Archive centreCarlisle
ReferenceTHOS 2
Alternative ref.SHA 92015
TitleCarlisle City General Hospital and City Maternity Hospital
DescriptionIncludes records of Fusehill Hospital; George Street Hospital and the Infectious Diseases Hospital (later Fever Hospital).
Access conditionsSome records after 1915 with personal details have restricted access for 100 years due to personal information within. Please ask staff for details if you would like access
ContextIn 1929, the Local Government Act abolished the Boards of Guardians (established under the new Poor Law of 1834) and their functions were transferred to Local Authorties (County and Borough Councils). The 1929 Act came into force on 1 April 1930 and the term 'Workhouse' was replaced by 'Institution' and the 'Poor Law Infirmary' was replaced by 'Municipal Hospital'. Both were controlled by the Local Authority Public Assistance and Health Committees (from October 1938 by the Health Committee)
The former Carlisle workhouse or poor law institution infirmary, known as Fusehill Hospital, was officially appropriated by Carlisle City Council as a public health hospital on 1 June 1937 and renamed City General Hospital.
Extensive refurbishment was necessary to equip the hospital for general health purposes and it was not until 1938 that it became fully functional. From 1941 it included maternity wards, supplementing the service which had been provided since 1920 by the City's Maternity Home and Clinic in George Street and eventually this side of the City General's activities became a separate hospital, called City Maternity Hospital. Records of both the original George Street Maternity Hospital and the City Maternity Hospital at Fusehill street are listed separately.
After the takeover of the poor law hospital in 1937, some public assistance facilities remained on the Fusehill Street site and only a few records of these activities were found in association with the City General's records and are included in this deposit. A register of admissions and discharges of 'casuals' (vagrants or itinerant paupers) given shelter for a few nights and an account of sales of produce (mostly fruit and vegetables from the institution's garden) which appears to have been continued as a City General Hospital record (latterly of the issue of oxgen to other institutions)
In common with other local authority hospitals, the City General was taken over by the National Health Service on 5 July 1948. It's records are subject to the Public Records Acts and with the exception of the account book, the records listed are closed to public inspection for 100 years from the date of the last entry

City Maternity Hospital
Carlisle's first Maternity Hospital was established by the City Council at 3-4 George Street and opened to receive patients on 23 May 1920. It provided only 7 beds and cots and was intended to serve the needs of cases where overcrowding or other domestic circumstances, or the health of the mother or child, made a hospital confinement desirable. These cases were a small minority; in 1921 (its first full year of operation) the Maternity Hospital accommodated 125 confinements, whereas there were 1310 registered births in the city.
The Maternity Hospital also admitted a small number of women for ante and post-natal treatment and provided ante-natal and infant welfare consultation clinics but the majority of maternity and child welfare work was carried out by midwives and health visitors through home visits.
For 20 years, the George Street Hospital was the only maternity provision in Carlisle and in 1940 it had 298 admissions (291 confinements and 7 ante-natal) less than a quarter of the 1214 registered births that year. in 1941 there were 1321 registered births, 300 confinements at George Street and 274 at the newly opened maternity wards of the City General Hospital, which also admitted 70 ante-natal cases. Approximately half of the City General maternity admissions were from outside the city and despite the increase in accommodation, only about one third of the city's births took place in hospital.
From 1947, the maternity wards at the City General were administered separately under the name 'City Maternity Hospital'. The hospital at George Street, which had originally had that name but had long been known as the Corporation Maternity Home. Both institutions, including their associated clinics, were taken over by the National Health Service on 5 July 1948 but the City Council retained a role in maternity and child welfare provision for domiciliary cases and maintained a combined ante and post-natal clinic at Eildon Lodge (which in 1968 became the nucleus of the Central Clinic).
The George Street Maternity Home was closed in about 1967 and the premises (nos. 3-6 George Street) were shortly afterwards demolished to make way for the first stage of the Inner Ring Road from Hardwicke Circus to Victoria Place
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