June 27th, 2015

Withington Hospital discharge procedure, 1892

setting: Withington Hospital, south Manchester, England, 1892

My protagonist got caught in a boiler explosion in a textile factory and went to the hospital with some broken bones and steam burns. Things I need to know include:

What's the discharge procedure going to look like when he's ready to go home again?

Would the hospital care who he left with? (Currently I've got one of his neighbors from his boarding house coming by to pick him up and take him to his boyfriend's house. The relationship between the protagonist and his boyfriend is a secret from the general public, for obvious reasons, but I'm guessing no one would blink so long as the boyfriend himself didn't show up at the hospital?)

Would he be given any prescriptions? (Laudanum, morphine? Current draft has him leaving without any opiates whatsoever and going through withdrawals, but I'm not sure how likely that is.)

Would the hospital demand payment, and would they care who it came from? (If they don't care, his boyfriend is going to be paying for it; if they do care, protagonist will probably have to dip into his own mattress savings.)

Would my protagonist be used as a teaching tool for medical students? (My research seems to point to "yes," but a more comprehensive answer with specific details on what that would look like from his perspective would be awesome. I'm still trying to track down Margaret Mathewson's diary for insights, though she was a patient in a different hospital in an earlier decade.)

prior research:

The Withington Hospital article on Wikipedia
Health, Medicine, and Society in Victorian England by Mary Wilson Carpenter
Seymour J. Sharkey, ‘Morphinomania’, The Nineteenth Century: A Monthly Review 127,
(September, 1887)
(Super helpful for contemporary attitudes towards morphine addiction! Not so helpful for Withington Hospital.)
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