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This simple bed is probably typical of the type found in hospitals at the time. Short and low-standing, it would have been difficult for an elderly or very ill patient to get out of this bed as it is not adjustable in height. Made of cast iron and without springs, the bed would probably seem uncomfortable to the modern user, especially if the mattress was thin as the cast iron bars would dig into the back and sides. However, compared to the beds Victorian patients may have been used to at home, this may have been an improvement!

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Glossary: hospital

An institution providing health care for individuals. This usually takes the form of medical and surgical treatment and nursing care for ill or injured people

Glossary: hospital bed

A piece of furniture used for sleeping on. Usually a metal or wooden framework with a mattress and coverings