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Author Topic: Military Hospital, Dover  (Read 3103 times)

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Offline kyn

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Military Hospital, Dover
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2012, 19:30:53 »
Report of 1858

The Western Heights Hospital

This building stands on the side of the heights facing the sea, and has an appearance from a distance of being a much better Hospital than it is in reality.  It is divided into two parts, called the east and West Hospitals, the former of which is occupied by sick of the Artillery, and the latter by sick of the Line.
The building is defective in many important particulars.  It is not surrounded by any inclosure, and there is no exercising ground for convalescents, except a piece of road, a thoroughfare, in front of the Hospital.  In consequence of this want, patients must be always kept in sight of the sentries.  A proper inclosure should be made, and ground for exercise provided; but to do this, it would be necessary to deviate an existing footpath.
The stairs and passages are of wood; they are low, confined, and narrow.
The wards vary in height from 9 feet 5 inches to 11 feet, which is the highest.  They have windows on two adjoining sides, and there is some ventilation by means of angur holes in the ceiling, communicating with the external air.  It is, however, by no means sufficient, and shafts will have to be provided, led up through the ceiling of each ward to the roof of the building.
There are in all twelve wards, six on each side, the accommodation in which, for the east side, is given in the following table, contrasted with what it would be at 1,200 cubic feet per bed:-

Wards.Present Number of Beds.Number of Beds at 1,200 cubic feet each.Defiency of accommodation in Beds.
No.s 1 and 2291010
4 and 5201010
Total 6522527

This table shows the accommodation on the east side.  That on the west side is the same, except that thee are two small wards for one bed each in it.
The total number of beds according to regulation on the two sides, would therefore be 106, with an amount of cubic space per bed varying from 466 to 619 feet.
At 1,200 cubic feet per bed, the whole Hospital would only accommodate fifty beds, exclusive of the two beds in the small wards.
From deficiency of accommodation, the guard room has been converted into an itch ward.
There is no authorized accommodation for the sick wives and children of soldiers, but a small ward on the upper floor is at present set apart for them.  This want should be supplied.
The staircase and passages are close, and require to be ventilated by a shaft at the top, and an inlet for air, or perforated panes of glass in the windows, a stove being provided for warming the air in the winter.
There is lavatory belonging to the Hospital, except a back place used for washing linen, where there are metal basins placed on a bench.  There is no proper bath room.
Water is supplied from the citadel works, and also from a rain-water tank.  There is a well on the premises, apparently not clean.
Each division of the Hospital has a water-closet with one seat, and there is a two-seated privy behind.  This latter is drained into a cesspit, and is in a most offensive and noxious condition.
The privies in the yard should be converted into water latrines, the cesspits filled up, and the drainage of the Hospital carried into the nearest sewer to discharge into the sea.
The ashpit is uncovered.  An iron cart should be substituted for it.
The pack-store is in a cellar.  It requires additional racks, if no better store can be provided.
The bedding and other stores in the basement of the building, are described as being all damp, and without fireplaces.
The ward windows are stated to be not weather-tight on account of age.  The defects are the same in both east and west sides of the building, and require the same remedies.
This Hospital might be advantageously extended on a more suitable plan, and with better wards.  It is necessary, in fact, that this should be done to afford space for the current sick, as at present wards can only accommodate fifty sick, according to our instructions; and it is highly probable that as the works are extended, the number of men in occupation, and, consequently, the number of sick, will increase.  The situation is a very good one, and wings could easily be thrown out from the present buildings, and better stores could at the same time be provided.
The following are the sanitary improvements immediately required:-

1.   Reduction of numbers of beds, as already mentioned.
2.   Ventilation of each ward by a shaft carried up from the ceiling to the roof, with inlets for air near the ceiling properly protected by wire gauze of perforated zinc.  Grates to be remodelled to heat the air; also ventilation of the passages and staircase by a shaft and perforated glass panes.
3.   Cesspits to be filled up; privies to be converted into water latrines, and to be drained into the sewers.
4.   An iron cart to be substituted for the ashpits.
5.   Bath rooms, with baths and hot and cold water, and lavatories adjoining them to be provided.
6.   An inclosed exercising ground for convalescents to be provided.
7.   Better stores to be provided.
8.   Hospital to be extended and accommodation for the sick of married soldiers’ families to be provided.


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