In 1885 a short act was passed to create hospitals for infectious diseases, to improve on the Public Health Act of the previous year. This act also provided the money for a small, custom-built facility at White Hoe in Braddan. Contagious patients were sent here to recover in quarantine, to prevent the spread of disease.
The new fever hospital opened in 1888 and was situated a few miles out of Douglas on the Old Castletown Road. It had detached wards on either side of the main administrative building (see Source B) and room for about 25 patients, although this could increase significantly if circumstances demanded. The first matron was a Miss Amcoats, “a nurse possessing considerable experience in the infectious branch of her profession” (Isle of Man Times, 10 November 1888).
Although incidents of smallpox and cholera were declining by the late nineteenth century, the fever hospital treated ailments such as diphtheria, typhoid and puerperal fever. Tuberculosis patients were also sent to White Hoe. Early scandals included the misdiagnosis of infectious diseases, and the ‘paganism’ of refusing to allow a minister to visit the sick.
By 1980 there were 58 beds at White Hoe and the average stay there was 85.3 days. However, there was concern that it was used only as a holding-place for chronically infirm patients, and it was absorbed into the new Noble’s Hospital.