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SPECIAL MEETING OF THE ' BOARD. ' i . ! it. , , A special meeting of the Ashburton , ■ Hospital and Charitable Aid Board to discuss various matters connected with the hospital was held this morning. There were present:—Messrs Hugo Friedlander (chairman), C. J. Harper, G. W. Andrews, H. J. Harrison, J. Cairns, H. Davis, C. Reid and W. J. Dickie, M.P. The' Laundry. The Board first of all went into the question of the hospital laundry and the chairman said that the great difficulty was connected with the drying of clothes. There was no doubt that the question of making the laundry up-to-date would have to be faced. It would be impossible to keep laundresses if something was not done.

Mr Harper said that as far as he could see, the laundry building was a good one. His experience had been that when labour-saving machinery had been put in, it was used for a short while only and then put aside. Tho Board should cry a halt and not go to a great deal of expense.' At the Tuarangi Home a laundry maid, with the help of one of the inmates, did all tho washing for the institution. Mr Andrews said that the washing machine which had been put in was too hard to work by hand. Mi" Harper, said he did not think the ..machine was too hard for a woman to work. A steam laundry meant a steam specialist _ to look after it, and that meant an expenditure of about £400. On ■.behalf of the County he represented he thought the Hospital Board should >go slow for a while. They had faced the question of the alterations. and additions very cheerfully (''and the County ratepayers had paid their share. The County had contributed the sum of £8270 Is 6d since 1910 towards the hospital, and the yearly contributions had been: 1911, £1202; 1912. £1261; 1913, £4151; 1914, £1595. The County Council would have to face the question of watersupply very soon and that would mean a very large expenditure. With some little alterations the laundry could be made to do.

The Chairman said that the question I of the laundry was one of the most important things connected with the hospital. Cleanliness- was everything, and the institution would be avoided by persons who had a right to use it if things were not kept clean. The matter of keeping the linen clean was a big one. Mr Harper had mentioned the amounts contributed by the County Council during the last two ,or three | years, but he had forgotten to say that j last year's item, which was extraordi-j na'rily large, had been occasioned by, the alterations and additions. It was a non-recui*iing expenditure. Mr Harper had also forgotten to mention that since the Ashburton Hospital had become a separate institution a very considerable amount, running into four figures, had been saved annually. That was sufficient argument for Mr Harper's advice to " cry a halt." He (Mr Friedlander) was not in favour of throwing money away, but he did like to do things properly. He had spent more time lately looking after, the laundry than he had given to his own business. It was absolutely essential that the Board should provide something proper. If it did not do something to get over the present difficulty,it would have to put the washing out. He did not agree with Mr Harper in that the Board was going in for luxuries- . ■ *, ■ ' Mr Davis said that the matter had cropped up when the chairman was in England. The Board had then gone | to a little' expense, and it was also recognised that something more would ihaye to be done. He was of opinion that the Board should not go to the expense of a steam laundry, but it should get better appliances. was growing larger, and the amount of washing was increasing in proportion. The Chairman said that apparently the matter was, one of old standing. Mr Cairns said that he understood the difficulty "was in connection with drying the .clothes. -The washing could be done, if the drying could be arranged satisfactorily. Mr Reid said he was of opinion that the Coiinty representatives should not always be harping upon its contribution to tho hospital and- making the Hospital Board a butt. There was no comparison between the washing at the 'Hospital and the old Men's Home. He was satisfied that something should be done to bring the laundry up tQ date. !He did not advocate going to the expense of £400 or £500. The chairman should be congratulated on bringing the matter up.

The Chairman thought it would be advisable to refer the matter to a committee. If £50 would do he would not advise a larger expenditure. He wanted the best that was possible to bo done. Mr Dickie said he was not in favour of installing an expensive steam laundry. The Chairman suggested that the clerk be instructed to write other hospital Boards in regard to laundrys in use. *' '' -■ Mr Reidl thought-a visit should be paid. The committee could get some information that. way. Mr Andrews moved that a committee, consisting of Messrs Harper, Davis, Andrews, and tho Chairman, be set up to go into the whole question of the laundry. ' Tho motion was seconded by Mr Harrison. ' Mr Reid moved as an amendment that the Chairman and Mr Davis be appointed to visit Timaru, Lyttelton, and Christchurch and ascertain the methods of doing laundry work in those places. Mi-Harper said that Mr Reid's amendment was about the same as Mr except that it eliminated himself and Mr Andrews. He took exception to any suggestion that he was not in favour of getting an up-to-date laundry, but he thought the whole matter, was being exaggerated. The size of the hospital had increased, but the number of patients treated had not increased m proportion, although the expenditure had gone up by leaps and bounds. Mr Reid said he would withdraw his amendment. Any remarks he had made had been suggested by Mr Harper's own words. ' ' , Mr Davis said he thought the Chairman of the County Council should be' on the committee. j The motion was then put and car-i rietl. .', * . A Propagating House. In connection with the request of the gardener for- a propagating house, the | chairman said that the one in the Domain had cost £120. Mr .Harper said he held tho same views in regard i;o the propagating [house as he held in connection with the

