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The chairman of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board (Mr J. H. Walker) writes U3 : Permit me to reply, on behalt of my board, to a leading article in your paper of 18th inst. on the above. You atato "that the question of drainage and water was regarded by the board as being of far greater importance than the considered opinions of the honorary medical etaff and the medical superintendent, tho latter of whom has all through expressed a strong penchant for the Pine Hill site, if the whole of the land required in view of possible extensions in tho not remote future can bo obtained at a satisfactory figure." You are hardly fair to the board in making this statement, as it is not consistent with the altitude they have taken up from the inception of tho scheme. Tho board have used their best endeavors during the last eighteen months to secure from tho owners of adjoining property a sale of their land, and trusted to be successful in doing so, but received a final letter from the owners in which they absolutely declined to sell. A letter was received "by the board from the medical superintendertt. dated tho Ist October, 1914, a-j follows: Re secondary -hospital site at Pine Hill: I beg to recommend that a final offer of 100' per cent, on their purchase money be made to the present owners of the adjoining section to the board's property at Pino Hill, over which the board previously held the option to purchase prior to* the present owners obtaining the same. In the ovont of the hoard failing to obtain tho freehold of tho same, I beg to recommend that tho proposal to erect the secondary hospital and other allied institutions at Pino Hill be deferred, and the question of obtaining a more suitable site (than the proportion of ground the board owns there) bo again considered. 1 consider it would be a great pity, in view of past experience as regards some of our institutions, that the plans of a future building scheme should be crippled for all time for the want of sufficient building space at tho institution. I Tho board then asked the architects to I prepare a sketch plan showing tho buildiings on the present site, and arranged a j visit of inspection by the honorary staff, ! medical superintendent, and members of j tho board, and asked the architect to be in I attendance to explain matters. On that ! occasion (Ist October) four members of ! the honorary staff attended, and the board j were represented by the whole of their ! town members and Mr Templeton (representing tho northern part of the board's I contributory local authorities). The architects explained the difficulties in building on the site —viz., not obtaining a northerly aspect—and the formation of the ground made building most expensive and difficult. These matters were fully discussed and a number of suggestions made, but no finality was arrived at. On October 29 tho secretary notified the honorary staff as follows: By direction of the Finance Committee of the above board I have- the honor to inform you that the architects have submitted a sketch block plan showing suggestion for placing Vhe eecondary hospital buildincs on the property at present owned by the board at Pine Hill, and also a "copy of the plan prepared in December, 1912, showing a suggestion for the placing of tho buildings assuming that the adjoining property would bo acquired. Tlie committee resolved that the plans bo referred to the honorary medical staff and the medical superintendent for report. Plans have been handed to tho medical superintendent to be forwarded to you, and I shall be glad to receivo report from the staff thereon at earliest convenience. No reply was received to this communication from the honorary staff until Daciinber A. On November 6 Mr Tilburn placed his property at Wakari under offei to the board, and the board decided to pay a visit of inspection to same on November 12, and a3ked the honorary staff, medicp.l superintendent, and architects to j bo present. On this occasion three mein- | born of the staff were present, the board j (with two exceptions) were fully represented, and tho medical superintendent and architects wero in attendance. A letter was then forwarded to the honorary staff on November 24, as follows: Referring to the property at Wakari owned by Mr C. Tilburn, which was placed under offer to this board, as sjte for the secondary hospital, I have the honor to inform you that the architects now report tharcon as per cepy ef letter herewith. The two plans refeired t» therain have been hanled ts th» medical superintendent with instmctiens to place the same before the honorary medical staff, and I am iU rectcd by tho Finance Committee to request th'at the honorary medical staff and the medical superintendent will be good enough to report thereon. Tho board are holding' a special meeting on Thursday, December 10, to consider several important matters, and do-

sire to discuss, the secondary hospital scheme, and I shall be glad to have your report thereon on this site, as well as the Pine Hill proposal, previous l to that date, in order that copies,of tb« sw*l> reports may be circulated amongst members of the hoard prior io the meoting. The asked by M* Tilburn for this property is £6,500. j On DecembeT 4. the following was received from the staff: At a meeting of the staff on Tuesday night> December 1, the question of the alternative sites for the, secondary hos§ital was fully discussed, and it • was nally decided to report to the hoard: — :"(1) That the staff are. of.opinion that the Pine Hill site is preferable to the Wakari site, from tho point of view of attendance by the members of the staff and the work of the and that it i 6 as suitable from a hygienic aspect for the patients. (2) That the staff are strongly of opinion that it is of the utmost importance that the site at Pino Hill should bo increased by the acquisition of the property belonging to the Catholic Church. Later, on December 7, the medical superintendent reported: In reply to your letters of October 29 and November 24, I beg to report as follows: The question appears to be as to the relativo suitability of threo sitesr—viz.. No. 1: The whole area at Pine. Hill of 52 acres. No. 2: The northern section of Pine Hill site 0% 22 acres. No. 3: The Halfway Bush site. No. 1 Sife. —The 52 acres at Pine Hill is an admirable site, and contains a ridge running east and west which forms a splendid building site, sloping directly north. Though Mount Cargill is northward of this site, it in no way interferes with the light line, and Pino Hill gets all the sun possible. It is also situated in an area intermediate between the summit fog line of Mount Cargill and the Valley fog line of Woodhaugh and North-east Valley. Residents tell me that the immunity from fog in this area is particularly noticeable. Ono drawback is its windy exposure. We are assured by a competent expert that this drawback can be overcome in ten years' time by suitable shelter belts. Another drawback is that access is some■what difficult. This, however, applies to all elevated sites, moro or loss, about Dunedin. No. 2 site is the northern section of this same area at Pine Hill, consisting of 22 acres. This was obtained with tho prospect that the whole area of 52 acres would fall to tho board. I have never contemplated it as self-contained as 4 site for the. secondary hospital. By _ itself it does not form an admirable site, as it does not contain sufficient of the natural building area previously mentioned. The building would have to bs accommodated to the lower ground, and as the pavilions would face more or less north-east the afternoon sun would ba lost early in the wards. No. 3 site, at Halfway Bush, is a very pretty site, with the air of a country home. One drawback is that it faces more or Ices to the north-east, but the plans of the architect appear to show that he can arrange for the pavilions to face due north, though the levels are not so good as in No. 1 sits. An advantage is that there is already much shelter already planted, which can bo utilised until the southern boundary is completely sheltered. Tramway facilities are moro likely to be available for this site than the others at Pine Hill at an early date. The question may be asked: M'hy a larger area is required, and tho answer is that it is advisable to 'ook a hundred years ahead in arranging for hospital accommodation now and in a growing centre; also that isolation withiu isolation is more required in a secondary hospital site, taking in general and infective diseases, than what is required in a general hospital alone. The impressions 1 have formed in regard to the suitability of the sites mentioned is that the whole area at Pine Hill comes first, the Halfway Bush 6_ite comes second, and the northern section of Pine Hill comes third. ' I have presumed that a full report on the water and drainage will bo obtained from the architects. (Signed), Alex. R. Falconer Medical Superintendent.

