Series VPRS 7417
Register of Patients
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1848 - 1924
  Series in Custody 1848 - 1924
  Contents 1848 - 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
1848 - 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
    Each volume of the register contains an index by patient name which gives a reference to the number of the page of that volume upon which the patient's entry will be found.

  • Function / Content
    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
    marital status
    previous place of abode
    religion, and
    once examined by a medical officer, 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 post 1962 Registers of Patients also included information previously recorded in a separate Discharge Register, e.g. institution to which the patient was transferred; assigned cause of death where applicable. However some institutions continued to maintain a separate Discharge Register.

    Register of Patients - Yarra Bend: At Yarra Bend the register of patients was known as the Admission Register.

    Unit 1A of this series was previously registered as VPRS 7415. In 1992 it was re-processed as part of VPRS 7417 because it performed the same function.

    The volume of the series which recorded admissions between September 1854 and December 1856 has not been located but information from that volume was transcribed into VPRS 7416 General Register of Admissions and Discharges.

    Unit 1 of this series has a slightly different format from that of units 2 to 14. However, it performs the same function and entries are controlled by the same numerical sequence of admission numbers.

    Unit 12 of this series was inter-sorted into the original accession in 1991. This volume was an estray discovered in the Manuscript Collection of the State Library and was identified as belonging to the sequence of registers transferred in 1987. The Register of Patients for the period 1901 to 1906 has not been transferred to the Public Record Office.

  • Recordkeeping System
    As patients were admitted, registration numbers were allocated from the register. Certain information about each patient was recorded in the register.

    The registration numbers were used to control the arrangement of the admission warrants for patients admitted to Yarra Bend: VPRS 7556 (Male Patients) and VPRS 7562 (Female

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Date Range Series Title Series Number
1856 - 1924 Admission Warrants of Male Patients 1848-1925 Female Patients 1848-1855, 1896-1904 VPRS 7556
1856 - 1924 Admission Warrants of Female Patients VPRS 7562
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1848 - 1924 Part Open 15
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