|Administrative history||Four of the original Governors of St Bartholomew's Hospital appointed in 1546 were designated Almoners. They were responsible for interviewing all applicants for admission and deciding whether to admit or reject them. The Almoners also signed bills and ordered stocks, and it was their duty to ensure that the alms were appropriately distributed. It was not until the 1890s that the word almoner assumed the meaning of a hospital official with duties concerning the general welfare of the patients, particularly those most in need of financial support.|
In 1882, in an attempt to limit the increasing numbers of people applying for treatment as out-patients, an Enquiry Officer was appointed to enquire into the circumstances and social position of persons applying for such treatment.
The duties of latter day Almoners or Hospital Social Workers included some of those of their seventeenth century predecessors, but placed more emphasis on supporting patients receiving treatment.