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Asylum records

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Asylum records

Postby SarahDevs » Sat May 18, 2019 7:48 pm

Here's an absolute long shot for the weekend:

My great grandfather died in a local asylum in 1940 and the family who remember him always describe him as 'odd'.

Other than his death certificate (on order) does anyone know of any other records that might exist? Medical records are usually only kept for 25 years before being destroyed so I doubt they are still around.

As always, many thanks...

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Re: Asylum records

Postby Singleton1922 » Sun May 19, 2019 8:19 am

SarahDevs wrote:Here's an absolute long shot for the weekend:

My great grandfather died in a local asylum in 1940 and the family who remember him always describe him as 'odd'.

Other than his death certificate (on order) does anyone know of any other records that might exist? Medical records are usually only kept for 25 years before being destroyed so I doubt they are still around.

As always, many thanks...

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Yes Sarah, you might find a record in your local archive. My ggf died in the Roundway Asylum in Wiltshire. The Wiltshire history centre confirmed they had a record of him in the ‘dead case book’ although It was still closed. I was given an email address for the Health and Social records team of the nhs mental health services. I contacted them asking for permission which was granted within a few days. The record gave full details of the reasons why he was admitted together with updates and even a photograph. It wasn’t very easy reading but certainly very interesting.
Good luck with your search
Sandra


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Re: Asylum records

Postby SarahDevs » Sun May 19, 2019 8:21 am

Thanks for the info, Sandra - definitely worth a try!

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Re: Asylum records

Postby jaykayell » Sun May 19, 2019 12:29 pm

I seem to remember that 'ordinary' health records are destroyed 25 years after the patient's death but Mental Health records are kept for 100 years.
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Re: Asylum records

Postby junkers » Sun May 19, 2019 5:37 pm

There are a number of patients files, including MH 85 of the Ministry of Health, at The National Archives, if you have proof of death then they should be able to tell you if there are any records as some do not have descriptions on TNA's Discovery catalogue due to Data Protection. The Discovery catalogue also has a list of series of records held locally.
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Re: Asylum records

Postby SarahDevs » Mon May 20, 2019 9:51 am

Thank you all.

Have had a speedy confirmation from my local Archive that they do hold records but they are closed for 100 years. Am going to write to see if I can get any access so fingers crossed. If not best hope I live a other 20 or 30 years...

What an excellent forum this is!

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Re: Asylum records

Postby junkers » Mon May 20, 2019 12:37 pm

The local archives should apply the closure from date of birth and not the date of the document and as data protection does not apply after death they should open the record, if not the Information Commissioner's Office should be able to persuade them to open it.
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Re: Asylum records

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon May 20, 2019 5:01 pm

Indeed. Perhaps the important point is that you yourself will almost certainly not be allowed access to the volume, to protect others in it. However, if the record office offers a research service (for a monetary consideration, of course!) there should be no problem in them copying the relevant bits.

I've had Chester Record Office copy some employment stuff from the 1950s for my grandpa in that manner. The tip from my experience is to ask them beforehand to copy the column headings as well if they're not going to be in the same image - I didn't do that so I had a date for Grandpa that I didn't know what it meant. Worked it out later with the records from Kew.

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Re: Asylum records

Postby Singleton1922 » Tue May 21, 2019 4:56 am

I’m sure that this is possible. My ggf died in 1928 having been in the asylum for less than a year so his record was closed too. This is why I needed permission from the nhs. The book was then prepared so that I couldn’t access the other records. I was allowed to photograph the relevant pages too. The archive should be able to give you the name of the nhs contact.


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