In 1855, Dr Baker and William Cosens, a local philanthropist, set up a dispensary in a building on the corner of Queen St to provide medical treatment for the poor of Dawlish, Starcross and Mamhead. In order not to compete with the local hospitals, he insisted that no in-patients would be accepted. Three of the town’s doctors gave their services and surgeries were held from 9 until 11 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Mr Adams was employed as a dispenser.
In 1887, it was noted that “nearly all those treated have chronic diseases,”. As there were no antibiotics infections took much longer to cure. In 1892, there was an outbreak of influenza and 256 cases were treated.
In 1903, the Dispensary was merged with the Cottage Hospital and the building sold to pay for medical equipment.