Skip to main contentU.S. National Library of MedicineU.S. National Library of Medicine

Profiles in Science
Pinterest badge Follow Profiles in Science on Pinterest!

The William Osler Papers

Letter from R. H. Urwick to William Osler pdf (1,687,800 Bytes) transcript of pdf
Letter from R. H. Urwick to William Osler
In June 1910, wishing to establish a tuberculosis prevention program in Oxfordshire, Osler sent a circular letter to all the local branches of Britain's National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis, asking about their activities and experiences. He received a number of replies, including this one, which provides one group's experience with the effort and their main concerns.
R. H. Urwick
Item is handwritten.
Number of Image Pages:
6 (1,687,800 Bytes)
1910-06-09 (June 9, 1910)
Urwick, R. H.
[Osler, William]
Original Repository: Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives. William Osler Collection
This item is in the public domain. It may be used without permission.
Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
Exhibit Category:
Sir William: Regius Professor at Oxford, 1905-1919
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Letters (correspondence)
Physical Condition:
Jun 9 1910
Dear Sir,
You will see from the enclosed leaflet the main objects with which this association was formed last year. At present the organization consists of President, Vice Presidents and General Committees. Chosen so far from the point of view of gathering in the whole county and as much money as possible. The working Executive Committee consists of people who have been instrumental in starting the association. The main point of the organization in the county is, I think, the formation of small local committees to take over the management of districts within the county such districts consisting wherever possible of the existing local districts, far example in this
county, the Ellemere[?] rural district, Ludlow rural D. Wellington Road, etc. In cases where it is considered that such districts are too large, they have been divided. The duties of such local committees have been said to be
1) to collect subscriptions (especially the small ones)
2) to assist in the selection of cases for the sanitorium treatment
3) to assist in the after-care of such cases
4) to assist in the help of their homes of those unfit for sanitarium treatment
5) generally to carry out the objects of the association.
Great stress has been laid when the necessity of working through those who know and are known by the people as being the most likely of getting hold of the patients early and for the same reason, stress has been laid on the sanitarium being built in
the county and for the county only. The difficulty of persuading early cases to go off to a distant sanitorium about which they know nothing is one which is very great and which we hope to get over in this way -- by encouraging this my poor to give something even one or two pence toward their own sanitorium.
There are no actual rules and regulations made at front as regard admittance and maintenance but I think I can find out the feelings of the committee on several points.
1) There will be no letters of recommendation -- such systems causing delay in admittance and trouble in choosing the correct cases.
2) All patients will be expected to pay what they or their friends can afford towards their maintenance up to the full sum -- estimated at 20 to 25 shillings[?] per week.
This gives us the chance of helping the class of poor clerks and higher shop people who at present are badly off. No difference will be made in the treatment or accomodation.
3) The cases for admittance to the sanitorium will have to appear before a central medical board which will meet on convenient dates. (once a week or fortnightly) and will have to be men from local communities in which the local medical men will serve.
In the county especially is very difficult for local medical men to decide upon the claims for admission especially from the point of view of offending their own favorite patients who work to get dependents admitted. We hope by means of this central medical board to get over this.
4) The question of reserving beds for certain districts or private members has been raised but I think will fall through owing to the obvious disadvantages. People working to endow a bed will only have the privilege of giving it their name.
5) Medical staff: we shall have a resident medical man with a salary of 200-250 pounds and the central medical board: some one or more of whom will be visiting medical officers or committees. On this point I should be glad of your opinion as to the best plan. It is difficult to avoid either multiplying the medical committee men at the at the sanitrorium and getting no settled scheme of treatment, or giving offense to famous medical men in the county. My own opinion leans toward
1. Consulting or visiting man and then the medical board behind him.
I am afraid that this not a very clear description of our organization. The points which the committee
consider the most important are the part that it is a county association and then local committees all working under the central committee but as free a hand as possible. All payments are made from the central committee and all subscriptions paid to the central fund: a good deal of discretion will be left to the local secretaries to disburse funds.
The work in people's own homes will consist of erecting shelters, where possible, suggesting alterations in living rooms, obtaining more suitable work, etc. [ . . . ] the usual attempts at educating them in modes of cleanliness, etc.
I shall at any time be glad to give any information and shall be very glad of any suggestions.
Yours truly,
Metadata Last Modified Date:
Linked Data:
RDF/XML     JSON     JSON-LD     N3/Turtle     N-Triples