Not suitable for convalescents

A special meeting of the Managing Committee of Newbury District Hospital was called when the hospital’s provisions were downgraded from treating wounded soldiers to acting as a glorified nursing home. The hospital was deeply offended.

Thursday July 5th 1917:

The Hon. Secretary produced correspondence received from the Officer in charge of the Military Hospital, Tidworth, from which it appeared Newbury Hospital had been transferred to the control of Reading War Hospital as from June 18th and in future Convalescent Soldiers were to be received instead of Soldiers from Overseas.

After discussion, it was resolved to request the Hon. Secretary to write to the Military Authorities and state the Managing Committee of the Hospital learn with surprise that Convalescent Soldiers are in future going to be sent instead of Overseas Patients, the Committee do not know the reason for the change as they are perfectly ready as before to receive Overseas Patients & have recently at the urgent request of the Military Authorities spent a large sum of money in building a new annexe for the purpose of receiving Overseas Patients, the mixing of Convalescents with ordinary Civilian Patients is not workable.

The Newbury District Hospital is established for the treatment of Patients from the Neighbourhoods for cases of Sickness & Accidents and two Buildings have been specially erected to accommodate wounded Soldiers. Already between 400 and 500 wounded Soldiers have been successfully treated. No complaint whatsoever of the treatment of them has been received & the Committee have heard with surprise that Convalescents are going to be sent. Are there any reasons for the change?

Our staff of Doctors and Nurses are fully qualified and we possess all the necessary appliances of a fully established Hospital and in the opinion of the Committee it is not suitable for Convalescents.

It was unanimously agreed to send a copy of the above resolution to the Military Authorities to be followed with a request for an interview.

Newbury District Hospital minute book (D/H4/3/2)

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