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H.Baker (December 1975)
From the archive of Rowan Flack
Former Clinical Nurse Officer, Rushden Hospital, 1966-1990.
Transcribed by Greville Watson, 2008

Wymington Road, Rushden

The Gilbert Lord Clinic, Rushden Hospital
The Gilbert Lord Clinic

This Hospital, in the grounds of the old Browning estate, was opened in 1921 as a Sanatorium.  In fact the name is still used by many people.  It was, and still is, the main treatment centre in Northamptonshire for T.B. and chest ailments.

In 1960 the name was changed to Rushden Hospital when there was the decline of Tuberculosis through improved treatment techniques.

In 1958 a Skin Unit was opened in the “House”.  This was the old family house of the Browning family.  The Skin Unit consists of 11 beds, 6 downstairs in a main ward for women and 5 beds upstairs in cubicles for men.  An outpatient clinic is run at hours convenient to patients including Sundays and caters for an average of 100 persons each month.

In 1968 the Colton Ward was opened for severely mentally and physically handicapped children.  It is a 20 bedded unit giving home type care to the children as well as providing “phased care” for a number of patients.  Some of the patients return to their parents’ home on occasions for a week-end or for the festive season.  As we do not at present have a suitably trained teacher to take charge of the school the children are bussed daily to “Fairlawns”.  That is those who are capable of any response.

The number of patients average 13 and as many have been in the Ward for years they have grown and become heavier so that with present staffing it would not be possible to increase the number of patients and to give the best care.  It should be appreciated that where a child five years ago could be lifted single-handed today he or she would need two nursing staff so numbers are not the main criterion.

In 1975 the Rushden House Day Hospital was opened for Psycho Geriatric patients sent by the local G.P.s.  Today we now have approximately 24 persons attending daily and we have a regular attendance of the Consultant for Psycho Geriatric patients.  Many cases of excellent improvements can be quoted for the attending patients.

The Hospital is situated in most pleasant grounds with excellent opportunity for development.  It has its own X-Ray department and theatre for such investigatory treatments saw Bronchoscopies, Biopsies etc.  There is a out-patient clinic held here every Tuesday at which an average of 16 persons attend.  The Hospital is staffed by one permanent consultant physician with chest interest; a locum consultant until another permanent consultant is appointed; one resident Senior House Officer and we are now interviewing for a further S.H.O.

There are 79 beds at Rushden Hospital 20 beds in Colton Ward; 11 beds in the Skin Unit; 38 Chest beds and 10 G.P. or Community beds.

The names of the Wards are Colton for children, Crane (mainly ladies), Hensman and Sharwood.  In Sharwood are the 10 G.P. beds.

The name of the Consultant is Dr. S.U.Shahid.  The name of the S.H.O. is Dr. S.N.Singh.  The Nursing Officer is Mr. R.Flack who has a nursing staff of 94 mainly part-time nurses of varying number of hours’ attendance.  We have support staff of 3 Maintenance men; 3 gardeners; 3 porters; 1 part-time seamstress; 4 cooks together with ancillary staff.  The 22 Domestic staff operate under two day-time supervisors and one evening supervisor.  Majority of the Domestic staff are on part-time hours.  There are two Medical Secretaries and one Administrator with one clerk.  The Nursing staff consists of one part-time Secretary and one part-time ward clerk.

The Kitchen provides on average monthly 5,600 lunches, 2,400 breakfasts, 2,000 suppers, 10,000 cups of coffee and a similar number of cups of tea.  In twelve months Rushden Hospital has approximately 21,000 in-patient days’ attendance.

Rushden Hospital is very lucky and thankful to have the excellent support of “The Friends of Rushden Hospital” who provide many extras for patients and who, under the notable Mrs. Hensman, provide a library service and materials for occupational work.

The After Care Committee also has very strong ties with the Hospital and we are well served with other voluntary bodies including the W.R.V.S. who provide a trolley service.

We have the part-time services of a dentist, physio-therapist and a male hairdresser and twice weekly attendance of a path lab technician.  The Hospital is visited regularly by the local appointed chaplains.

The Hospital is in the Wellingborough Sector of the Kettering District of Northamptonshire Area Health Authority.

Assistant Sector Administrator.
(December 1975)

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