Series VPRS 17846
Admission and Discharge Register of Patients
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1867 - 1991
  Series in Custody 1867 - 1991
  Contents 1867 - 1991
Public Access: Part Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1867 - 1991 Beechworth (Asylum 1867-1905; Hospital for the Insane 1905-1934; Mental Hospital 1934-1967; Mayday Hills Mental Hospital 1967-1991; Mayday Hills Psychiatric Hospital 1978-1995) VA 2842
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2015 - cont Department of Health and Human Services VA 5037
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Consult the list of records in this series to locate the volume of interest.

    See VPRS 17913 Nominal Register of Female Patients for period c 1920 to 1940

  • Function / Content
    This series consists of volumes detailing male and female patient admissions to Beechworth Asylum (1867-1905); Hospital for the Insane (1905-1934); Mental Hospital (1934-1967) and Mayday Hills Mental Hospital (1967-1991) [VA 2842].

    The registers include:
    - admission number
    - patient name
    - admission date
    - date of birth
    - marital status
    - occupation
    - previous place of abode
    - religion
    - form of mental disorder
    - bodily condition
    - date of removal, discharge or death

    Entries are made chronologically by date of patient admission and separate sequential admission numbers are assigned to male and female patients.

    It is unclear how this series (VPRS 17846) relates to Register of Patients (VPRS 17930) -as both registers were maintained concurrently for the period 1867 to 1929.

    From at least 1845 and the proclamation of An Act for the Regulation of the Care and Treatment of Lunatics (8 & 9 Vic c.100), public asylums and licensed houses were required to maintain a Register of Patients. Initially the register maintained by licensed houses was officially known as the Book of Admissions. In some institutions the Register was also known as an Admissions Register or as an Admission and Discharge Register and these terms were sometimes stamped on the volumes.

    Immediately upon the admission of a person to an asylum, the clerk of the asylum was required to make an entry in the Register of Patients. Details recorded included: patient's name; date of admission; admission number; date of last previous admission; age; marital status; occupation; previous place of abode; religion and the form of mental disorder and state of physical health. Further details were entered in the register on the death, transfer or discharge of a patient. Institutions were also required to maintain a separate Register of Discharges, Removals and Deaths, usually known as a Discharge Register.

    The format of the Register of Patients which was specified in a schedule to the Lunacy Statute and succeeding legislation, changed little until the proclamation of the Mental Health Act 1959 in 1962. The record then became officially known as the Register of Patients and Discharge Register and included information about the types of admission. The following five types of admission were specified under sections 41 to 49 of the Mental Health Act 1959:

    - Voluntary Boarders (V) were those who entered the hospital at their own request or, if under the age of 16 at the request of a parent or guardian and on the opinion of a medical practitioner.

    - Recommended (R) and Approved (A) Patients. A person could be admitted upon the recommendation set out in a prescribed form, of a medical practitioner who had examined the person. As soon as possible after admission the superintendent of the hospital was required to examine the patient and either approve the recommended admission or discharge the patient.

    - Judicial Admissions (J). Upon information provided on oath before a justice that a mentally ill person was not receiving proper care, or could not support himself/herself or had committed an offence and after examination by two medical practitioners, an order could be made for the person to be admitted to or detained in a mental hospital.

    - Security Patients (S) were those who had been detained in a gaol but were transferred to a mental hospital upon being determined to be mentally ill.

    The Register of Patients and Discharge Register officially superseded the separate Discharge Register, however some institutions continued to maintain a separate record of patient discharges, transfers and deaths.

  • Recordkeeping System
    Entries were made in the register in chronological order by the date of admission.

    Records of patients in asylums were well controlled. For the most part patient records are arranged by the date of admission or date of discharge (including death). Some asylums, however, maintained a Nominal Register of Patients, which can be used to access records by patient surname [see VPRS 17913 Nominal Register of Female Patients for period c 1920 to 1940].

    Admissions of patients were recorded in date order in Registers of Patients and patients were allocated an admission number. An index of surnames was often created to provide access to the entries. The Admission Warrants authorising the committal of the patients to the asylum were filed by admission number and hence are also chronologically arranged by date of admission.

    Case histories were recorded on each patient. Initially the case histories were entered in bound volumes, known as Case Books, in order of date of admission (admission number order). A separate Index to the Case Books was sometimes maintained. From 1912 looseleaf folios were used. Known as Patient Clinical Notes, the folios were transferred as patients moved between asylums. The notes were ultimately filed alphabetically by surname according to the year of final discharge or death. Patient Files succeeded the Patient Clinical Notes in 1953 and were controlled and arranged in the same manner.

    Routine examinations of patients were recorded in Annual and Quinquennial Examination Registers. Entries in these registers are usually either by date of examination or by date of admission. The volumes are often self-indexing.

    The discharge, transfer or death of patients was initially recorded in separate Discharge Registers as well as in the Register of Patients and the case histories. From 1962 separate Discharge Registers were phased out, however, some asylums continued to maintain them.

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Circa 1920 - 1940 Nominal Register of Female Patients VPRS 17913
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1867 - 1991 Part Open 9
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
Circa 1920 - 1940 Nominal Register of Female Patients VPRS 17913
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