laundry. The Hospital wanted plenty of vegetables, and a propagating house was not required for growing those. Mr Davis said he did not agree with Mr Harper. The gardener was a good ono. but if the Board wanted to get the best work out of him, it should provide him with a propagating house. He wasin favour of a small one being built. Me moved in that direction, and said that the cost should be kept within, £50 or £GO. The nioney would be, well spent. The motion was seconded by Mr Reid.After further discussion, however, the' motion wu». withdrawn, and it was resolved to got a rough estimate of the' cost of, the work, etc., in time for the' next meeting of tho .Board.

Heating the Institution. The question of heating the main', ward of the hospital was then brought up, and it was agreed to -ask the architect for information regarding thematter on the occasion of his next visit. 1 Visiting Days. The Board then interested itself in the question of arrangirg suitable visiting days at the hospital. The chairman saifl thai the .'practice at present was that the hospital was .open, every day from 2 to 4 p.m., which caused a great deal of inconvenience in the proper working of ihe hospital. Correspondence was received from various' Hospital Boards regarding the hours of visiting.' At' Wellington the days set aside are .Wednesdays and Sundays between tho hours of 2 and 4 i p.m.. one hour only being apportioned ■ for the children's ward on the same ! days. At 'C'liristchurch. tho visiting days I arc Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 2 to 4' p.m., and ' on every | Wednesday,' between 7 and. 7.30, a i husband or a near relative is peri mittect' to visit 'a patient, whilst in the. i children's ward patients maybe visitled on Sundays between 2.and.4 p.m.. i At Tiniam ai)d t Oamnru the hours for visiting are identical —viz., Tuesday, • Thursday j and Sundays between 2 and 4 p.m. The Chairman said, that the town and country people should both be provided for.

Mr Reid moved • that the visitingdays bo confined to. four days' of the week instead of seven. Mr Cairns seconded the motion.. The Chairman said that he thought three days a week would be sufficient. Mr Harper moved as, an amendment that the visiting days be confined to three only. ■ The amendment was seconded by the chairman, and on being put to the meeting was lost by three votes to four. The motion was carried. Tho days fixed were Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. . Mr Cairns asked when the new .arrangements would comeiinto effect, and the chairman said that the approval of the Minister would have to be obtained first. It was agreed to have a visiters' book ; fixed in the entrance hall of the hospiI tal. [ A Question of Admittance. , t The remaining matter which occupied.' • ' the attention of tho Board was .one 1 affecting the admission of patients to | the County Hospital, and arose from a j discussion, in Committee, at the last i ordinary meeting of the Board, and I which was referred to the special meet- , ing, Mr Reid agreeing to give notice of , motion in connection therewith. Mr Reid said that the matter had , been brought up on previous occasions, but had nevei- been threshed out. Tho whole question of admission was now left to the Medical Superintendent. - Mr Reid emphasised the point that- in the past this privilege had not- been' , abused, but at the same time ho thought' that .someone besides the Medical Superintendent should have power to admit- persons to the hospital. Continuing, Mr Reid said /that he had stated his reasons for introducing the matter when the Board had last met, and briefly they were, that the local doctors do not care to send everyone to the hospital. They object, said Mr Reic and say that they want to treat them at a private hospital. His idea. was to get tho by-law, altered so that the public could be admitted to the hospital, irrespective of whether a medical man refused them. The, chairman should have the power. On previous occasions, persons had been refused admittance and the chairman of the Board had.admitted them on application. Some other arrangement, different to tho, present system, should he made so thaf the Medical Superintendent, the chairman of the Board and the matron should each have power to admit people to tho institution. ,At present the matron had no power in that direc-> tion. It had often been said that the hospital was, for everyone, and he did not see why persons who desired,to be treated there should not be able to go there and thus avoid a.heavy expensethey would probably otherwise be put to. Mr Reid then moved that a committee, "consisting of Messrs Harper, Davis, Reid and the chairman, be appointed .to go into tho question of the alteration and revision' of the by-laws, especially No. 18, relating to the admittance of patients to the hospital, subsequently reporting to the Board. Tho motion was carried.

Mrs W. J. Dickie -was appointed lady visitor for the ensuing three months. ; :

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THE HOSPITAL., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8795, 16 February 1914

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THE HOSPITAL. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIII, Issue 8795, 16 February 1914

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