South Yorkshire Times, November 1911
Conisbro’ Isolation Hospital
Talk of Split
Village at a Standstill
New Colliery Developments
Mr. Henry Baker, presided on Wednesday afternoon at the monthly meeting of the Doncaster and Mexboro’ Joint Hospital Board, and others present included Councillors J. Clayton, J. Wood, C. Lazenby, and T. Athron, J.P., (Mexboro), Mr. Elliott (Warmsworth), Mr. Drury (Edlington), Mr. R. Snow (Adwick), Mr. W. Appleyard, (Conisbro’), and Mr. J. Parker (Thurnscoe), with the Clerk, (Mr. H. M. Marshall) and the Medical Superintendent Dr. W.J. McClure. The report of the Medical Superintendent showed that at the end of September there were 61 cases in hospital, 45 of typhoid, 14 of scarlet fever and two of diphtheria, During October, 28 cases were admitted, 24 of these being enteric and four scarlatina. There were 22 patients discharged and six deaths, so that there were remaining on October 31st, 46 cases enteric and 15 scarlatina.
The reports of the officers were received and approved.
The Chairman commented on the fact that the cost of coal was being kept down.
Mr. Clayton’s Axiom
Mr. Wood called attention to the fact that in each report some repairing was required to be done.
Mr. Clayton: a man wants tools; neither wise men nor fools can work without tools.
Chairman: Well done Mr. Clayton and that is after retiring. (Laughter)
The contract for the supply of milk and butter was let to Messrs. Appleyard at 1/2 per gallon, and 1/4 per lb. respectively.
Mr Wood: It is a fair price.
The Chairman: We shall have to pay some fair prices. I know what I have to pay and what I expect having to pay
Mr. Parker introduced the question of obtaining a varying order to settle a proportionate rate of contribution to the Hospital on the part of the local authorities, as the Board had agreed to do upon the issue of the 1999 Census. He thought, he said, that it would be fairer all round and was, indeed absolutely necessary if the Board was to continue. He also asked for provision for a revision of the Order at intervals of either a year or three years. This, he pointed out, was also necessary, in view of the liability of mining districts to exceptional increases of population where the growth was of a mushroom character.
The Clerk said the Hospital was built for a population of 36,857, with 36 beds – an average of one bed per thousand. At the present time they had 61 beds, and were overcrowded to that extent. The present population was: Doncaster rural area 37,567; Mexboro’ 14,397; Bentley Urban 6,487 and Thurnscoe 4,076. A total of 62,527, so that their accommodation was in insufficient by 36 beds. The Doncaster rural area alone now accounted for more than the total population ten years ago, and buildings would have to be erected for 26 more beds. One gentleman had mentioned the desirability of centralising the hospital accommodation and he the Clerk had said that they would have to consider whether it would be well to dissolve the Board and let the mining population of Mexboro’, Bolton and Thurnscoe build a hospital of their own. The Doncaster rural council paying them their share of the capital value of the Conisboro’ hospital. It would really cost no more to pay them out than the cost of additional buildings to the Conisbro’ hospital, and the mining district would get a more convenient hospital. It was no new idea of his, but it arose out of something that was said about centralisation.
Mr. Parker: We at Thurnscoe are of the opinion that it would be unwise to withdraw from here, but your suggestion is a good one, assuming that Bolton, who are right in the centre of that district, would join hands.
The Clerk: It is no suggestion of mine; it is just a few facts and figures for you to consider.
Don’t Want To Split
The Chairman: Do I understand that you, Mr. Parker, feel that you would like to withdraw from the Board?
Mr. Parker: No – quite the opposite.
The Chairman: Oh, that’s better.
The Clerk: Well it is now or another ten years hence.
Mr. Clayton: I think we had better go on for another ten years.
Hospital Wanted For Bentley
Mr. Snow said they could not go on with their present accommodation. Without doubt there would have to be a new hospital before long for the colliery district in the neighbourhood of Bentley and, if that was so, he presumed the little parishes in that neighbourhood would be embraced in the scheme for it would be an unbusinesslike and inconvenient arrangement to bring patients past the doors of one hospital to another. If that hospital were provided, it would deduct from their area, he roughly estimated, a population of about twenty thousand, which would leave them not very much in excess of their accommodation, and so they might go on for a few years, until the growth of the Edlington mining district made the pressure on the Conisbro’ Hospital too great to be borne without extension. It seemed to him that they should direct their attention to the probability of extra hospital accommodation being provided in the north eastern district of the Doncaster rural area, leaving all the rest of the districts to be served by the Conisbro’ Hospital as at present.
The Clerk: Would you propose that this Board should build two hospitals and have two administrations?
Mr. Snow; I had hardly got my ideas developed.
Convenience of the People
The Clerk: that is what your argument means, and it would be putting a greater load on the urban districts of Mexboro’, Thurnscoe and Bentley
Mr.: Snow: I do not see why they should not be associated, and get a hospital of their own. We can pay them for their interest in this hospital.
Mr. Wood: With those colliery villages developing so rapidly around Doncaster, it would not be convent to bring many cases here. Would it not be better to centralise hospitals for the convenience of the people?
Mr. Clayton: it will be more expensive to maintain two establishments than to carry the patients to and fro’ a considerable distance.
Mr. Wood: But you are bound to consider the convenience of the people.
Healthy Model Villages
The Clerk: You lose sight of one important point; these colliery villages that have been developing recently are on much better and more improved lines than the old-fashioned ones, and we do not expect nearly so many patients from these places as we have got from the old colliery villages which were known to be insanitary.
Mr. Athron: I don’t know about that.
Mr. Snow suggested that the Clerk get out comparative figures, showing the cost of extension and the cost of two establishments.
The Clerk: If you don’t at once apply for a Varying Order, you should interview the Bentley Urban District Council and fix their provisional rate of contribution – that will give you time to think.
Mr. Parker: I think there ought to be a new varying Order
The Clerk: Do Thurnscoe expect to get anything better out of a new Varying Order?
Mr. Parker: Certainly.
The Clerk: You now pay one fifteenth, and you presume that Thurnscoe is not going to grow so swiftly as other places.
Thurnscoe at a Standstill
Mr. Parker: Thurnscoe is practically at a standstill.
The Clerk: I agree with you. At the present time Thurnscoe have gained 1.1 percent. I am not arguing against the principle of revision, but we are trying to get at some figures which will put it off for a month or two and give us time to consider. You will lose nothing to defer it for a time, for you are gainers.
Mr. Parker: I differ.
Mr. Clayton: I don’t see that Thurnscoe have any cause to grumble at the present apportionment. Mexboro’ is much harder hit, we pay £400 to their £100.
It was decided that the Chairman, Mr. Clayton Mr. Snow and The Clerk should interview the Bentley Urban District Council and settle upon a temporary rate of contribution for them.