The whole of the front of the building is devoted to the surgical patients, while the medical patients occupy the rear of the building. As there are no paying patients (the hospital caters only for the poor) there are no private wards, but the public wards have only three, four or at most five beds in them. This gives them a delightfully spacious and wellaired appearance.
I had very little opportunity of speaking to the patients, as I had come at. a very awkward hour; so many hours in hospitals are awkward! But one surgical patient I spoke to was reading the CATHOLIC HEIRALD as I entered the ward, and she told me that as a native of Bromley she was particularly delighted with last week's account of the Chislehurst church shortly to be consecrated.
Of course the hospital has this connection with the Church in that the Bonaparte family were great benefactors of both.
Like Court Circular
The list of benefactors reads more like the Court Circular on the day of a State Banquet. The entire Royal Families of France, Belgium, Monaco, Luxembourg, head the list. The ant bassadors of all the European countries almost without exception figure very largely, and recently the hospital has benefited by a gift from the Swiss Confederation and Cantons.
During the past year members of practicaly every nation and race have received treatment. France, of course, had the largest number, amounting with her colonies to 300 in-patients and 2,374 out-patients; the smallest number seems to be from the Principality of Monaco with one in-patient and two outpatients.
Since its foundation in 1867 up to the end of last year 46,552 in-patients have received treatment, and over a million, actually 1,010,707, out-patients have been treated.
I asked the Rev. Mother about her plans in the event of war. So far, she said, their plans were not very clear. They held themselves entirely at the disposition of the Government, but it was very difficult to say what they would do.