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Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
To His Excellency the Governor and the Honorable Council of
In obedience to the laws of the Commonwealth, the Trustees of the Worcester Lunatic Hospital beg leave to submit their report for the year 1871, it being the thirty-ninth of the existence of our institution. Under the guidance of a kind Providence, the affairs of the hospital have been conducted through another year with a measure of success satisfactory to the Trustees, and, so far as we know, to all whose wards or friends have been committed to its care and keeping. The results of the faithful administration of the Superintendent, supported by the efficient aid of the Assistant Physicians, and the other attendants employed in the house, have been such as to maintain the well-established good character of our hospital.
The following table is an epitome of the condition of the hospital during the year :
Males. Females. Totals.
Whole No. of patients on the 1st of October, 1870,
Males. Females. Totals.
Whole number improved,
Average number of State paupers during the year was
It appears by the foregoing table that the whole number of recoveries was, in proportion to the whole number of patients in the hospital during the year, 40.44 per cent.
The whole number of recoveries to the whole number of recent cases (i. e. not exceeding one year's standing), was 62.95 per cent. This is a general statement, perhaps not exhibiting all the elements of a perfect estimate; nevertheless it is a fact showing impressively the importance of placing the insane in hospital for treatment, in an early stage of the disease, thereby rendering the chances of recovery more than 33 per cent. greater than when delayed to a later period.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS. In 1864, in answer to a petition of the Trustees for aid in the construction of a reservoir, and the laying of new waterpipes necessary to insure a full supply of pure water for the use of the hospital, the legislature granted us the sum of $4,000. The work cost the hospital $6,000.
Again, in 1867, on petition of the Trustees, the legislature, granted the hospital $15,000 to pay off the balance of an old reconstruction account, four-fifths of which had been paid out of the resources of the hospital previous to the breaking out of the war in 1861, when the cost of provisions and labor were advanced beyond the price allowed for board, to such an extent that the hospital was barely able to meet the current expenses of each year, leaving no means to cancel this balance except by recourse to the State. (This matter was fully explained in the Trustees' Report of 1866.)
No grant or appropriation has been made by the State to the hospital towards defraying current expenses within the last twelve years, except by a specific weekly sum for the support of insane state paupers; and this inadequate to pay the cost of board and care.
“ The Commonwealth from May, 1857, to September, 1859, paid the full cost of the support of its paupers in the hospitals. From September, 1859, to June, 1862, it paid $2.50 per week, which was less than the cost; and from June, 1862, to the present moment (Oct. 1863), it paid $2.62, which is still less than the expenditure of the hospital on account of the State. The law of the last session of the legislature again reduced the State payments to $2.25 a week for the maintenance of its wards in these public institutions from October 1, 1863, which will leave a still larger part of the cost of the State paupers to be provided for out of other resources of the hospital. (Vide Trustees' Report for 1863, p. 12.)
The legislature of 1865 passed the following Resolution, approved March 22:
Resolved, That there be allowed and paid to the treasurers of the several lunatic hospitals, a sum sufficient to make the rate of board for the past year $3 per week for each insane state pauper therein supported, the same to be paid from the surplus of the appropriation for lunatic hospitals for the year 1864; and that there shall be allowed and paid for the board of insane state paupers, for the current year, a sum not exceeding $3.25 per week.
In their report of 1867, the Trustees state, " the price paid for board in this hospital by the State and towns, is $3.50 a week,” while in the neighboring States of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York it is from $4 to $5.50 for the same class of patients.
Since 1867 this hospital has received from the State $3.50 each per week for the board of its insane paupers, and the towns have paid the same; and no other appropriation has been made or paid by the State for this purpose.
It appears clearly, from the above statement of facts, that all the current expenses of the hospital, including salaries of officers and attendants, since the year 1859, have been met and
paid out of its own resources, with the addition only of this very moderate allowance from the State and towns for the board of their pauper insane.
The Treasurer's report will show a favorable condition of the finances of the hospital for the last year. By this it appears that at the beginning of the year we had a cash balance of $7,886.93; and we have a balance of cash at the end of the year of $8,185.23. The details of receipts and expenditures will be fully exhibited in the report of the Treasurer.
New HOSPITAL GROUNDS. The legislature of 1870 granted to the Trustees the sum of $100,000 for the purchase of the new estate to which the hospital is to be removed in order to place it beyond all annoyance from the multiplied business operations to which it is exposed within the limits of the city proper; with the understanding that the proceeds of the sale of the old hospital grounds, after the erection of all the necessary buildings, will be used to reimburse the State for the same.
After the several farms constituting the new estate had been secured and paid for, there remained several unseemly corners and notches projecting into our land, but belonging to different individuals, also two or three small plots intervening between our lines and the highways, belonging to other persons, which the Trustees deemed it quite important should be added, in order to straighten our lines and give complete access to the highways at all points, and with the advice of the governor and council, after viewing the premises, these additions were purchased at a cost of about $10,000; making the whole estate to contain something over 275 acres, for an outlay of $110,000. To provide for the payment of this sum and secure a working capital sufficient to begin operations of building on the new estate, in anticipation of the sale of the old hospital grounds, the Trustees petitioned the legislature at its last session for a further loan of $30,000, which was generously granted. By this, the whole cost of the new estate has been paid, repairs and alterations have been made on the buildings already on it, and we have $19,438 in the State treasury yet undrawn. We have in process of erection a large barn and two stables, which will