length varies from 188 to 33 feet, and their breadth from 16 feet 6 inches to 19 feet 10 inches.  All the wards in No 1 Hospital have only one window each, varying from 4 feet 6 to 6 feet 8 inches high.  The 6 wards in No. 2 Hospital have 2 windows in each.  The whole structure resembles a series of cells, presenting great obstacles to ventilation, and the foul air of which can pass from one cell to the other by means of the corridors and staircases.
The ventilation, such as it is, is effected by two openings into the external air on the eastern side of each ward, and two openings into the corridor.  In all the wards except 5, there is also a swing window over the door opening into the corridor.
Including 30 itch beds, there are 358 beds in these buildings, and each bed has, on an average, 596 cubic feet of space. In 12 wards the cubic space averages 527 feet per bed.  In 20 wards there are 642 1/3 cubic feet per bed, and in 6 wards the space amounts to 690 cubic feet per bed.
There is one fire-place and one gas light for each ward, and there are 3 gas lights in each corridor.
There are 2 lavatories, one for each building, but the lavatory accommodation is very deficient.
There are 3 bath rooms, one of which belongs to the itch wards.
The bathing accommodation is deficient.
There is no laundry.
Each building has a cook-house, but the kitchen arrangements are very imperfect, and require reconstruction.
The provision store is too small.  A store is required for soiled bedding, and also a medical storeroom.
There is no suitable hospital accommodation for sick Officers, for Staff Non-commissioned Officers, or for women and children.
There is no room for divine service, and there is now waiting or reading room for Medical Officers attached to the Hospital.
The water supply is pumped up from the dockyard, and when any accident happened to the machinery, the Hospital is frequently short of water.
The water-closets were being reconstructed on better principles at the time we inspected the buildings, but some were still very defective.  The privies in the centre block had no water laid on, and were very offensive.
There are no urinals.
The enumeration of defects we have given will be sufficient to show the exceedingly defective plan on which this Hospital has been built, and the want of knowledge it displays of the true principals of hospital construction.  It cannot, except at very great expense, be so altered as to make it embody the present knowledge on the subject.  All we should advise would be to remove the more obvious sanitary defects.  Under any circumstances, it will be difficult to ventilate the wards satisfactorily, for the sick are ranged along the dead walls, instead of between the windows, so that the emanations from the sick must pass over all the beds before escaping either into the open air or into the corridors.
The very first improvement required is reducing the number of sick, so as to allow, as nearly as may be 1,200 cubic feet per bed.  To effect this, it will be necessary to reduce the number of beds in wards 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, and 10, from No. 1 Hospital, from 6 to 3 in each ward, which would give 1, 054 cubic feet per bed.  To do this, 21 beds out of 42, in these 7 wards, will have to be removed.
In each of the wards 13 to 32 we would propose to place 5 beds instead of 10, the present number.  This would give 1,284 cubic feet per bed.  These 20 wards contain 200 beds, 100 of which will require to be removed.
Wards 33 to 37 have 6 beds each, half of which we propose to remove, which would give 1054 cubic feet each for the remaining 3 beds.  Fifteen beds would have to be removed from these 5 wards.
In Hospital No. 2 are 6 wards, 1 to 6, each containing 10 beds.  By removing 4 beds from each ward, each of the remaining 6 beds would have 1,150 cubic feet of space.  To effect this improvement 24 beds will have to be removed.  The deficit of accommodation for sick in this Hospital amounts on the present number to 160 beds, which, if removed, would give the remaining 172 beds (excluding the itch wards) 1206 cubic feet of space on an average.
Besides the improvements more immediately required in Chatham Garrison Hospital, it would be advantageous, to the external circulation of air to remove a one storey building in the yard; to convert the present guard-room into a dirty bedding store, and to provide another guard-room at the entrance gate.  A larger and better lighted inspection room and dead-house are required, and it would be an additional improvement to extend the hospital grounds by including in them the carriage way in the rear.

The following are the requirements for Health.

1.   Reducing the number of beds as already stated.
2.   Separate ventilation for every ward by a shaft carried up from the ceiling to the roof of the building, and by admitting fresh air by the existing ventilators, through partial cornices of perforated zinc, or wire gauze. The corridors also require ventilation.
3.   Abolishing privies and imperfect water-closets, and reconstructing all water-closets efficiently.
4.   Construction of urinals beside the water-closets.
5.   Increased water supply.
6.   Reconstruction of hospital kitchens, with requisite means of cooking diets.
7.   Construction of lavatories and bath rooms for each division of the hospital.
8.   A day and dining room to be provided for convalescents.
9.   A covered walk or exercising ground for convalescents.

These requirements are in our opinion barely sufficient to remove the more obvious sanitary defects in Chatham garrison Hospital; but, even if they were all carried out, the building would be by no means what it ought to be as a Garrison Hospital, where junior medical officers are expected to acquire a knowledge of the specialities of their department.  The other desiderata enumerated equally require to be supplied.
Title: Re: Chatham Garrison Hospital
Post by: Leofwine on February 16, 2012, 01:32:21
Wow, considering how many threads we have mentioning this hospital (http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=7785.0 http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=12619.0 http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=4529.0 being the main ones) I can't believe it didn't have its own thread before!

Wright's Topography (1838):

THE ORDNANCE HOSPITAL,
(formerly known as the artillery hospital) is situate to the north-east of the Upper Barracks, on an agreeable elevation. It is a brick edifice of respectable exterior, was erected in 1809, and comprises wards for 100 patients, with suitable offices and apartments for the medical attendants and servants. The open space of the quadrangle admits of some beautiful views of the Medway and the Thames.

It had another name change between 1841 and 1851 (haven'd been able to narrow it down more than that yet) becoming the Chatham Garrison Hospital.

I'm looking into this at the moment, and am interested if anyone has any specific details of it being built other than just the date that Wright gives.

Plan of the hospital as it was in 1866
(http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4152/5077010552_a1369a31c3_z.jpg)

At some point (again I have not been able to track down a specific date yet) between 1866 and 1896 it ceased to be a hospital and began to be used as barracks, being referred to as Upper Chatham Barracks.

It was eventually demolished in about 1966.



Title: Re: Chatham Garrison Hospital
Post by: kyn on January 01, 2014, 22:04:27
Was the building actually alongside what is now Maxwell Road the original hospital building?
Title: Re: Chatham Garrison Hospital
Post by: merc on January 01, 2014, 22:48:12
As far as I know, all traces of the actual hospital were demolished. There's Possibly a few bits of the boundary wall remaining, I'm not sure...

Do you mean  the vicarage Kyn, or a building near where Conway Mews is now? (which was where the school used to be).


Title: Re: Chatham Garrison Hospital
Post by: kyn on January 01, 2014, 22:50:56
No, what has been marked on plans as the Casual Hospital.