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Inspectors Report 1902 by Surgeon-General Keogh and Mr Fripp Cambridge Military Hospital

The CMH Aldershot was visited on 18th November 1902 by Surgeon-General Keogh and Mr Fripp without notice. Below is their report.

Equipped for 580 beds. Number of patients on day of visit was under 250.

Medical Officer in charge, Lieutenant Colonel Hubbard. This Officer has only been here 6 months, but he states that with the exception of one Civil Surgeon who is in charge of the X-Ray department, he has not had the continuous service of any one of the Officers upon the staff for that period; indeed, most of the posts have had two or three occupants in the time.

Obviously this constant change must be detrimental to the even and efficient working of so large and important a hospital and training centre, and we hope that in the future it may be found possible to ensure to the Officer in command of the hospital the undivided services of at least four of his Officers for an unbroken tenure of 12 months each, without their being liable to be ordered to other duty by the Principal Medical Officer of the district.

The staff of Nursing Sisters varies from 8 to 10, and their quarters are not large enough even for this number.

Situation - Excellent and convenient.

Structure - Brick and stone, on the two-storied pavilion system with connecting corridors, in excellent state of preservation, and well suited for its purpose.

Water supply said to be all that can be desired.

Lighting - In day time excellent, but after dark the gas jets are inadequate and inconvenient, and electric light should be installed.

Wards - Large, airy and good. The heating is by means of open fires which in very cold weather, or when coal is scarce, is hardly adequate.

A dressing wagon, furnished with a sterilizer, metal boxes for dressing materials, suitable lotion jars and receiving trays, and capable of being easily wheeled to each bedside, should be provided in each surgical ward. More cupboards are required for the storing of dressings, spare linen, mackintoshes, enema syringes, glass syringes, etc. The easy chairs and the tables might, without great difficulty and expense, be made to contribute something to the comfort and appearance of the wards, instead of detracting from therefrom, as they do in all the military hospitals that I have seen. Wash-hand bowls and jugs for surgeons' use are needed in the wards.

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There is sufficient and good accommodation for sick Officers, and the one patient in this department at the date of our visit had nothing but praise for the way he had been tended.

We were glad to note that the plan is in operation of accumulating the gravely-ill cases, and so concentrating the work of the Nursing Sisters where it can be of great service. We should like to see this plan universally adopted, so that in each military hospital of over 100 beds there would be a 'serious' and a 'slight' division; and we think that a bed letter and temperature chart should hang at each bed-head in the serious division [at least], for the immediate information of any Medical Officer or Nursing Sister who may be freshly brought into responsibility in the case.

Sanitary Blocks - Here, as everywhere throughout the hospital, the order and condition were excellent, but the fittings leave much to be desired. There are no upward flushing jets for cleaning bed-pans. The Itch ward affords the one instance of insufficient and obsolete bath accommodation, and in view of the treatment usually adopted in this disease we strongly advise that this deficiency be made good at once.

An apparatus for the disinfection of Typhoid excreta by boiling is on trial, under the supervision of the inventor, Major Caldwell.

There is no steam disinfector nor destructor, and these deficiencies should also be remedied as soon as possible if only because, like the sterilizers in the surgical wards, they are of great educational value.

All infectious cases are transferred to the Isolation Hospital, mile away, in ambulances kept at the latter institution. All Venereal cases have hitherto been transferred to the Third Station Hospital, but as this is so shockingly bad that we urge its immediate evacuation and demolition, we suggest that one of the pavilions of the Cambridge Hospital should be set aside, at any rate temporarily, for the reception of Venereal cases.

Operating Theatre - Excellent, well-fitted, and in every way adequate.

Laboratory for Clinical Pathology - Small, but well-equipped, and evidently the scene of much useful work in Water Analysis, Diphtheria, and Tubercle investigations, etc., under Major Caldwell.

Mortuary - Very good in every respect.

Balconies - Are accessible from all the wards.

Stores, Kitchen, and Dispensary - All were visited and found in good order.

General Remarks - Everywhere there was evidence that the Officer in command was making the most of is opportunities. We think that if he is given facilities along the lines we have indicated, he would quickly make of the Cambridge Hospital an ideal military hospital.



8th December, 1902

With thanks to Keith Bean Historic Aldershot Military Town Facebook Page.

See also the Aldershot Military Hospital Original Plans.

Miss Sidney Browne Matron-in-Chief Hospital Inspection 1903.

Read about the history of the Cambridge Military Hospital.

Secret Tunnel CMH Aldershot Undertakers.

Army Student Nurse memories of the CMH.

Stanhope Lines Aldershot Garrison

Grey Lady Ghost.

Lady Superintendent Louise Margaret Hospital Aldershot.

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