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Author Topic: Military Families Hospital Brompton  (Read 18077 times)

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Online kyn

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2012, 19:57:49 »
I am naturally very loath to curtail the privileges of soldiers’ families, and, if money were available, I would welcome an extension.  But, the financial situation being as it is, what is expended on privileges and concessions of the kind discussed in this paper can only be by the sacrifices of something which would make for the improved fighting efficiency of the Army.  And, in fact, there is an inevitable tendency to extend these concessions, e.g., on 14/Home/626 there is a proposal to extend the mile radius and on 2/Gen/1027 there is a demand for two nurses for the Families Hospitals at Woolwich and Colchester.
The cost of the Medical and Dental Services as showing in Appendix X of the Estimates is nearly £2, 500, 000; an analysis would show that no small proportion of this is due to expenditure on privileged services.
I ask myself whether we can afford this when the pressure to reduce is so insistent and we have such formidable commitments as mechanization, Imber, etc.  Even if the discontinuance of the privilege involves some hardship, to attempt to defend an expenditure of £3,000 on a8 beds will inspire our critics with the belief that our general administration is not as frugal as it undoubtedly is.
I see the difficulties in closing Chatham, Wool and Shoeburyness, but remembering that the families concerned if the husbands were civilians would be dealt with either in local institutions or by local nurses, I cannot but feel that some cheaper alternative could be found.  Are there not Queen’s Nurses in Chatham? Shoeburyness is near Southend which is now a large town.  Wool is within reach by ambulance of larger centres.
There may be some lowering of standards and perhaps some loss of comfort, but while I am in full sympathy with what A.G. says, I do not feel that this expenditure of public money is justifiable in present circumstances and regretfully come to the conclusion that these smaller hospitals must be closed.
I should like to be informed what alternative arrangements can be made.

10.6.1927

Online kyn

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2012, 12:51:31 »
S. of S. (through A.G.).
Certain general considerations arise out of your decision, and, as we have to report to the Treasury regarding the Chatham Hospital, it would be convenient to put the whole question to them.  May I have your instructions on the points marked A. B. C. D. and E.?
The policy as regards the provision of Military Families Hospitals has hitherto been to establish them only at station where the garrison was out of proportion to the civilian population and civilian facilities were not, therefore, available for soldiers families, or else at stations where there were no civilian facilities at all.  Thus a Military families Hospital has never been established in London, and a proposal to start one was negative by the Council two years ago.
Only families of soldiers on the Married Quarters Roll are entitled to admission to Military Families Hospitals, and then only of treatment in hospital is necessary and accommodation is available.  No hospital stoppage is charged to families on the Married Quarters Roll.
Families of soldiers not on the Married Quarters Roll may be admitted to Military families Hospitals provided accommodation is available and provided that it is not required for families on the Married Quarters Roll.  A charge of 1s/- a day is made.
At stations where there is no Military families Hospital families on the Married Quarters Roll may be admitted to civil hospitals at the public expense in special circumstances, which is usually interpreted as meaning when hospital treatment is necessary; but we do not provide treatment in civil hospitals for families not on the Married Quarters roll.
You have now decided that the Military Families Hospital at Chatham is to remain and that, while no increase of establishment of beds is to be made, families not on the Married Quarters roll shall have an equal right of admission with families on the Married Quarters Roll, the determining factor being urgency.
A)   Is this decision intended to apply also to Shoeburyness and wool?  The decision in the case of Chatham is based on the non-availability of civil hospital accommodation there, and it has not yet been established that such accommodation is not available in the neighbourhood of Shoeburyness and wool.  Civilians from Wool go to the civil hospitals in Bournemouth or Dorchester.
Your decision will not increase the cost of the Families Hospital materially so long as the establishment of beds in not increased, but it will probably lead to increased expense because as it puts on an equal footing as regards hospital treatment the family not on the Married Quarters Roll and the family on the Married Quarters Roll (priority of admission being given on grounds of urgency) there is a danger that the family on the Married Quarters roll will find itself crowded out and that more families will in consequence have to be boarded out at the public expense in civil hospitals.
B)   Further, if families not on the Married Quarters Roll are placed on an equal footing with families on the Married Quarters Roll as regards admission to military families hospitals, they will probably sooner or later claim to be put on an equal footing as regards medical attendance, admission to civil hospital and dental treatment.  There is no logical ground for giving equal treatment as regards admission to a Military Families Hospital and refusing it as regards admission to civil hospital, medical attendance and dental treatment.
The occupation of the hospital at Chatham will not be increased by your decision, because families not on the Married Quarters Roll and already admitted to Families Hospitals provided that accommodation is available.  The treasury and the Estimates Committee will doubtless comment on the expenditure of £3,000 a year for the maintenance of an average of 8 occupied beds, but we will explain this in the sense of your minute.
C)   Your decision is also intended, I take it, to cover the case on 24/Southern/2500, on which file the wife of a civilian at Bovington Camp asks for the admission of her child to the Wool Military families Hospital.
D)   The families of civilian employees are non-entitled persons as regards admission to Military families Hospitals and, if it is decided to admit them, they should pay the full rate of stoppage laid down, vis. 10s/- for an adult?
The admission of civilians will fill up the vacant beds and will increase the danger of Married Quarters Roll families being crowded out and having to be admitted to civil hospitals at the public expense.  Further, there may be difficulty in collecting from civilians the amount due from them in respect of their treatment in our hospitals.  They will expect to be treated as they would be by a civil hospital, i.e., pay nothing or as little as they can.  At present civilian employees may be admitted to military hospitals under certain conditions.  If their wives and children are admitted without any condition except availability of accommodation, it will mean that the families will be more favoured than the employees. 
E)   This is likely to create demand on the part of the employees for unconditional admission to military hospitals.  Are we to concede this?
Treasury sanction will be required for the admission of families of civilian employees to military families hospitals and also for the admission of families not on the Married Quarters roll on an equal footing (with priority in case of urgency) to families on the Roll, though we do not need their sanction for admission of families not on the Married Quarters Roll where accommodation is available.

