Alt Ref NoPH
TitlePhysiotherapy Department
DescriptionRecords of the Physiotherapy Department of St Bartholomew's Hospital, [1912]-1977, comprising:

Memoranda listing the proposals for alternative accommodation for the Orthopaedic, Massage and X-Ray Departments of the Hospital and a suggestion to form a School of Massage, 1912-1918;

Material relating to the procedures and rules for treating patients, 1923-1973, notably a staff handbook, 1973;

Registers of patients treated in the Physiotherapy Department, 1948-1977, with indexes, 1948-1963;

Statistics on patient numbers, 1960-1967;

Physiotherapist's notebook containing brief information on patients' diagnosis and treatment, 1966.
Administrative historyPatients suffering from muscular problems had benefited from massage therapy at the Hospital since at least the 1890s and before this exercise had been recognised as a treatment in the Orthopaedic Department to strengthen muscles. At the beginning of 1904, the Hospital temporarily appointed a Mr Byers to teach Miss Musson, the Assistant Matron, Swedish Movement Therapy in order that she would be able to give instructions to nurses in using the physiotherapy technique. However by the end of 1905, it was decided that two 'qualified workers' (male and female) be appointed who would treat the patients and teach the nurses directly. The qualified workers were to be between the ages of 30 to 40 years and have a recognised certificate from the Royal Gymnastics Central Institute of Stockholm. The Massage and Movement Department, later known as the Massage and Physical Exercise Department, steadily grew steadily in size. By 1923, a sister, nurse, eight part-time qualified masseurs and between 10-20 female pupils from Mrs Wilson's private school of massage ran the department in medical out-patients.

In 1912 it was first suggested that the Hospital form its own School of Physical Exercises and Massage as the Medical Council were unhappy at relying on so much outside help from Mrs Wilson's private pupils. Due to lack of accommodation the idea was abandoned. When Mrs Wilson withdrew her pupils from the Hospital in July 1923, the idea for opening a School of Massage resurfaced but the Medical Council decided against it as there were already a number of similar schools operating in London and it was thought that the training itself would be too difficult to organise.

After the Second World War, the massage department was incorporated into a new Physiotherapy Department.
Access statusRestricted
Access Conditions Some material is restricted. This is noted at file or item level in the catalogue.
Extent21 volumes; 1 file
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