From Underclothing and Beef Tea to Monoclonals and Tcell factors:Help from the Hayward Hospital, 1881 – 2008.

The Hayward Hospital was set up by a bequest from the brothers Hayward, which finally cleared probate early in 1881. As a result of this a trust was set up and governors appointed to administer it. By 1887 they had managed to build a hospital it was for the deserving poor and people of Burslem. At the time of the Grat War, Tunstall was planning to spend money on founding a War Memorial Hospital, and it was decided that the two charities should join together so the current site at High Lane came into being.

Now the Hayward Hospital is having a private finance initiative (PFI) built behind it. Over the next two years the hospital will move into this new building, parts of the old hospital will be demolished and parts incorporated into the new as they become empty. Funing has been received to document this process and to produce resulting artworks. We students at Staffs. U were invited to submit proposals towards this, and as seen above mine was demed to be something worth persuing.

On a tour of the hospital, the ladies at the Day Case Unit talked about the work tbeing done there which is absolutely at the cutting edge of modern treatments for autoimmune, rheumatoid conditions, using biologically active molecules: monoclonal antibodies, T cell and other specific factors. My interest in this stems from having spent about ten years, in a previous lifetime, working as a post-doc in various research labs in Immunology. I find it exciting that work which starts as purely theoretical research does indeed end up resulting in real applications, hugely increasing quality, and length, of life for people with seriously debilitating, chronic conditions. . A Rheumatology department was established in the 1970s in accord with the hospital’s concentration on chronic diseases.

Mulling on the Hayward

The Haywood is interesting for many reasons. From its founding it has been deeply involved in the local community and now, because it specialises in treating chronic conditions the relationships between staff, patients and the building have time to develop and become a meaningful part of people’s lives; quite different from the usual hospital scenario, where patients are just wandering transients, mostly unknown to the staff, in a completely confusing not very welcoming building.

Very readable Victorian Handwriting,1886

Very readable Victorian Handwriting,1886

The Minutes of the Meetings of the Governors of the Haywood Charity Hospital from 1881 at the County Record office in Stafford are hugely involving to read. The governors seem to have become tied up in the minutiae of organising two nurses and the housekeeper once the Waterloo Road house had been rented late in 1881. There are endless entries about tenders for supply of meat and milk and agreements that bills should be paid. Matters which one would have expected to be delegated are seriously discussed; the buying of a single ‘…suit of flannel underclothing, stamped with the charity’s name, is to be obtained under the directions of the nurses and lent, in the first place, to —– Boulton (sic) of Sneyd Street, Cobridge.’ (minutes for 10 April, 1882).

The entry for  purchase of the hospital site, 1886

The entry for purchase of the hospital site, 8 Feb.1886

So now I shall go and spend more time reading the minutes and also spend time at the Day Case Unit; what fun. Please await the next thrilling installment, now to be found at  The Haywood Charity Hospital


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s