Voluntary Hospitals Database
The Voluntary Hospitals Database is an online resource by the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This database should serve the interests of researchers in the history of British and Irish voluntary hospitals between c.1890 and 1946. The "Database contains statistical data on over 1,300 hospitals located in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Originally recorded in a series of annual yearbooks, these data were digitised by John Mohan, Martin Powell and Martin Gorsky in 1996-9.... Users may search for hospitals of interest by name, by place or through an interactive map. Simple graphing facilities are available to aid visualisation of main trends, and users may freely download to Excel data relating to individual hospitals, either separately or at the level of city or county. Where possible each hospital is linked to the relevant entry in the National Archives/Wellcome Trust Hospitals Database, so that readers also have instant access to details of the archives where further records of their chosen hospital are located." The "project explored the spatial and temporal patterns of hospital provision and finance immediately prior to the establishment of the British National Health Service".... This material will be of use to medical historians, to urban and local historians, and to all with an interest in the historical development of social welfare." Details about the the data Sources: "The database contains statistical material drawn from two main sources: Burdett’s Hospitals and Charities: The Year Book of Philanthropy and Hospital Annual, published between 1892 and 1930; and its successor, The Hospitals Yearbook, produced by the Central Bureau of Hospital Information and ‘issued under the auspices of the Joint Council of the Order of St John and the British Red Cross Society and the British Hospitals Association’. Henry Burdett, who initiated these yearbooks, was a philanthropist and champion of the voluntary hospital movement. His aim was to produce an almanac of medical charities both for benevolent donors and for the trustees and administrators of hospitals seeking information about the organisation and costs of similar institutions. After Burdett’s death there were some gaps between 1921 and 1928, before continuous records resumed again with The Hospitals Yearbook. To fill these gaps we drew on the Order of St John’s Third - Ninth Annual Report on the Voluntary Hospitals in Great Britain (excluding London) and the King Edward's Hospital Fund for London, Statistical Summary. Despite some omissions (because not all institutions reported figures in every year although by and large the principal institutions did so consistently) these yearbooks contain a uniform and systematic record of finance, beds, patients and staff in about 1,300 individual institutions. Finally, for a small number of the large, older hospitals we were able to add data from an early survey undertaken in 1863 by Bristowe and Holmes (Report by Dr John Syer Bristowe and Mr Timothy Holmes on the Hospitals of the United Kingdom, British Parliamentary Papers 1864 xxviii Sixth Report of the Medical Officer of the Privy Council, 1863: Appendix 15) The originals of these various sources are available in several libraries, principally the British Library of Political and Economic Science at the LSE, and also Cambridge University Library; copies of some editions of Burdett’s Hospitals and Charities were kindly loaned to us by the Institute of Health Service Management."

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Saturday, 17 March 2012 - 10:27pm
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