On the 11th December a special meeting of the board was held to discuss this and other matters, every member being present, the medical superintendent, architect, and tho chairman of the hon. medical staff being present, and specially asked to take part in the discu&sion. After a very full and free discussion on the various leports the following rtsolution was carried unanimously, ono member of the board dissenting, on tha grounds that it was necessary to bo assured in writing of a high-pressure supply and the necesnary drainage I'equirem'juts, viz.: That the offer, as contained in letter of the 6th hnd 23rd November, 1914, from Mr C. Tilburn, and of the 9th December, 1914, from Messrs Mondy and Stephens, to sell to this beard a block of about thirty (30) acres of land and buildings thereon at Wakari for the sum of six thousand five hundred pounds (£6,500), he and the same is hereby accepted, the question of payment to be arranged. In the discussion it was stated by the representative of tho staff that unless the extra ground was acquired tho Pine Hill site scheme fell to the ground, and that conclusion was amply borne out by the reports received from tho medical superintendent. It was also noted in the report from the staff that from the view of tli© patients tho Pine Hill site wa3 as good as Wakari; from the attendanco of the staff and the students, they preferred Tine Hill. It was pointed out by a medical member of the board, who had made tests both by driving and walking, that there was very little difference in the time occunicd in arriving at either sue. Since then a number of the students have made a trial (starting from the Dunedin Hospital) to both sites, proceeding by train and walking, and found there was a difference in arriving at their destination of three mim-tes in favor of \\ atari. The members of tho board held strong opinions that tho interests of the patients wero their first consideration, the ratepayers tho next, and finally the students; a:id it was also pointed out that friends of patients visiting them could do so with mnoh less inconvenience at Uakan, ;ia there is a good footpath from tho tram up to the gate, and tho Pino Hill site (more particularly in winter) is moat difficult of access, with very broken and dirty roads. . , ~ On the 17th December, six days* alter the board had resolved to purchase, a telegram was received from the Minister askin" to leavo the matter over, but ss tho property had already been purchased no discourtesy was shown or intended m that pounection. In connection with the purchase 01 grounds previously, the board have not informed the Jlinistor, and no exception has been taken to this course. The secretary, in replying to the Minister's telegram, after giving particulars of the resolution carried, price, and area of lands, etatcs: "I am furtlicr directed to state that heforo any institution is established on this land, notice in writing of ike proposed establishment will be made to you and application made for consent in terms of subsection 3 of section 61 of the Hospitals and Charitable Institutions Act, 1909. I aw also instructed to state that the boai'4 will be pleased to furnish any further information desired in regard to I the puTGhaß© oi the proi»evty and the. reasons which actuated the board therein." From the foregoing it will be ssen that erect the institutwn on. the Pice Hill «te if extra grsund ceuld b* a««.nir««, liut when their r«sjwi»!»ib|» sfricMTs state empliaticaljy that it is unsuitnbls if that is net «lon«, i» member ef tho board can bo blfinwd. Tn connectien with the honorary staff and the University the attitude of the board has been to work in harmony with these bodies and defer to their opinion on expert matters, and as both bodies are represented by medical men on the committee, their views have full representation.

Briefly summarised, the position is that the board, in coming to a decision, wero : 1. Guided by the reports of their advisers—viz., medical superintendent and architect. 2. The decision arrived at was acquiesced in by the representative of the staff. 3. No extra ground could be procured at the present" site as so emphatically desired by the staff. 4. Provision must be made for the removal of the chronics in tho Hospital at an early dote, as by the opening of the new women's wards it is desirable that they should be removed. 5. Extra ground is obtainable if so desired at a later date. 6. Ample shelter is provided for the patients and accommodation for the nurses with no expense. 7. j.-or visitors it is much easier of access. There are many other reasons that might be given, but I think sufficient has been stated to show that the (board arrived at their decision after a full and careful consideration of the whole position and in tho best interests of those committed to their care.

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THE SECONDARY HOSPITAL SITE, Issue 15683, 23 December 1914

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THE SECONDARY HOSPITAL SITE Issue 15683, 23 December 1914

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