|LOST HOSPITALS OF LONDON|
A brief history of healthcare provision in London
AFTER THE GREAT WAR
Orthopaedic and Tropical Clinics
At the end of the war, at the request of the Ministry of Pensions, the British Red Cross established out-patient clinics for ex-servicemen who still required treatment for injuries or sickness. These clinics were run partly on the lines of the V.A.D. hospitals, that is, the Divisional Commander was responsible to the County Director for their administration and internal economy, with a Red Cross officer in charge. The clinics also undertook welfare work, with Commandants helping the men with their difficulties with pensions, their family problems, sickness benefits, etc.
The County Director was responsible to the Ministry of Pensions for all the clinics, and the capitation grant was paid directly to, and administered by, him.
In 1919 the London Branch received £3,000 from the Joint War Committee towards initial expenses in setting up the clinics and for continued financial assistance. In November Miss E.M. Newton, late Matron of the First Eastern General Hospital, was appointed to provide expert help. The clinics were run by the Divisional Commanders of the Red Cross, with the exception of Broad Street and Almeric Paget, which were administered direct from the County Branch office.
Clinics were established in:
(opened October 1919)
Hackney and Stoke Newington
Greenwich and Woolwich
(opened November 1919)
(opened January 1920)
(opened March 1920)
(opened April 1920)
(opened June 1920)
Fulham and Putney
(opened September 1920)
Greenwich and Woolwich
(opened November 1920)
At the beginning of 1920 some ten Orthopaedic Clinics were open, five of which had Tropical Diseases branches. Treatments continued to increase, then began to decline by October 1921 (although in December 1921 more were carried out than in December 1920).
In 1924 seven Orthopaedic Clinics were still open but, at the end of the year, only five remained. Five years after the end of the war, 600 men were still being treated, but now receiving electrical treatments instead of physiotherapy. A large number were 'dressing' cases, as many wounds had failed to heal entirely, despite continuing care. Some ex-servicemen attended for examination of stumps and the fitting of surgical appliances (artificial limbs).
In Surrey the clinics were known as Curative Posts and provided massage and electrical treatment. The staff were voluntary and only the masseuses were paid.
On 1st January 1919 a clinic for out-patients was opened in Redhill by a Mrs Lemon. During 1919 clinics were also opened by the Red Cross in Dorking, Farnham, Kingston, Woking and Epsom. In August 1919 a clinic opened at Purley and, in April 1920, at Weybridge when Brooklands Auxiliary Military Hospital closed.
The Curative Posts at Dorking and Redhill closed in 1920.
By 1926 only four of the eight Curative Posts were active - Woking, Kingston, Farnham and Weybridge.
The Kingston and Woking clinics, which had both opened orthopaedic clinics for crippled children, continued treatments for discharged servicemen until 1928.
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(Author unstated) (undated) Red Cross work in Surrey 1918-1919. British Red Cross Surrey Branch.
(Author unstated) (undated) Red Cross work in Surrey 1919-1920. British Red Cross Surrey Branch.
(Author unstated 1925 Medical notes in Parliament. Ministry of Pensions debate. British Medical Journal 1 (3362), 1058-1059.
(Author unstated) 1925 The British Red Cross Society. County of London Branch Annual Reports 1914-1924. London, Harrison & Sons.
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