Tumut & District Hospital Annual Meeting Poorly Attended 

11 September 1945 The Tumut and Adelong Times 

Great improvement in finances of institution, record amount collected by contribution scheme.

Only seven persons attended the annual meeting of subscribers to the Tumut and District Hospital held on Thursday last, when the activities of the institution, together with the financial statement covering the last 12 months were reported and presented for consideration. 

It was disclosed that the hospital had received total payments of 1,989 from the contribution scheme.

Total amount received from all sources was 5,721, as compared with 4,966 last year - an increase of 755.

Do nations and subscriptions showed a very considerable improvement, 468 being received as against 117 last year.

Government subsidy and grants totalled 2,129.

Total expenditure amounted to 5,342, which included salaries and wages amounting to 3,145. 

The year's operations resulted in an excess of income over expenditure of 378, compared with an excess of expenditure over income of 106 last year. 

520 patients were treated during the year, the daily average being 19.2. 

612 had been spent in building and equipment during the year and the further improvement to the institution by the erection of a children's ward is to be shortly considered by the Hospitals Commission.

Those present at the meeting were Messrs. E. Roddy (chair). T. J. O'Brien, T. Quirk, F. Cripps, T. E. Wilkinson, D. Watson and R. L. Blakeney

The Chairman said it was disgraceful that the subscribers did not take more interest in the annual meeting, as it was the only occasion on which they could come along and hear of the doings of the hospital. 

The annual report of the Hospital Board was then read by the Secretary, Mr. R. L. Blakeney, as follows:-

Ladies And Gentlemen,- Your Board of Directors has pleasure in presenting the annual report and statement of accounts with the balance sheet for the twelve months ended 30th June, 1945. 

Statistics:

Patients treated during the year numbered 520 - 253 males and 267 females, a slight increase on the previous year; and the number of bed-days 6,874 - which is 360 in excess of last year, the average stay of patients in hospital being 13.219, the adjusted daily average being 19.247.

Thanks to the Tumut Ex-Residents' Association, who donated two beds, fully equipped, the number of beds and cots available for use is now 39. 

Financial:

The amount received from all sources amounted to 6450 and expenditure 6253.

The balance-sheet shows 379 excess of income over expenditure, but it must be borne in mind that this amount of income shows patients' fees charged but still outstanding. 

The Hospital Benefit Association's contribution scheme has increased in membership, the amount collected being 1,989.

269 patients availed themselves of the benefit and their bed-days were 2,954.

Collection costs amounted to 154, leaving 1,836, of which 429 was remitted to other hospitals, and the balance - 1,324 went to the credit of the general fund.

The nett return to the hospital per contributors' bed-days was 9/6.

Though the fund shows an increase and the benefit certainly is invaluable to those who meet with misfortune, it is remarkable that so many neglect this economic form of protection for times of adversity.   

Staff:

Right throughout the year staff shortages were responsible for acute anxiety.

This shortage has made management very difficult and has thrown a heavy strain on the members of the staff, who have realised their responsibility and have carried additional burdens in a manner that has evoked the admiration of all and is most pleasing to that Board.

The Directors wish to re- cord their real appreciation of the magnificent way in which both nursing and house staffs have maintained highly efficient hospital service under conditions aggravated by the general deficiencies in staff in all departments.

Particular emphasis must be placed on the services of Matron O'Rourke, who has displayed an example of devotion to duty which has truly reached the heights of real heroism. 

Auxiliaries:

The Tumut Auxiliary, though numerically small in membership, has continued its good work for the hospital unobtrusively.

Christmas cheer was provided for the patients and staff; and, sponsored by the Auxiliary, the very substantial sum of over 600 is in hand for the erection of a much needed adjunct to the hospital - a children's ward.

The instalment of an Agar cooker at the hospital is also due to the Tumut and Batlow Auxiliaries, and in this connexion a very special word of praise is due to the Batlow Auxiliary for the enthusiasm and active interest shown in their donations of 200 to the hospital in the past year. 

Gifts In Kind, Donations, Etc.

The Directors arc appreciative of the gifts in kind that have been received from various donors during the year, and especially mention the regular weekly cases of apples and pears from the Batlow Packing House during the season.