H.G.C.

Online kyn

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2012, 20:13:04 »
I think that before this paper goes to S. Of S. you might like to see it, as former G.O.C.-in-C. Eastern Command.
It is true, as your predecessor said that the Select Committee on Estimates did not in terms propose the abolition of the Military Families’ Hospital at Chatham, but the difficulty is how I before the Committee this year, and S. of S. in the House, are to justify the expenditure of some £3,000 a year on a hospital, only 8 of the beds in which are occupies on the average and those to deal with cases where there is no strict entitlement but only a privilege, although a privilege of some 60 years’ standing.  It is only the insistent pressure for economy that causes these cases to be investigated.
If more money were available the ideal would be, of course, to have these Families’ Hospitals in all stations where there was no possibility of recourse being had to the local civilian hospital, but U feel sure that in the case of Chatham and perhaps in some of the other stations we shall be pressed to take such advantage as we can of the local facilities and save the money on staff at present ear-marked for the maintenance of small hospitals.

H.G.C.

Online kyn

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 17:12:16 »
S.of.S.
May I refer you to minutes 35 and 36 in this file.
D.G.A.M.S. has personally examined the problem very carefully, more particularly the feasinility of treating patients  from Chatham, Shoeburyness t Wool elsewhere: e.g. those at Chatham going to Shorncliffe.

Chatham is 40 miles from Shorncliffe.
Wool is 40 miles from Tidworth.
Shoeburyness is 50 miles from Colchester.

Amalgamation is impractical without depriving one or other of the garrisons of its existing facilities for hospital treatment.
We feel, therefore, that in common humanity, quite apart from the bad effect the closing of any of these family hospitals would have on the married soldier, we cannot recommend to you that is should be carried out.
Even the little hospital at Netley is essential for sick women from Transports.
I still fell, as I recorded in minute 20, that the Select Committee never intended that the Families Hospital at Chatham should be abolished, but only that it might with advantage be amalgamated with the Naval Hospital at that place.  As the Admiralty are not prepared to undertake this liability, I do most earnestly urge that the families Hospital be retained under the War Office.

RW
A.G.

