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The box carriers

These were employed by the surgeons to carry their box of instruments. During their time with the surgeon they became proficient in anticipating the surgeon's requirements. At St. Bartholomew's hospital they were attendant upon the three principal surgeons. At first they seem to have been recruited from among the patients and were paid 3d for every patient who was ordered to be 'bleeded'. The practice was discontinued in 1813 and the box carriers were appointed by the surgeons. There was a custom of 'following the box' where the surgeons had a box of instruments carried before them as they went around the wards and performed small operations then and there. The Beadles also followed the surgeon, carrying the brazier in which cautery irons were kept. The box carriers at Bart's survived into the 20th century as surgeon's attendants or theatre orderlies, disappearing from the records in about the 1920s.

Fred Wheedon B.E.M, who was Membership Secretary for the AODP until just before his death in 1989, was first appointed by a surgeon as 'Box Boy' at the Lambeth Hospital sometime during the late 1930s, although soon afterwards he was employed by the hospital, converting to the role of theatre attendant. Fred was elected to the Executive Council of the Association in the late 1940s, a position he held continuously until just before his death. In about 1976, Fred was assimilated to the ODA grade and was a local examiner for the City & Guilds well into the 1980s.

Industry News

Marrow loss 'aids bone healing'
4/6 @ 12:06 AM

Removing the marrow from the heart of bones could make them stronger and help heal fractures, researchers suggest.

Doctor hour cuts 'will harm care'
4/5 @ 12:08 AM

Patient care will suffer when junior doctors' hours are cut to conform with a European directive, a medic warns.

Deadly bug early detection hope
4/4 @ 4:40 PM

A technique for quickly detecting a deadly superbug has been developed by UK scientists.

Bogus pharmacist case probed
4/4 @ 10:20 AM

Medical authorities re-examine the case of a bogus pharmacist who peddled large quantities of slimming pills.

Fatal bird flu cases in Pakistan
4/4 @ 10:17 AM

The first cases of people dying from bird flu in Pakistan are confirmed by the World Health Organisation.

Foetal test rules out rhesus jab
4/4 @ 12:12 AM

A test for a blood mismatch between mother and baby could prevent thousands of unnecessary treatments.

Binge drinking 'damages memory'
4/4 @ 12:11 AM

Teenagers who binge drink are at risk of short-term memory problems days later, a study suggests.

Rise in women doctors 'worrying'
4/4 @ 12:11 AM

The rising number of female doctors is "bad for medicine", and universities should recruit more men, a GP warns.

Cannabis 'may still be reclassfied'
4/3 @ 9:03 PM

Cannabis may still be reclassified as a Class B drug against expert advice, Downing Street signals.

Minister's U-turn on alcohol tax
4/3 @ 5:58 PM

A minister backtracks on his criticism of alcohol duty rises, saying his words "do not accurately reflect my views".

More deaths linked to C. Diff bug
4/3 @ 4:39 PM

Three more deaths are linked to the hospital bug Clostridium difficile in hospitals in the Northern Trust area.

Chemists 'to offer GP services'
4/3 @ 11:34 AM

High-street pharmacies should play a greater role in providing care for minor ailments to free up GPs, the government says.

US to spend $50bn against HIV
4/3 @ 1:19 AM

The US House of Representatives passes a bill to triple its spending on the global fight against Aids.

Vets 'at risk from miscarriage'
4/3 @ 12:31 AM

Female vets over-exposed to the gases they use could be raising their chances of miscarriage, claims research.

Daily caffeine 'protects brain'
4/3 @ 12:27 AM

Coffee may cut the risk of dementia by blocking possible cholesterol damage to the body, research finds.

Genetic link to smoking addiction
4/2 @ 6:04 PM

Scientists pinpoint genetic variations that raise smokers' risk of lung cancer - possibly by getting them hooked.

NHS bill for statins 'could soar'
4/2 @ 3:29 PM

Millions more people in England are likely to be prescribed statins - but the impact on health may be limited.

Dentistry
8/7/2007 @ 10:30 AM

Reports, circulars, reviews and publications about dental services.

Monthly CJD statistics
8/6/2007 @ 3:18 PM

Press releases on CJD statistics.

Learning disabilities
8/6/2007 @ 10:50 AM

People with learning disabilities are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, and the Government is committed to improving their life chances. The Department of Health has worked with several other Government departments on a white paper (originally announced as a strategy last Autumn by the Secretary of State) designed to improve support for people with learning disabilities and their families.

Independent inquiry into access to healthcare for people with learning disabilities
8/6/2007 @ 10:44 AM

The independent inquiry into access to healthcare for people with learning disabilities has invited written information from professionals, people with learning disabilities, their carers, families and all others with an interest in ensuring adults and children with learning disabilities receive appropriate treatment in the NHS.

David Nicholson CBE
8/3/2007 @ 3:21 PM

As NHS Chief Executive, David Nicholson CBE ensures that the Department provides strategic leadership for the NHS and social care.

Pregnancy timeline
12/23/2004 @ 1:42 PM

A week by week guide to pregnancy taking in how the baby develops, changes to the mother and key scan dates.

Cancer: The facts
1/30/2004 @ 11:57 AM

The disease tends to affect older people - but can strike at any time.

Heart disease and stroke
2/14/2003 @ 12:26 PM

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