A group portrait of staff at Barnhill Hospital at the Barony Parish Poorhouse in Springburn, c 1898. The man seated front left is Dr William Core, the hospital's long-serving Medical Officer.
The Barony Parish Poorhouse was founded in 1853 and a separate purpose-built hospital building was added in 1880. Like other Poor Law hospitals, the Barony's had relied on unpaid and untrained inmates to perform nursing duties. In 1881, however, Barnhill employed five nurses and a lady superintendent, Miss Augusta Piggott, with a strict code of regulations regarding duties, timetables, and training. There were three grades nurses at the hospital; staff nurses, probationers undergoing training, and pauper assistants (Poor House inmates employed mostly to clean the wards). By 1885 the hospital employed a lady superintendent, thirteen other trained nurses, nine probationers and twenty-seven assistants.
A report by Dr Core in 1895 described conditions of work for nurses: "The nursing staff at Barnhill consists of ten nurses and seventeen day probationers, ten of whom are on night duty. Day nurses are on duty from 7am till 8pm, with intervals for dinner and tea, supper being served as soon as they leave their wards. They are allowed off duty one afternoon weekly from 4 to 10 o'clock, and every third Sunday from 10am. The night nurses go on duty every evening a 7.30 o'clock, and are on duty till 8.30 the following morning ... if possible, they are relieved from duty one whole night every month."
Reference: Glasgow City Archives, P9041
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
Barnhill Hospital, Barony Parish Poorhouse, doctors, lady superintendents, matrons, Medical Officers, nurses, nursing, paupers, physicians, Poor Law hospitals, Poorhouses, uniforms