1936: FROM OLD INFIRMARY TO NEW BUILDINGS Work of Transferring Staff and Patients Will Begin on November 23 HOW BIG AND DIFFICULT TASK WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED "The arrangements in connection with the transfer of the patients from the present Infirmary to the new Infirmary at Foresterhill were discussed, and it was decided that the move to the new Infirmary should be started on November 23." This extract from the minutes of the meeting of the directors of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary yesterday is the prelude to an event which has been awaited with interest in Aberdeen and the North-east, the complete transference of patients, staff, and equipment from Aberdeen's old Infirmary to the splendid new buildings at Foresterhill. Despite the magnitude of the task, it is one which will have to be accomplished with the least delay and the lowest cost, having regard to the primary consideration of the safety and comfort of the patients, and no detail which will avoid waste of time, expense, and, above all, discomfort to the sufferers, has been overlooked. The movement, which will be under the direction of Dr J. C. Knox, the Medical Superintendent of the Infirmary, will be carried out without the slightest interruption to the work dealing with urgent cases, whether they arise in the day or in the night.
Waiting-List Cases The greatest difficulty arises from the fact that by far the larger part of the equipment to be used in the new Infirmary is present in use at the old Infirmary at Woolmanhill, and can only be transferred after release, either by limiting admissions for a period or transfer of patients to Foresterhill. It is proposed to effect a combination of these two methods. On the other hand another part of the work is simplified by the fact that some of the nursing staff is already in residence at the new Infirmary, while the main kitchen is already in use. The admission of waiting-list cases will actually cease for only two weeks. This will be done in order to reduce the number of patients contained in the medical and surgical wards. It is expected that about thirty patients will be transferred each Monday for three successive Mondays from the main departments. The Infirmary will be divided up into surgical units, each movable on its own. Two weeks before it moves the unit will cease taking in waiting-list cases, which means that the number of patients in that unit will be steadily diminishing during the two weeks. Other units will continue as usual until two weeks before they move.
Details of Transfer Here are the details of the main part of the transfer: Five weeks prior to the commencement of moving it will be necessary for two wards, Ward II Surgical and Ward V Medical, to cease to admit waiting-list cases. During the first two of these weeks the wards in question will receive emergency cases on their usual receiving days. These two preparatory weeks should allow of a preliminary reduction in cases sufficient to permit of the main surgical and medical wards adopting a weekly receiving arrangement which will be operative for six weeks. Thereafter the present arrangement of receiving days will be reverted to. Following the two preparatory weeks, medical and surgical wards will receive cases daily for a week, from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Monday. This arrangement will be initiated by Ward II Surgical and Ward V Medical. These two wards will receive for one week, will be closed for reception cases (either waiting-list or emergency) for the two following weeks, and receive again the third week in the new Infirmary. A similar routine will apply to other medical and surgical wards in pairs. In "Special" Wards The effect of this arrangement will be that two wards (one medical and one surgical) will move to the new Infirmary each Monday and at the time of moving the number of cases will be at a minimum. This will ease the work of the ward and allow of the medical and the nursing staff completing their arrangements, especially operating theatre arrangements, for the third week, which, of course, will be the first receiving week in the new Infirmary. In the case of the "special" wards - eye, ear, skin, gynaecology, orthopaedic - these cannot be transferred on the lines of the general medical and surgical wards, and it will be necessary for the honorary staff to limit admission from the waiting list to reduce numbers. It is suggested that emergency cases not likely to be sufficiently recovered from operative treatment be not admitted to the appropriate special ward immediately prior to the date of removal, but be admitted to the general medical or surgical ward receiving for the week.
For Serious Cases It is possible that in spite of controlling admissions and operative procedures on the lines suggested, when the time comes for moving, one or two patients might be considered too ill to be moved with safety. Such patients will be concentrated in suitable wards at Woolmanhill and attended to there as long as may be necessary. It is hoped, however, that this provision may not be necessary. The night staff are now in residence at Foresterhill and are being transported daily to their duties at Woolmanhill. As patients are moved to the new Infirmary, the members of the staff will automatically take duty with the same set of patients. The day staff will moved on the same day as the patients of their ward.
Source : Aberdeen Press & Journal Friday October 23rd, 1936