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Nottingham's General Hospital was built in 1782 to provide medical care for the sick, particularly the poor.
Established through bequest, it was funded by subscriptions. Patients had to have a letter of recommendation signed by a subscriber before they were admitted, except in cases of accident. This letter had to be presented on a Tuesday morning between 11 am and noon.
The patient Kitty Hudson was admitted in 1783. She must have been one of the most extraordinary cases seen at the hospital. Blackner, in his History of Nottingham describes how she "voided from different parts of her body many needles, pins, and pieces of bones". During several admissions to hospital between 1783 and 1786 doctors extracted pins and needles from under the skin in her legs, arms, breasts, and other parts of her body, sometimes having to operate to remove those buried more deeply.
After her final discharge from hospital in 1786 she married, and bore nineteen children (although only one survived beyond childhood).
From the Hospital's yearly accounts for the 1780s it is possible to obtain an insight into the running of the hospital, through the relative expenditure on basic provisions such as flour, oatmeal, ale, wine, cheese, and coals, as well as drugs and medicines, salaries, and surgeons' instruments.
Further sources relating to this subject area are held by Manuscripts and Special Collections at King's Meadow Campus. See our website for information about our collections and catalogues.