Today is the 70th anniversary of the National Health Service, the ‘free at the point of delivery’ healthcare system for people living in the United Kingdom. To mark the occasion, I thought I’d share with you some of the newly discovered records of the Tredegar Park Cottage Hospital that can be found in the Aneurin Bevan Health Board Collection. But first, a little about the hospital:
The Tredegar Park Cottage Hospital played a significant role in the history of the NHS as it was here that Aneurin Bevan, as a member of the hospital management committee and its Chairman in 1929, first witnessed the model of free healthcare that was to inspire his formation of the NHS.
Gwent Archives, Map of Tredegar showing the Cottage Hospital: Ordnance Survey, 3rd Edition 1920, Monmouthshire 11:13
Founded in 1904, the hospital was built and managed by the Tredegar Workmen’s Medical Aid Society on land donated by Lord Tredegar and with significant financial support from the Tredegar Iron and Coal Company, private donations and workers subscriptions. For a subscription fee of 3d (pence) in every pound earned members, and their families, were entitled to free access to medical care and treatment at the hospital. This fee was deducted straight from the worker’s wages, comparable to how we make National Insurance contributions today.
Gwent Archives, Rules for Voluntary Subscribers, display board, early 20th Century
As the surviving administrative records of the Tredegar Workmen’s Medical Aid Society have been available at Gwent Archives for some time (catalogue D3246), it is exciting to have now received these new deposits which document the daily running of the Tredegar Park Cottage Hospital itself. The following are examples of the additions to our collection that are currently being catalogued.
Please note that as these records contain sensitive medical and personal data access is restricted under NHS and data protection legislation and a 100 year closure period is in place.
The admission registers for Tredegar Park Cottage Hospital date from 1925-1947. Although not a complete set, the documents we have provide a wealth of detailed information about the people who came to the hospital and the nature of their complaints. Some of the information recorded in these registers can be seen in the image below (names and addresses have been omitted throughout for data protection). This particular register from 1944-46 even notes if any child patients were evacuees! (Not shown on image)
Gwent Archives, Tredegar Park Cottage Hospital, Admission Register 1944-1946
Staff Salaries Ledger
This document from the early 1920s provides details about staff members, their positions and the amount of wages they earned. As doctors and surgeons are excluded from this record the highest paid member of staff may come as a surprise!
Gwent Archives, Tredegar Park Cottage Hospital, Staff Salaries Ledger 1921-1925
Register of Operations
These final images are taken from the earliest register of operations that we have for the hospital. Dated from 1913, this register provides details about both the in-patient and out-patient operations that took place and includes information about the types of pain relieving drugs that were administered. The registers range in date up to 1950.
Gwent Archives, Tredegar Park Cottage Hospital, Register of Operations (In Patients) 1913-1921
Gwent Archives, Tredegar Park Cottage Hospital, Register of Operations (Out Patients) 1913-1921