389 SELF-SUPPORTING HOSPITAL AT BRIGHTON. To the Editor of THE LANCET. SIR, In your number of to-day, when referring to a meeting which has been held at Brighton for the purpose of establishing a self-supporting hospital in the town, you allude to a discrepancy of statements respecting the extent to which the Sussex County Hospital is abused by persons who have no claims upon its charity. This discrepancy, no doubt, arises mainly from the difference of opinion entertained by the speakers as to the class of persons who are or who are not entitled to hospital or dispensary relief. As the whole question of the medical charities of the country is now being freely discussed, it would seem to me very desirthe first instance, to obtain some more definite views upon this part of the question. Of course everybody admits that persons who have a good income for their position in life, and can afford to pay a general practitioner’s charges, are not proper objects for hospital or dispensary relief. But there are numerous other classes of individuals respecting which there would seem to be some considerable difference of opinion. Amongst these I may mention-(1) Domestic servants whose masters or mistresses have never given anything to the charity-a numerous class of applicants both to hospitals and dispensaries. (2) Single men, mechanics, &c., earning their 25s. or 30s. a week, more especially when they have contracted venereal complaints. Dispensaries and the out-patient departments of hospitals are thronged with such cases. (3) Persons who employ and pay a general practitioner in the country, but who are constantly going long distances by railway to get advice and medicines for nothing at some neighbouring charitable institution. (4) Members of benefit clubs who have a regularly appointed medical man. (5) The strictly pauper class; who have no regular means of subsistence, and who get parish relief,-fit objects for medical charities. Upon all or any of these points I should very much like to have your valuable opinion. I am. Sir. vour obedient servant.
WILLIAM KEBBELL, M.D., Senior Physician to the Sussex County Hospital.
To the Editor
of THE LANCET.
your paragraph in to-day’s LANCET, in which you say that the question of adding a provident ward to the Sussex County Hospital is under consideration, I am able, as the hon. secretary to the proposed new hospital, to inform you that the Committee of the former institution have decided not to take any action in that direction. They find that it would necessitate an alteration in their statutes.
having no water-supply, thirty-one have already had water laid on, and the owners of the remaining seventy will be compelled to provide for their tenants an adequate watersupply. Small-pox is steadily declining: only thirty-seven patients remain in hospital, as compared with forty-two last week, and the new cases are diminishing in number. The death-rate stands at 31’2 per 1000. Whooping.cough is causing the highest mortality among the so-called zymotic diseases, and only two deaths occurred from variola during the past week. The Hospital Saturday collection, to be held on the 18th inst., promises to be unusually good. A very large amount of sympathy with the movement is being exhibited in nearly all the factories and workshops of the town. The annual meeting of the General Hospital was recently held, and again an encouraging report was presented. During the past eighteen’months 3949 in-patients and 32,234 out-patients were attended to. The ordinary income was £15,590. The drainage of the hospital has been entirely renovated, and every effort made to improve the sanitary condition of the building. With age the hospital (now in its ninety-sixth year) shows no sign of decadence, but, on the contrary, exhibits a bright example of energy and good management to the younger charities of the town. Mr. Pemberton’s opposition to the admission of homosopaths to the Birmingham Medical Institute has led to his receiving an unwarrantable amount of censure and abuse from the Liberal newspapers of the town. The Morning News and the Daily Mail have signalised themselves by indulging in a remarkably vituperative style in speaking of Mr. Pemberton and those who have dared to think and act with him. THE LANCET also has come in for a fair share of obloquy and denunciation. It will be time enough to talk of the opinion of the profession being on the side of the trustees of the Institute when that opinion has been definitely endorsed by a majority of the profession. Until such a decision has been arrived at, the question of the admission of homoeopaths cannot be considered as settled, and until it is the future of the Institute is not assured, in spite of the confident declaration of the trustees that they are prepared to carry the greatest medical institution which was ever projected in Birmingham to a successful issue. The Birmingham Sanatorium at Blackwell is doing a useful work, but is hampered by the want of funds. £ 2000 is still needed to complete the payments for building and furnishing. 716 patients were received last year, and the average number of beds occupied during the year was 34. With increased funds at their command the institution might be made by the Committee to do a much greater amount of good to the convalescent sick people of Birmingham than it now does.
Sir yours truly
(From our own Correspondent.) THE Town Council seem determined to remove the stigma of unhealthiness which has recently attached itself to the town. In spite of the obstruction offered by many parsimonious and ill-advised members, there is a sufficient number of intelligent, right-thinking men among them to carry outt the work of sanitary reform. Ten additional inspectors of nuisances and sixteen disinfectors and whitewashers are to be at once engaged. A complete sanitary inspection of the borough is being made, and where occupiers or owners of houses are unable or unwilling to do what is necessary to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, it is the intention of the Sanitary Committee, with the direct authority of the medical officer of health, to have the requisite work done. Mr. Cross’s Bill will be of great assistance in enabling the corporation to get rid of some of the pestilent rookeries which infest the older parts of the town. Of the one! hundred and one houses which I mentioned in my last letter
Birmingham, March 6th, 1875.
Obituary. CHRISTOPHER H. BARNES, F.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., &c. WE regret having to record the death, on Feb. 25th, of Christopher Hewetson Barnes, of Coleherne-terrace, South Kensington, one of the few remaining pupils of Abernethy. Mr. Barnes was born on July 20th, 1801, was educated at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, and became a member of the College in 1824. He was a surgeon in H.E.I.C.S., and subsequently set up in practice at Notting-hill, at which place he succeeded in forming a large connexion. He afterwards carried on a high-class asylum for lunatics at Kensington House, from which he eventually retired, leaving the sole superintendence to his partner, Dr. Wood. He was a member of the Royal United Service Institution, Whitehall. During the last few years he sustained severe personal losses and affliction, and out of a large family leaves only four children, the youngest of whom, we understand, is pursuing his studies at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Mr. Barnes was always esteemed by both rich and poor for his great kindness of heart and sterling qualities. He was contemporary of Skey, Kiernan, Wormald, and Roupell, the last-named having been one of his most intimate friends.