Very valuable help has been received during the year from that splendid band of workers - the local branch of the 2W.G. Social Club.

Not only have they given a substantial sum to the general funds, but have assisted in raising funds for the children's ward. 

In connection with the children's ward, a special word of praise is due to Mrs. Quinn for the excellent work she has put into establishing the building fund for the ward and also for arranging a Christmas party for staff and patients at  the hospital.

To the Tumut Turf Club too, go the sincere thanks of the directors for the race meeting arranged to augment the children's ward appeal, and to a generous donor, Mrs. John Elliot, who shares her late husband's keen interest in hospital welfare.

Another 'thank you' to the senior girls of Intermediate High School, who handled collection boxes on ration-book day, and to all donors and well wishers of the hospital.

During the Christmas holidays members of the Tumut Ex-Residents Association attended the hospital to formally hand over the two fully-equipped beds given in memory of the founder of the association, the late Mr. Jack Ibbotson.

This splendid addition to hospital equipment is fully appreciated by   the directors, not only for the monetary value but the active interest shown in the hospital by the association since its inception, as evidenced by the several substantial donations already paid in to the hospital funds.

Building and Equipment

The Directors have also much pleasure in reporting that during the year 612 has been spent in building and equipment.

The drying-room was completed and has proved a wonderful boon to the laundry staff.

Four lots of clothes can be dried in the day, thus saving an immense amount of labor. It has certainly proved a boon and blessing to many.

The Agar cooker has proved all that it was said to be and, besides the saving in labor and the convenience provided, it is more economical in fuel consumption.

An iron safe, also a much-needed article, was kindly donated by Mrs. Nicholson, of Batlow, in memory of her late husband.

The members of the 2W.G. Club, ever to the fore in assisting the hospital, purchased an infra baker, and all patients who have had cause to use it speak highly of the relief given.

The members of the Ex-Residents' Association, who at all times make a point of assisting some deserving charity, very kindly donated two beds, fully equipped, and which were placed in the hospital to the memory of their first secretary.

The thanks of the directors to all these bodies for their continued support, which counts for so much. 

To the Hospitals Commission for their co-operation and assistance the Directors are most grateful, and also to Mr. W. F. Sheahan, M.L.A., for attention so willingly and promptly given to any matters brought under his notice. 

For many years past the urgent need of a children's ward has been keenly felt, and it is most gratifying to know that steps are on the way to have one built.

The Hospitals Commission has been urged to get the work of construction under way as early as possible and they have signified their intention to do so.

It is, therefore, sincerely hoped that before long a start will be made, and we will be looking forward to an early completion. 

The Directors, in conclusion, wish to express their thanks to the many supporters of the hospital for all the unobtrusive acts of kindness that have helped patients and staff, and they fervently hope that the dawning days of peace will bring happiness and prosperity to every member of the community.

The financial statement and auditor's report were also read. 

The Chairman said that the reports disclosed a very satisfactory year, with a lot of good improvement, which was due in some measure to the Matron and staff. 

Mr. O'Brien thought the reports were very satisfactory and the finances were very satisfactory.'  

 Mr. Roddy considered the financial position was sound, though a fair amount of patients' fees were still unpaid. 

The support given to the contribution scheme was very helpful and, in spite of the Government's legislation for free hospitalisation, there was no reason why support to the scheme should not be increased.   

Mr. Cripps said the reports showed considerable improvement, the contribution scheme being one of the main items of revenue.

All patients spoke very highly of the treatment accorded them and the Matron was to be commended for her splendid management of the   hospital.     

Mr. Roddy also spoke in support of the previous speakers. 

A vote of thanks was accorded the hospital auxiliaries, the 2W.G. Club, Race Club and all individuals who had subscribed to the hospital.     

A vote of thanks was also accorded to the Press for attending Board meetings and supplying reports of hospital activities to the public. 

(The auditor, Mr. A. C. Butcher, attended the meeting and explained the reasons why the balance-sheet of the Adelong Outpost Hospital was not ready for presentation to the meeting.

The books of the outpost were in an unsatisfactory state, involving lengthy search for errors, etc., and necessary action would have to be taken to assure of a straight ahead audit next year.)