©Wellcome Library, London

Cranleigh Hospital was founded by a local doctor, Albert Napper (1815-1894), and opened with half a dozen beds. It admitted acute complex cases such as compound fractures, burns, amputation of fingers, and double pneumonia, for which there were no existing facilities but excluded chronic invalids and patients with ‘infectious, incurable and consumptive diseases'. It also had a small operating with 2 beds. In-patients were expected to pay a weekly maintenance fee of 5 shillings (25 pence), a great deal of money when the average weekly wage of an agricultural labourer was 10 shillings and 6 pence (52.5 pence). The hospital relieving officer made up the amount for those in hardship.

Wood engraving by Joseph Swain (1820-1909) published in Good Words, 1 May 1866.