Online kyn

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2012, 20:22:23 »
1.   You permitted D.G.A.M.S. and myself to discuss with you the question of Military Families’ Hospitals, concerning which there is urgent need of a more definite policy than at present exists.
As the result of our conversation I submit the following as the basis of a general policy:-
(i)   No Military Families’ Hospital at present in existence should be abolished unless arrangements can be made for its amalgamation with another Military Families’ Hospital.
(ii)   The existence establishments of beds in each of the existing Families’ Hospitals shall not be exceeded.
(iii)   Admission to Military Families Hospitals need not be confined to the wives or families of soldiers on the official married quarters roll, but may be extended to families of serving soldiers on the married allowance roll, or married “off the strength”.
(iv)   The priority of admission shall be decided by the medical authority on the spot, and should normally be given to the most urgent case irrespective of whether the invalid is on the married strength of off the strength.
2.   If this policy is adopted it would retain the Military Families’ Hospital at Chatham which has been in existence now for over 60 years.

17th December, 1926.


Online kyn

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2012, 16:50:42 »
Legally, 28.A. is no doubt a correct statement of the case, as where there is not families’ hospital the wives and children of soldiers on the married quarters roll may be sent to a civil hospital in “Special circumstances” only.
The garrison at Chatham has however enjoyed the full privilege of a families’ hospital for some 60 years, and if the hospital is now closed, and admission to a civil hospital allowed in “special circumstances” only, that privilege will be lost, and families at Chatham will be worse off than now.
Very few maternity cases come within the meaning of the term “special circumstances”.
My interpretation of minute 22 is that you do not wish the families at Chatham to be worse off than they have been during the past 60 years, and that we should, therefore, investigate the possibility of obtaining similar treatment for them (including maternity cases) to that they now receive in the Military families Hospital.

Online kyn

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2012, 23:29:04 »
26A. appears to assume that there is some entitlement to free treatment at Army expense either in a Military or in a Civil Hospital in the case of these families.  This is not the case because apart from infectious cases, which are  sent into hospital in the public interest and not because the individuals are entitled to free treatment, the regulations allow families of soldiers on the married quarters roll as a privilege to be admitted free where there is a Military Families’ Hospital, if hospital treatment is necessary.  In practice, the regulations have been stretched and cases admitted where hospital treatment is not really necessary, but is desirable.
Where no Military Families’ Hospital exists, paragraph 523, Army Medical Service Regulations, allows families of soldiers on the married quarters roll to be sent to a civil hospital in “special circumstances”.  There has been much dispute as to what constitutes special circumstances, but I suggest that the widest interpretation would not admit cases where hospital treatment is not really necessary.
Further, in sending patients to civil hospital we always claim ratepayers’ privileges.  To make an agreement with a civil hospital to pay retaining fees or charges for patients admitted would be to abrogate our rights.  It is true that if we do not come to such an agreement, our patients will have to take their chance of accommodation being available, but this is what they have to do at other stations where there is no Military Families’ Hospital, and what other civilians have to do.
I think the letter to the command might enquire whether any difficulty is anticipated in families obtaining hospital treatment, where such treatment is really necessary, if the families’ Hospital is closed, on the lines of 28A.


Online kyn

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2012, 18:13:34 »
I do not read the recommendation of the Select committee to mean that the hospital for soldiers’ families should be abolished, but only that is should be absorbed in the Naval hospital, as was the case with the Military hospital at Fort Pitt.
The Admiralty, however, say they are unable to absorb the Military families hospital.
In my opinion it would be very undesirable to abolish this hospital.  There are certain civil institutions in Chatham and Rochester for the medical care of women and children, but I feel that in practice we should have very little chance of obtaining admissions to those institutions.
The Families hospital at Chatham has been in existence for many years.  I strongly urge that it be retained.

R.W.
1st November 1926.



The Select Committee evidently considered that this Hospital was an extravagance and there is no doubt we could make a saving even after paying for accommodation in civil institutions for our entitled families.  The cost of the hospital is heavy for an average of only eight occupied beds and many of them must be accompanied by privileged users.

RRDA
2.11.26.

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2012, 14:48:44 »
That is the Ordnance Hospital block that was retained for medical purposes after the rest of the hospital was converted to barracks.

