Monday, 31 January 2011

Report and State of the Kelso Dispensary

When I was in the National archives the other day I came across some leaflets entitled Report and State of The Kelso Dispensary. I found it useful to help me understand the daily running of the dispensary. Here is a transcription of the front page of the leaflet:

Report and State
The Kelso Dispensary

77th Year of the Institution

The Physicians and Surgeons connected with the Institution attend the Dispensary every Sunday before Divine Service, and every Friday form nine to eleven o’clock, to give their advice, and to direct the Apothecary of the Dispensary (who also attends on these days), to dispense such Medicines as are proper for the Patients recommended. In cases of acute, and occasionally in chronic disease, when Patients cannot be brought to the Dispensary, the Surgeons of the Institution are allowed, at the recommendation of a Subscriber, to visit them in the country at the expense of the Charity, in terms of the following rule of the Institution, viz., “That no one be visited in the country who can be brought by any conveyance to the Dispensary without personal hazard; that when in cases of sickness or accident it becomes necessary for the Surgeons to visit a Patient in the country, the visit shall not be repeated at the Surgeon’s discretion for a longer period than till the first ordinary Meeting of Physicians, Surgeons, and other Office-bearers; at which Meeting it shall be incumbent on the Visiting Surgeon to report the case, and after consultation it will be in the power of he Meeting either to order a continuation of visits for a limited time, or a notification to be made to the Patient that he must be brought to the Dispensary in Kelso–it being always kept in view that the expense of these visits, to be borne by the Institution shall not exceed triple the sum subscribed by the recommender.” Patients in the town of Kelso may be visited in their own homes by the Apothecary to the Institution, upon an order from the Physicians or Surgeons to do so. All recommendatory letters to be addressed, “To the Apothecary of the Kelso Dispensary,” who is appointed to deliver the same to the Surgeons in rotation.

No Patient will be visited in the country at the expense of the Institution, unless a visit is solicited by a Subscriber, or ordered by the Physicians. The other regulations under which the dispensary is managed, and the rules by which proper objects of charity are recommended are entitled to the benefit of the Institution, will be furnished by the secretary. 

There is a record kept of the Patients, their ages, diseases, the event of their case, the names id the Subscribers, and the parishes to which they belong. There have been 715 admitted for the year from the 1st October 1853, to the 1st October, 1854.


There is one Bath kept exclusively for the Patients of the Dispensary; another, handsomely fitted up with marble for the accommodation of the Public. Baths may be had at one hour’s notice, on application to the Housekeeper, for payment of 1s. Hot Bath, and 6d. Cold and Shower Bath, which sums go toward the support of the Charity.

© Kelso dispensary data - Crown copyright. National Archives of Scotland reference HH71/5.
© Transcription — Copyright Graham Maxwell Ancestry 2011.

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