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Title: The cottage hospital movement in England & Wales, 1850-1914 : origins, growth and contribution to the healthcare of the poor
Author: Atkins, Keith
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 1212
Awarding Body: Kingston University
Current Institution: Kingston University
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis makes a significant contribution to the understanding of healthcare provision for the poor in the second half of the 19th century in England and Wales. It explores the origins behind a new type of hospital which began to emerge in the mid-nineteenth century, the cottage hospital, and attempts to fill a gap in the historiography of the rise of the hospital in the nineteenth century. It compares six cottage hospitals, three based in villages and three based in towns, and reveals marked differences (especially in comparative analyses of admissions by gender) as well as similarities. It highlights the impact of industrialisation and mechanisation on workers revealing work place accidents as the most frequent cause of admission for men. The thesis uses the writings of the founder, and his supporters, of what became known as the Cottage Hospital Movement, studying contemporary arguments, for and against, such an enterprise. It provides in depth insight into the role of the church and philanthropy and the importance of local community in the success of the hospitals, but most importantly highlights the role of the medical men as prime movers. It also exposes how local medical men were not only able to improve their standing in their local communities, but were able to improve their own knowledge and practice through the presence of the hospital. As Steven Cherry has shown, many of these hospitals survived and continue in the NHS today still offering local, in the community care. Now, as then, they are in the firing line of the ongoing debate between the desirability of small/local/familiar institutions versus the specialist/ technical but distant 'super hospitals'. This thesis adds significantly to the historical cannon of nineteenth century medical care for the working poor, and the databases created as part of this research offer future historians the opportunity to explore the subject further.
Supervisor: Hawkins, Sue Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Allied health professions and studies ; Health services research ; History