PART NINE 

 

                                                                                            HEALTH CARE

 

 

Until 1948, when the National Health service started, people would buy a 'Penny Policy' insurance for each member of the family, in order to cover the price of a funeral if necessary.  A 'Sick Club' became a business in every city, town or village.  People would pay a penny every week to enable them to pay for medical attention if required plus a small amount of sickness benefit.

 

The miners of the collieries paid subs of halfpenny into the 'club' every week out of their wages.  Although no sick pay was recieved the whole family were entitled to unlimited access to a General Practioner.  When the Welfare State came along, everyone was entilted to free medical care, prescriptions, dental treatment and optical care.

 

Up to the late 1960s, tokens were issued by the local area health authorities for milk, vitamins and orange juice for pre school children.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                 

   

    

 

 

Dr. Parrett was the first doctor to practise in Moorends in the early 1900s.  It is said that Dr. Walker started to practise in Moorends in the early part of the 1920s, he lived in Laxton House in Thorne.  The doctor and his wife, who was referred to as 'Mrs Doctor Walker' and claimed to be a descendant of Admiral Lord Nelson, were very highly thought of and played a very important and helpful role in the community, helping both financially and practically during the 1925/26 strike.

 

Both Dr. Parrett and Dr. Walker could be visited by their Moorends patients at Thorne in their surgeries.  When a house visit was required by a patient, as telephones were very scarce in those days, a note had to be posted in a box on the corner of Grange Grove requesting the visit.  Doctor Parrett would visit later that day.  Doctors Barlow, Oakshot and Stamp - Thorne based doctors - followed with this practise for many years.

 

Dr. Walker was succeeded by Dr.Henry, another well respected and active member of the community.  He lived in the purpose built large house on West Road, next to West Road School; the small building at the front of the house was the surgery.  Many people say that he could cure anything, also stitch and set well, usually with a Woodbine in his mouth!  He was known as the pit doctor.  Doncaster Infirmary was usually the very last 'port of call' for his patients. 

            

                               

 Doctor Henry's farewell party

 

                                                                                                                                                                       

                                                                    The doctor's house and surgery on West road in 2008

 

Dr Henry's partner was Dr. Sutherland, he also lived in part of the house.  It is said that he kept horses and was seldom seen without his wellingtons and never took them off while he was in his patient's homes on house calls.  He believed in allowing children to get dirty to enable them to take in harmless bacteria, thus giving them more natural immunity to everyday ailments.  He also allowed his children the freedom of running around barefoot.

 

Dr. Watkins and Dr Redfern followed Dr. Henry and Dr. Sutherland, still using the same property.

 

Dr Subhani and Dr. Khan followed Dr. Watkins and Dr. Redfern.  This when, in the mid 1950s, the practice was moved to a purpose built surgery next to the Social Club on Marshland Road.  A short time later, the house and surgery on West Road was sold as a private dwelling. Later, in the 1980s, the practice moved to it's present site in the row of shops opposite the post office on Marshland Road.  The practice will now move again shortly to the new Lift building at the rear of the new Hedgerows Children Centre.

 

In the early days, Moorends didn't have it's own midwife, the task of delivering a baby was undertaken by friends and relations; the doctor would be called, for a small charge, if it was thought necessary.

 

Nurse Smith and Nurse Oldroyd took over as the local midwives around 1931 until after the war.  Nurse Mary Calladine became the first National Health midwife in Moorends and lived in The Fairway, she later became Mary Walker, auntie to Richard Walker of Thorne.  She carried on the good work until the early 1960s.

 

Nurse Fitzhugh was the school nurse from the early 1930s to the late 1940s; apparently, she tackled the problem of rickets, scabies, head lice and ringworm of the head, which was rife in the mid 1930s.  The children suffering from scalp problems had their heads shaven and wore little white cotton hats.

 

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