AGAiNST HOSPITAL BOARD.
Messrs W. W. White and J. B. Christian, J.'sP., presided at the Court this morning to Lake evidence in the case in which F. M. Parker,- of Christchurch, nurse, claimed from the Ashburcon Hospital and Charitable Aid Beard the sum of £16 for professional services as a iu:r-e in charge of the temporary hospitrj at Methvcn for three ivoftk.s. from December o to December, 26, 1918, rti> i' 6G~ per week, less £2 6a for liavs not worked. Defendants put i,i a counter-claim for £20, being the amount of property. ailoKorily dest-roycl- at tho temporary; hosuitisl, Methvi-n. Inking 42 mattresses and- a. carpet riuiiK-r, the property of defendants. Charles Reid, Tinwald, chairman of the Hosnital Koa---:"'. said plaintiff was ! engaged by the Bo;! rd as a nurse, ..but I Tie v.tis informed plaintiff's name"'was not on the list of trained nurses. The board considered her claim of £6.6s a w«;k exorbitant. It had been advised that 10s a day would be reasonable.
With regard to the counter-claim/the plaintiff had no authority to burn the . mattresses, carpet, or pillows. Mr Buchanan, for plaintiff, crossexamined witness, who admitted .that tho statement regarding qualification was merely hearsay. If Miss Parker was a trained nurse she would be worth more than a- voluntary nurse. The matron-in-charge was entitled to more than the other nurses. Plaintiff had never asked the board for authority to bnrn the mattresses. Cross-examined by Mr Purnell, for defendant, Mr Reid said the Ashburton Hosm'tal was an old-established institution, and the matron was a. very experienced woman. Her salary was £140 per annum. Dr. William Todd, Metliven, said that the Ashburton Hospital and Charitable Aid Board established a, temporary hospital in November last. He was mediteal superintendent of that hospital, and in full charge. ' He remembered plain r tiff coming there __ as a nurse. As matron, she was under his orders. He was to regulate ordering and supplies. He asked plaintiff if she had had any hospital experience, and plaintiff said site had none. He gave no authority to burn or destroy any mattresses, pillows, or carpets. In consequence of . what witness heard, he directed plaintiff not to have a carpet burned, and suggested that it be cleaned. Witness ; also spoke to plainxiff in : regard to the 'mattresses, and directed that three ;be given, after being fumigated, to a. , patient going out. and all the other mattresses were to be fumigated unless . Mr Johnson.-Health Inspector, directed : that they be burned, Avhen the contents were to be burned and the covers boiled ; and refilled. The fact that anyone, was sick on the carpet runner would , not necessitate its'■destruction. There;;' was no necessity to burn the pillows*:<: which could have been fumigated. If ■'•;. plaintiff did burn carpet, pillows, or.' mattresses it was without witness-- s
authority. Cross-examined by Mr Buchanan, witness said plaintiff Had been hospitaltrained, but was never in charge of a hospital, nor a nurse in one. Witness ordered three mattresses to be destroyed on which deaths had taken place. The, difference between a mat--■tress where a. death had taken place and where a pneumonic patient had been lying was siniTjly a matter of sentiment. Certain persons donated mattresses, and witness give a mattress himself. He did not want it back in his house. Witness denied tliat plaintiff consulted Jiim before burning the mattresses, or that he said it would be best to do as plaintiff suggested. Thomas Aspell, Methven, said that in November last the Mcthven Hotel, of which he was landlord, was taken over as a hospital, and the last patient was evacuated on December 23. Witness informed Mr Johnson that 38 single and . 10 double mattresses, 65 pillows*, and a carpet runner had been destroyed by plaintiff. Witness did not consider himself in a position of authority at the hospital. Witness saw articles burning. Plaintiff told him this was done by the doctor's orders. . Plaintiff and Dr. Todd were talking outside the wards when witness came along. Plaintiff said that at Eangiora Hospital mattresses and pillows were destroyed. She suggested that the carpet runner be destroyed. The doctor agreed. The carpet was worth about £15. The board had replaced these various articles. „ . Cross-examined, witness said the impression he received from the conversation between the doctor and plaintiff was that everything was to he burnt. The suggestion came from plaintiff, but the doctor agreed to it. The doctor said that the curtains could be taken down and boiled. Some of the blankets were missing. ,,.■ Isabelle Morgan, Methven, said that she was one of the volunteer nurses employed at the temporary hospital. I Witness assisted to burn the mattresI ses at plaintiff's request. Witness asked plaintiff her authority for burning. Plaintiff said she had none, but it was done in other hospitals. In witness's opinion mattresses should not have been burned. The doctor's name was not mentioned in conversation with the plaintiff. Tho mattresses and. pillows were emptied and the contents thrown on to the fire. Witness volunteered to wash all tho covers, but they, were burnt. . Mr Buchanan objected to certain evidence being introduced at this stageThe objection was upheld. Edgar Norman Johnson, Ashburton, X earth Inspector., .-nvd that in November last Dr. Cho-ssnii recommended it temporary hospital .should be established at MetJiven. The Mount Hutt Road Board arranged for the use of the Methven Hotel, and tuie furniture, and effects in it. A largo number of volunteer nurses offt-yed their services, and were employed. In the beginning of December, the plaintiff came up from Christ'churc-h*. and acted as nurse from the sth'to tJhe 23rd December. She had no authority to destroy the articles iri dispute. Cross-examined witness said he telephoned to Dr. Cliwson, who said lie would send a u.ur.s<?., and plaintiff was sent by Nmvse Ma\ide. Plaintiff admitted she wfi-s not a, registered nurse-. Mr Aspell did not tell him the mattresses were burnt "by plaintiff without authority. , ' ■ The rfinaiiufer of the evidence will, be heard af.'Oirisfohrifch.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9588, 16 April 1919
NURSE'S CLAIM Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9588, 16 April 1919
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