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2012, 12:44:34 »
I have this photo of the Medical Center on Maxwell Road taken in 1966, is this the hostpital block you refer to bromptonboy?

Photograph reproduced by permission of the Royal Engineers Museum www.re-museum.co.uk
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Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2012, 15:56:05 »
To help with dates I was born in the Military Families Hospital on 24th September 1957. I do not think it was long after that time that it closed. The Ordnance Hospital shown on the 1863 OS plan was removed to the vacated Army Medical School premises at Fort Pitt and the ward blocks converted into soldiers barrack blocks. The hospital block facing onto the Military (later Maxwell) Road remained in use for military medical purposes until about 1967 when the establishment was transferred to a new Medical Block inside the modernised Brompton Barracks.

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2012, 15:43:41 »
Courtesy of one of bromptonboy's posts (http://www.kenthistoryforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=4783.msg42074#msg42074):

From the Building News 24 October 1862. Chatham - It is said that the authorities at the War Department have entered into a contract with Mr Stamp, the Government contractor, for the erection of a hospital at Chatham, for the reception of the sick wives and children of the troops of the garrison.

So that would suggest a building date in the early to mid 1860s.  This ties in with the 1866 OS Town planning map, which was surveyed in 1863. This shows the Garrison Hospital (aka Artillery or Ordnance Hospital) in situ, but the Families Hospital is absent.  Other maps indicate the names used for the hospital at various dates.

1863/6 OS Town Planning Map (not present):


1879 OS WD Map (as Female Hospital):


1907 OS Map (as Military Families Hospital):


1955 OS Map (as Military Families Hospital):


Only fairly preliminary stuff so far, but suggesting a date of building in the 1860s as the Female Hospital, but had become the Families Hospital by the early 20th century, and was in use until at least the mid 1950s.

As a footnote, the First World War flying ace Major James McCudden was born in this hospital.
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Online kyn

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 15:38:04 »
The next few will be replies to the original proposal sent out for peoples opinions.  I haven't looked at the whole file so I don't know what else is in there, or how long the file goes on for. 

Offline Leofwine

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 15:08:08 »
Thanks kyn, I will await your other posts and see what turns up. In the meantime I will conduct another thing on mt 'to do' list for Brompton and see what I can dig out about the founding of the hospital. I know the Ordnance Hospital next door (shown as Upper Kitchener Barracks on the 1932 map) was built in 1809 and that the Families hospital opened some time after this as the Females Hospital, later changing name to the Garrison Families Hospital.

I have a little more information on this somewhere, not sure if I have already posted it on another thread though.

PS Is your second post from the follow up committee meeting mentioned in the first one?
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Online kyn

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Re: Military Families Hospital Brompton
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2012, 13:47:22 »
Thanks for that Leofwine.  There are a few documents I am adding over time, they may give us some idea of its closure date, although they are pretty early documents. 
The next in the folder:

Families of soldiers are already afforded certain outpatient treatment at the Naval Hospital, Chatham, and boys are sometimes admitted as in-patients.  In regards female patients it is unlikely that the admiralty would be prepared to provide a separate ward for our cases as they do not provide treatment and accommodation for their own.
Although Military Families Hospitals are established for the families of soldiers, Hospital treatment at the expense of Army funds is a privilege.  If the Families Hospital at Chatham is abolished we could not, in accordance with the Regulations, agree that the families should be admitted indiscriminately to Civil hospital.  The Regulations provide that families on the married quarters roll may be admitted to civil hospital only if exceptional circumstances obtain (e.g. if hospital treatment is necessary on urgent medical grounds).  Families not on the married quarters roll are not eligible for admission to Civil hospital except in cases of infectious disease where danger to the troops is involved, but in any case infectious cases are not dealt with in the Militaries Families Hospitals.
It is extremely unlikely that retaining fees would be asked by Civil hospital authorities if we are to use their hospitals to any extent.  Retaining fees are usually only wanted in the case of small pox hospitals.  It is not possible to say whether by sending patients to civil hospital any economy would result, as this would depend on all sorts of factors, the number of sick who would be  sent to the Civil hospital, the civil hospital’s charges, the extent to which closing of the hospital would in practice be reflected in a reduction of R.A.M.C. establishments and so on.

 

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