Series VPRS 7408
Annual Examination of Patients Register
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1889 - 1924
  Series in Custody 1889 - 1924
  Contents 1889 - 1924
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
1889 - 1924 Yarra Bend (Asylum 1848-1905; Hospital for the Insane 1905-1925) VA 2839
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2009 - cont Department of Health III VA 4921
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Refer to the Records Description List to identify the unit required.

  • Function / Content
    Section 17 of the Lunacy Amendment Act 1888 required that each patient in every asylum, philanthropic hospital and cottage for the reception of patients and every boarded-out patient was to be examined annually by a medical practitioner appointed by the Governor-in-Council in order to determine their sanity or insanity and to inquire into their general health. This was to occur at least once in every twelve consecutive months of the detention or supervision of the patient. Under a provision of the 1888 Act, the medical practitioner was not to be an employee of any of the asylums. This provision was a direct result of the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Insane and Inebriate 1882-1884 (Zox Commission). Many witnesses before the Commission had alleged that patients were unnecessarily detained in the asylums.

    The legislation requiring an annual examination of patients was amended by the Lunacy Act 1903 section 88. From 1905 patients were to be examined once every twelve months for their first three years in residence and subsequently once every five years by the Superintendent of the asylum or in the case of a licensed house, by the Government Medical Officer. A report was then to be made to the Inspector-General of the Lunacy Department who in turn reported to the Chief Secretary (from 1950, reports were sent to the Chief Medical Officer of the Mental Hygiene Branch).

    Yarra Bend Register

    These volumes record the annual examinations of patients at the Yarra Bend Asylum (from 1905 known as the Yarra Bend Hospital for the Insane) held between 1889 and 1924.

    Volume one records the date of all annual examinations held between 1889 and 1905. Volume two records the dates of all examinations held between 1905 and 1912 whether they be the initial three annual examinations or the examination held once every five years for longer term patients. This volume also records the dates of discharge of the patients and how discharged. Volumes three and four record the initial three annual examinations only. All annual examinations recorded in volume three up until 1912 are also recorded in volume two. Once the third annual examination had taken place the dates of the patients' subsequent examinations (held once every five years) were recorded in VPRS 7409 Quinquennial Examination of Patients Register. From 1925 both annual and quinquennial examinations were recorded in a single register. See VPRS 7413.

    The register can be used to access VPRS 7399 Case Books of Male Patients and VPRS 7400 Case Books of Female Patients at Yarra Bend if the date of admission is unknown to the researcher.

    Legislation

    Lunacy Amendment Act 1888, No.986
    Lunacy Act 1903, No.1873

  • Recordkeeping System
    The volumes are self-indexing. Entries are arranged alphabetically by patient name and then listed in a rough chronological order by date of admission. There are separate listings for male and female patients. [The volumes were arranged chronologically by the Public Record Office as there was no apparent system of arrangement and control.]

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Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1905 Quinquennial Examination of Patients Registers VPRS 7409
List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1889 - 1924 Part Open 4
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