Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)NC5/1
TitleBirmingham and District Provident Dispensary, and Birmingham General Hospital papers
Extent34 items
DescriptionReports, correspondence, press cuttings and miscellaneous printed items mainly relating to the Birmingham and District Provident Dispensary. Some items relating to the Birmingham General Hospital are also included. Most items date from approximately 1908 to 1911.

The Birmingham and District Provident Dispensary aimed 'to provide medical attendance for those members of the community who are not in a position to pay ordinary medical fees' (NC5/1/20). A key reason for this was to relieve the out-patients departments of hospitals which became clogged up with cases more suitable for treatment by a local doctor, which Neville Chamberlain identified as a major problem at the Birmingham General Hospital. To use the service, people needed to pay a monthly or annual subscription to become members. It was govened by a committee of patients, medical staff, representatives of the British Medical Association's local branch, and representatives from the local hospitals, Birmingham General Dispensary, City of Birmingham Aid Society and Birmingham Hospital Saturday Fund. Chamberlain played a very major part in the setting up of the Provident Dispensary in 1908 and became its first President. It appears to have been a distinct organization from the Birmingham General Dispensary set up earlier which provided medical treatment for the poor on a charitable basis though could only serve a limited number of patients. The Provident Dispensary however used some of its services.

Neville Chamberlain was also an 'Official Visitor' of the Birmingham General Hospital and was later elected on the Board. He took a keen interest in the running of the Hospital and it was there that he saw the problem of out-patients departments which led to his work in establishing the Provident Dispensary.

See also NC5/7/5, a notebook which includes notes on the General Hospital and relating to the scheme which established the Birmingham and District Provident Dispensary.

The file contains the following items:
/1: 'Special Report of the General Committee of the Birmingham Dispensary to the Subscribers and Governors' 1868. Regarding letter of resignation by honorary medical staff. This item relates to the Birmingham General Dispensary.
/2: Report of the objects, benefits to members, constitution, staff, expenses of management and membership of the Birmingham Provident Dispensary (typed with annotations).
/3: Report from Birmingham General Dispensary dated 13 January 1908 entitled 'Report of Deputation appointed by the Committee of this Institution to meet the Deputation appointed at a Meeting of gentlemen held to consider the question of outpatients at the City Hospitals' (carbon copy of typescript). Neville Chamberlain chaired the meeting.
/4: Draft memorandum and outline of 'Proposed Scheme for Reform of Out-Patient Departments' (printed). 1908.
/5-15: Press cuttings and journal article relating to the Provident Dispensary.
/16: 'Rules of the Birmingham and District Provident Dispensary' (printed with manuscript annotations) 1908.
/17: Letter from Henry Childs [Collector of the Birmingham and District Provident Dispensary]. Regarding new members, subscription payments and medical examinations for new members.
/18: Letter from Ernest W. Forrest [Secretary of Birmingham and District Provident Dispensary]. Request to attend meeting.
/19: Letter from Mary F. [Keep?], 35 and 36 Great Charles Street, Birmingham. Relating to hospitals and Neville Chamberlain's suggestions.
/20: 'Rules of the Birmingham and District Provident Dispensary' 1910 (printed).
/21: Blank 'Application, medical report and election form' for the Provident Dispensary.
/22-25: Letters from Ernest W. Forrest [Secretary of Birmingham and District Provident Dispensary] reporting on various matters relating to the Dispensary.
/26-27: Leaflets for the Provident Dispensary (printed, one is annotated).
/28: Provident Dispensary annual report 1909-1910 (printed).
/29: Provident Dispensary list of medical staff (printed).
/30-32: Press cuttings relating to the Provident Dispensary.
/33: Letter from John Henry Lloyd, Edgbaston Grove, Birmingham to Mrs Chamberlain. Regarding Neville Chamberlain's work for the General Hospital, and his work for the Birmingham City Council.
/34: Notes by Harold Shrimpton [former Assistant to the House Governor at Birmingham General Hospital] regarding Chamberlain's work for the Birmingham General Hospital including his idea for sorting of patients into categories depending on the seriousness of the case.
Access StatusOpen


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