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HOSPITAL TRUSTEES.

The ordinary meeting of tho above, held at 4.30 p.m. yesterday afternoon, wag attended by Messrs H. Houghton (chairman), W. Dawson, A. Solomon, J. Robin, S. Myers, J. Miller, and Green. HOUSE COMMITTEE. This Committee recommended that the tender of Sehlaadt Bros, for supplying and fixing iron bats across the windows in the Upper wattls, for the sum of L 6 17s 6d, be addeptod. Dr Copland (house surgeon) had drawn attention to the case of Mrs Archer, admitted on October 21, 1887. She could, in his opinion, be perfectly well taken care of in the Benevolent Institution. Dr Barclay reported the admission of seven cases of typhoid fever to the hospital, all coming from one family in Queen street. He stated that the outbreak pointed to some grave sanitary defects in the dwelling-house and surroundings. The House Committee recommended that the attention of the Board of Health be drawn to . the matter. The Committee recommended that the following resolution be adopted by the Trustees: —"That no patients other than destitute be admitted unless the same be first considered by the Trustees or House Committee, and that no case involving the services of a special nurse be admitted without the sanction of the House Committee." A report from the Visiting Committee was appended. They had found the wards, etc., in a clean and satisfactory condition; and the patients, in reply to questions, had stated that they were extremely comfortable and well attended to. They recommended that a table on wheels with rubber tirea be at once provided to carry hot water dishes for the female wards. , , .

Mr Solomon, referring to the case of Mrs Archer, said he was afraid . they could not take her at the Benevolent Institution, but he would promise that they would take her when they got more accommodation, on condition that the hospital took her back if she could not be controlled. It seemed that the woman was not insane enough to be placed in the Lunatic Asyluril—she was not a proper patient for the hospital—and he doubted very much that she was a fit inmate for the Benevolent Institution.

The report was adopted. THE TYPHOID CASES

Dr Barclay, in reporting the cases of typhoid, wrote :—" I may add that cases, and sometimes several members of a family, are under treatment at the out-patients' room whose illnesses are traceable to bad sanitation. Such cases are tedious, and usually long under treatment, and the drug bill of the hospital would be considerably diminished if some examination of the residences of the poor were instituted." The matter was referred to the Board of Health.

THE OPERATING THEATRE,

The following letter in reference to the pperating theatre was received from Mr N. Y. A. Wales :-

Dunedin, 6th May, 1889,

This building appears to be known to and looked upon by the public who take an interest in such matters as merely a room, whereas it contains four rooms and a staircase, in addition to the corridor, and measures Gift by 27ft by 24ft high; is built of bricks (best procurable), 14ft hollow walls, painted outside four coats oil paint so that they may be impervious to damp, plastered inside with " Keen's " cement so that no germs of disease may penetrate. The floor is raised three fret above the ground level, the ground being asphalted, and the joists were covered with felt before the floor was laid to make it impossible that any dampness should rise, or that any draught should blow through the joints of the flooring to interfere with the comfort or well - being of the patient betDg operated upon. The pure air that passes through the heating coils finds its way from the top of the building down through three large air shafts built for the purpose in the form of buttresses against the outside walls, and may be admitted either as cold or warmed air, as circumstances require. The foul air is carried off by flues built with the chimney shafts, and the heated air from the gas burners by a shaft through the roof, surmounted by om of the largest Bizes of "Boyle's" ventilators. The roof is Blated on T and G sarking. and the glass for the skylights was specially imported, of a large size, so that there should be ample light with a minimum risk of leaks. The most fastidious will diecover no ornament outside or inside that may be cavilled at. In addition to all this there is an entirely new corridor, 65ft long by Oft wide, of fireproof construction; the rafters being of wrought iron, and the roof of it covered with slates. The corridor alone cost L3OO, but it was built with a view to future extension as leading to special wards, etc., as much as in connection with the operation thoatie, to which it should not be wholly chargeable. As a practical man, having some experience and knowledge of the requirements of an hospital, I maintain that nothing superfluous has been provided for the requirements of the operation theatre, and I think the medical gentlemen connected with, or having occasion to use it, will bear out that fact. _ An impression has been and appears to bo gaining ground that the buildiDg—or " operating room " as it is termed—haß been very expensively constructed. Again, as a practical man, who knows the value of work, I maintain that, for the accommodation given, the building has been constructed as economically as it could have been done consistent with stability and {usefulness. In some cases the foundations were 4ft under the surface; and in excavating, a network of drains and water pipes was discovered that had to be lifted and relaid and reconnected. The tenders for the building proper, including the corridor, ranged from LI, 179 to over LI, 500. The lowest (Mr Barton's) tender was aocopted, at L 1,179; the tender for the fittings and students' gallery was LBS; and the tender for the heating and gas-fittings was Ll46—making a total of L 1,410. To this add an item for extras, which include the extra foundations, lifiingandielayingof drains and water pipes, and which cost L 129 5s lid; and the total is L 1.539 5s lid. To this has to be added the wages of the clerk and the architect's commission and the cost of the furnishing; but these items are rarely taken into acoount when speaking of the cost of a building. This will, I trust, show with what extreme care the expenditure was watched, and how closely the architect kept to his instructions, and how little deserving he is of the epithet given him of being an "expensive architect," which I understand is now being used to his disparagement. I have written this very reluctantly in self-defence, because it haß come to my knowledge that attempts are being used to deprive me of the confidence of the Trustees and of an appointment which 11 ave held as architect to the Hospital Trustees for so many years, I believe with advantage to the institution and credit to myself. I leave the matter in your hands, and have every confidence you will see that no unfair advantage is taken. N. Y, A. WALKS.

