A metropolitan asylums board spoon from the late 19th century from Deptford Hospital a smallpox hospital
The Deptford Hospital opened on St Patrick's Day (17th March) 1877, a week after its sister hospital, the Fulham Hospital . It was the fifth and final of the paired smallpox and fever hospitals to be built by the Metropolitan asylums board (MAB). A smallpox epidemic was raging at that time.
There was a separate entrance for smallpox patients and staff and each side had its own laundry and staff. No nurse or servant was allowed to enter the other side, with the exception of the Superintendent Nurse of the smallpox side, who had to visit the administration block. The stores and food from the Steward's stores were delivered by different porters. All the furniture, linen, etc was kept separate and nothing from the smallpox side entered the fever side without having been thoroughly cleaned.
Common to both sides were the kitchen, Steward's stores, disinfecting room, patients' own clothing store and the mortuary. The engineers were also common to both sides, as were the Matron and the Steward, although they did not enter the smallpox side. The Chaplain visited fever and smallpox patients on alternate days.
The epidemic had lasted two years and, due to the shortage of suitable female nurses, the Hospital was forced to employ men to staff the male wards. The Medical Superintendent later declared that in fact they were preferable to women, being "better fitted to maintain order among the patients, who were from the lowest class of the population". #histmed #medicalhistory #historyofmedicine #antiquemedical #medicalantique #oldmedical #cabinetofcuriosities #medicalcuriosity #medicalcollectables #asylum #smallpox #smallpoxhospital #metropolitanasylumsboard #deptfordhospital #asylumhospital #feverhospital #victorianmedical #victorianhospital #medicalandcollectables