St.Finbarr’s Hospital (Cork County Home and Hospital) (CCH)

Descriptive List of the Archive of St.Finbarr’s Hospital/ South Cork County Home and Hospital

had already been abolished. A local government commissioner, Sean O'Farrell, sat in lieu of the SCBPA from Jan 1925 until April 1927 when the Board was re- constituted by the Minister as comprising 10 members of Cork County Council, plus the City Commissioner Philip Monahan. In 1929 a new Cork Corporation was elected and Monahan became the first city or county manager. In 1935 Cork was officially divided into 3 separate public health districts with an amalgamation of the Public Assistance and Public Health boards in each area. The South Cork Board of Public Assistance became known as the Board of Public Health for the South Cork County Health District with responsibility for sanitary as well as public health functions. Public hospitals and public assistance continued to be administered under the old poor relief legislation, which were consolidated by the Public Assistance Act 1939. Medical services delivered under the poor law were limited, and until the mid/late 1930's the hospital mainly functioned as a county home for chronic patients, and the able-bodied who may have been required to do work around the hospital, such as messenger duties and gardening. In the late 1930's visiting medical and surgical officers were appointed. From this period, patients not entitled to poor relief/public assistance increasingly used local authority hospitals as paying patients. In 1942, the city/county management system was widely introduced, whereby the Boards of Health and Public Assistance were abolished and their functions were taken over by the County Council/City Council through the County/City Managers. County Council health boards/committees for north, west and south were appointed for the 3 county health districts in 1943. The South Cork board continued to exist, but meetings were reduced from fortnightly to monthly, and decisions made by the Board were carried out by order of the County Manager or Assistant County Manager. The new board was known as the Board of Public Assistance for the South Cork Public Assistance District. In 1945, sanatoria were built in Cork, Dublin and Galway for the treatment of advanced and moderately advanced tuberculosis, however certain non-pulmonary cases were treated by existing hospitals such as St.Finbarr’s . The Health Act of 1947 specified free treatment in the sanatoria and payment of maintenance allowances for dependents of TB patients. All forms of TB became notifiable to the County/City Medical Officer. From the 1950's, with extensive investment and reform in health services, the hospital was considerably extended, for example, through the construction of a maternity and neo-natal unit, an x-ray department, a home for trainee nurses, and separate laundry and nurses' quarters and a cancer ward. The Health Act of 1953 transferred health services and hospitals to 'health authorities', separate from public assistance authorities, which resulted in the reform of regulations governing health institutions, many of which dated from the poor law era. In most districts, new health committees were established to advise


©Cork City and County Archives 2019

Powered by