Mr Green said that however Mr Wales might make it out, in accordance with the accounts they had actually paid for the theatre L1,60416s Bd. Be had no intention of saying anything further, as the matter would have to come up for discussion on another occasion. Mr Solomon remarked that he was in hopes that they had heard the last of this operating theatre, because he, for one, was heartily sick of the mater. FINANCIAL. The Chairman laid on the table a balancesheet, and said: The expenditure for the year is less than that of the previous year, beiDg L 7.100 2s Id, as against L 7.619 17s sd. The salaries and wages of staff are reduced by L2OO and provisions by L3OO, the other items remaining about the same. I would direct attention to the expenditure for surgery and dispensary (surgical instruments, drugs, and surgical dressings), which now exceed LI,OOO per annum. Some eight years ago the expenditure under this heading did not exoeed half of this amount. For the information of the Trustees, I think it would be as well if the secretary were to obtain—for the sake of comparison—a statement of the expenditure of other hospitals under this heading. As the balance-sheet has not been audited, it would be better if publication were withheld until it has passed that ordeal. Mr Robin had noticed from the returns of the Launceston Hospital, where there were about the same number of patients as in the Dunedin Hospital, that the expenditure there for medicine and sundries was L 126 5s lid. Our people must be terribly overdosed, or the patients there must be much under-dosed. The death rate in both institutions was about the same. Perhaps one of the reasons why some of the doctors were dissatisfied was because they (the Trustees) gave the patients too much physio. There was an enormous difference between LI ,000 and L 126 5s lid. Mr Solomon : Does that include expenses incurred in connection with outdoor relief ? Mr Rojjin : Yes; L 126 5s lid iB the total expense. Mr Solomon remarked that the difference

was bo great that he should like some opportunity of looking into the statement of expenditure for the Launceston Hospital before accepting the amount mentioned as covering the same items. i Mr Miller moved, and it was resolved — " That the secretary be instructed to apply to the different hospitals in New Zealand and in the other colonies for information regarding their expenditure on medicine and surgical appliances."—Carried.

DRESSES, ETC., FOR FEMALE NURSES. The Chairman mentioned that he and a few friends had supplied the female nurses with uniforms, and said that he thought in future provision for this should be made by the Board. NURSING, ETC. Mr Solomon did not think the position was quite satisfactory with respect to an alteration in the nursing arrangements, the nurses' home, or special ward for women. These matters had not been sufnciejßjAy discussed by the Trustees, and he deemed it desirable that they should be discussed and some definite position arrived at. Ho moved —"That a special meeting of the Trustees be held for the purpose of considering in committee what alterations, if any, are to be made in regard to the nursing staff, the proposed nurses' home, and the suggested ward for special female cases, and that the meeting he neld on Thursday, 23rd inst." Mr Myers seconded.

Mr Miller complained that the Committee appointed to receive the money offered for the nurses' home, to bank the same in a separate account, and apply to the Government for a subsidy upon it, had exceeded their functions in holding a conference with the medical staff before the matter had been considered by the Trustees. He would like to know where the functions of that Committee ended. He was informed that had there been a little more unanimity at the conference things might have differed considerably to what they were at present. The Chairman said that a friendly conference had been held, because it was thought better to obtain the views of the medical staff; but all that had taken place had been a conversation at which ideas had been exchanged. Mr Solomon could not see that the Committee had done anything that was improper, for they were appointed to do certain specific things mentioned, and " to act in connection with thip matter." The Board might rely upon it that members of the Committee had no desire to trespass beyond the power given to them, or to exceed what might reasonably be considered their functions. They had thought they were doing the best thing they could to endeavor to obtain the fullest possible information as to what the home and its subsequent maintenance would cost. Mr RofilN, as one of the Committee, thought they had only power to receive money, and not to do more. Mr Green agreed with Mr Solomon that these questions should be faced, and that the sooner this was done the better. As a matter of fact they had not yet considered these questions beyond dealing once or twice with reports in which they were referred to. He thought they were drifting, and that was most objectionable. If they received the subscriptions, and applied for and got the subsidy* they would then be in a better position to get the opinions of the medical staff, He was one of those who thought that if they got LI.OOO subscribed there would be difficulty in getting the subsidy, and that it was desirable there should be a committee to deal with that difficulty. He would have a decided objection to tho Committee taking upon itself any power in connection with the main question, though the preliminary work might well be attended to by the Committee. Mr Robin, following up what had been said by Mr Green, said that this matter of the nurses' home had never been properly before the Trustees, and he would support the resolution to see whether it would be desirable or not to have these alterations made. He did not acknowledge that they had drifted in the past, but they were drifting now. At any rate, they should decide the matter. The present unsettled state of things was materially injuring the hospital. The sooner they settled it the better for the patients, the nurses, and the officers.

Mr Dawson said they should ascertain the first cost and the yearly cost, and then they would know how to tackle the matter. Until that was known he, aa the representative of the City Council, would not vote for the thing. The motion was ultimately carried.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890516.2.9

Bibliographic details

HOSPITAL TRUSTEES., Issue 7908, 16 May 1889

Word Count
2,307

HOSPITAL TRUSTEES. Issue 7908, 16 May 1889

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