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PEMBROKE BOARD OF GUARDIANS. THE ITCH AT THE WORKHOUSE. DOCTOR CRITICISED. GUARDIANS IRRITATED. A meeting of the Pembroke Board of Guard- ians was held on Thursday, when there were present Mr C F Egerton Allen (chairman), Mrs Lovvless, Mrs. Grieve, Mrs. Williams, Messrs. B. Hancock, B. G. Roberts, J. Davies (Pembroke Dock), J. Davies (Knowles), W. Gibbs, J. Hitchings, J. W. Penney, G. Thomas, J. Thomas, J. M. Thomas, C. Mathias. OUTBREAK OF THE ITCH. Mr. Hancock said that some of them last Thurcday went into the nursery at the Work- house, and found that some of the children were suffering from the Itch. They were in- formed that they had been suffering for a per- iod of seven months. If that was the case, why had this not been reported or taken notice of before. It was a very long period indeed for a disease to bo prevalent in the House, and no notice taken of it. The Chairm-ain remarked that they had the doctor's report a fortnight ago. Dr. Williams then reported that some of the children in the nursery werre suffering from scabies and ex- zema, and that owing to lack of accommoda- tion for • lating purposes, he had been unable to stamp Lot he disease. The Board consi- dered iit a serious matter and asked the Visit- ing Committee to make enquiries, and give any orders they thought necessary to be carried out. The Visiting Committee had met the next day, and the doctor told them that the cases had been going on since June last. They had got, worse and better and worse again, and now they had got into such a state, that he could no longer cope with the disease, and so came to the Board for assistance. The Visiting Committee came to ihe conclusion that what was necessary was isolation, and they decided to use the chapel for purposes of isolation. It was necessary to make a new entrance into the chapel and stop the present entrance from the dining hall, so the present doorway had been closed, and a new entrance had been made. It was decided to put the sound children in the chapel and keep the ill children in the nursery. He believed at that moment the sound child- ren were in the chapel. The Master That has been done. The Chairman said that they had also a further report from the doctor on the matter, which he would read. The report stated that nine children and four women had been affected. It proceeded to state what had been done to isolate the children, and added that there had already been a considerable improv- ment. All the necessary arrangements for disinfection of clothing etc, had been made, and it was hoped! that the disease would be stamped out in a very shoit time. On February 10th he had found three more boys suffering from the same complaint, and these had been isolated. The chairman: Where are they isolated? The master: In a spare loom in the lock ward. The chairman said that was how the matter stood up-to-date. Thd point Mr. Hancock made was a very important one, and perhaps he wished to ask some more questions. Mr. Hancock remarked that he had made enquiries of the, nurse, who told him that some of the children hadx the itch when she came, and she did not know what it was. By and bye she enquired and was told. It seemed to him very strange that a period of seven months should elapse before an outbreak of this sort was brought to their notice. Per- haps they had better have the nurse in and inquire about her statements. Mr. G. Thomas said that he never heard of a case until they went round the House last Thursday. He should like to know how long it had been going on Dr. W. R. E. Williams: Six or seven months I should think. Mr. G. Thomas: Have you recorded the num- ber of visits you have made to the House? Dr. Williams: They are all on the book. Mr. G. Thomas. I see you have been very attentive in visiting the workhouse. I sup- pose you did not go to the nursery every time. Dr. Williams: Not every time. Mr. G. Thomas: The nurse makes a state- ment that you have not been there often? Dr. Williams: I have been there every week. Mr .G. Thomas: She says you have only been there four times in twelve months? Dr. Williams She has' not been here twelve months. Mr. Hancock said that he understood from the nurse that the doctor had not been there ofbn. Some discussion took place upon the sug- gestion of Mr. G. Thomas, as to whether nurses from the infirmary could not have been sent to help in the nursery. The doc- tor said that the nurses had enough to do, and there were also four women helping the nurse or industrial trainer in the nursery. Later on Mr Hancock proposed that they call the nurse before the Board. Mr. C. Mathias: The doctor's statement is unsatisfactory. The chairman said that he, could not under- stand why the doctor did not inform the Board before. Dr. Williams: There is no rule, laid down for me to report such a matter to the, Board. Mr. G. Thomas seconded Mr. Hancock's pro- posal, and the Board agreed. The chairman then asked if there was any danger in having the nurse in the room. Mr. Hancock said that he had been informed that there has, and1 that the itch was con- tagious. He would therefore withdraw his proposition. Mr. Penney said that one thing that had been overlooked was that the clothes of these children had been going to the wash-house and washed with the other clothes. Tha master said that they were well boiled and that was a good cure. The chairman considered it a serious matter and said that it would' affect their opinion of the doctor's capacity and attention to duty. The doctor's views seemed to be that no duty lay upon him to report to the Board this very serious outbreak and that by keeping it to himself for six months no fault could be found with them. He thought that if the doctor had any statement to make he had better make it, but it he thought It better, an oppor- tunity would be given him to prepare him- self. Dr. Williams said that the reason he did not report the cases was that he did not want to make a bother. He had had cases from time to time, and had been able to deal with them, but this time he had not been able to stamp it out. The nursery was not a very suitable place, and it was very badly ventil- ated. It was hardly the sort of place where he could deal properly with the cases, so he re- ported the matter to the Board. He had read through the rules and duties of the medical officer of the workhouse, and he could find nothing laid down about reporting any dis- eases, except of a dangerous nature. If he reported these oases he should have one every week. The chairman thought that the case should be carried further, and -suggested the appoint- ment of a special committee to make enquiries into the matter. Mr. Hancock thought that sufficient had been done. Notice had been, called to the matter and that was what hie wished. He did not wish to be vindictive, or for the punish- ment of any official. He thought that now the matter might be allowed to drop. Mr. G. Thomas said that he had looked over the porter's books and he found that the doc- tor had been very attentive to the House. Mr. J. Davies (Knowle): Perhaps the less said about a disease of that sort, the better. Mrs. Williams asked if the doctor thought the nursery was fit for the children when the others had recovered? Dr. Williams replied that as the children recovered they would be transferred to. the chapel, and when they were all free from the disease, the nursery would be cleansed. He should say that it ought to be altered as well. Mr. G. Thomas: Do you think it a healthy place for children? Dr. Williams No, very unhealthy. The chairman: I am astounded that when such evil conditions exist it is nobody's busi- ness to tell us anything about it. After some further discussion Mr. Mathias moved that a report be sent to the Local Gov- ernment Board. This, howevetr, found no sec- onder, and the matter then dropped. THE PORTER. An application for the post of porter was read' from Mr. W. J. S Brown, who enclosed excellent testimonials. Several guardians, however, doubted as to Brown's having sufficient physical strength to do the work occasionally required, and Mr. Penney mentioned that Morse, the present





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