Mental Illness and Returning Patient Care in the Early National Health Service: A Comparative Study of the Admission and Treatment of Multiple-entry Patients in English Mental Hospitals, c. 1948–1970

The aim of this two-year Wellcome Trust funded project is to assess the character, quality and impact of institutional care provided to NHS mental health patients and the main influences on residential admission and discharge during the period 1948–1970. In partnership with Devon and Gloucester Record Offices, researchers will evaluate the service offered by mental hospitals before 1970 by examining in detail the people admitted to hospital, concentrating on patients who were resident in hospitals more than once. The project will compare two areas of southern-England in an attempt to understand the relative weight of social circumstances (such as family life) and clinical diagnoses by general practitioners and psychiatrists, in decisions to admit, treat and release patients. Researchers will also explore the introduction of drugs to patients and if such medical intervention better enabled the patient to control their symptoms and manage their lives.

Dr Nicole Baur has been appointed as Associate Research Fellow to this project.