Report By The Commissioner Of The Board Of Control 1928

Elizabeth Hannah MartinElizabeth Hannah Martin, death certificateElizabeth Walker Elizabeth Walker death certificate

West Riding Mental Hospital,


February 24th, 1927.

We have to-day completed our inspection of this Institution,

and as a result we are generally very pleased with the condition in which we have found it.  We are glad to find that the Committee have acted upon the suggestions of our Colleagues in several matters, and that others are still under consideration.  Among the matters dealt with are the provision of letter boxes in the dayrooms, replacement of doors on the W.C’s. fixing of Wash Basins in the Kitchens near the W.C’s., the re-decoration of wards on the male side, and the improvement of the appearance of the female ward gardens.

The electric lighting of the main Kitchen has been completed, and improvements in the lighting of the Recreation Hall and Stage have been made.   When the question of extending the electric light to the wards is under consideration we hope that the matter of lighting the single rooms will not be forgotten.

Works in progress now include the installation of a new draw plate oven in the Bake house, re-decoration of Wards on the male side, and of the laundry.


The flooring of the passage leading to the Main Kitchen has been repaired. During the eight months since our Colleagues’ visit the following numerical changes have taken place among the patients :


                                                         Males. Females.  Total.


Admitted     ..    ..    ..    ..                      72      101      173

Transferred to other care   ..     ..            6        3         9

Discharged   ..    ..    ..    .                       46       53       99

of whom recovered    ..    ..                     33      41       74

of whom dealt with under S.79              10       11       21

Allowed out on trial ..    ..    ..                 36      47       83

of whom granted allowances ..              11        2       13

Died                                                       45       58      103



These changes leave on the books the names of 1,797 patients in the proportion of 866 males to 931 females.   Three of the former and 8 of the latter sex are now out on trial, leaving 1,786 patients in residence.   The average number in residence during last year was 1,823 – 884 on the male and 939 on the female side. The accommodation is for 1,776 patients, 875 males and 900 females by day, and 1,764, 857 male and 907 females, by night, so there is still some 6 men and 23 women above the proper number.

Private patients number 191 – 143 men and 48 women, 124 of the former being of the ” Service ” or ” Ex-Service “Class.

There are 4 Out-County patients chargeable to as many Unions.

The weekly maintenance charge is for the home patients 23/11 per head, that for the private patients 28/- whilst the average weekly cost as last ascertained was 22/1 and a half.


To the best of our belief we have seen all the patients, and given them an opportunity of speaking with us.  We  found them generally very contented and free from any complaints except on the score of detention.


Their dress and personal appearance were satisfactory, and we are glad to hear that the Committee have resolved to install a Hoffmah Steam clothes press, which will greatly improve the appearance of the male clothing which passes through the laundry.


Parole is only allowed on- the male side; 23 men being allowed out beyond the estate, and 48 within-.   One ward on each side is administered upon the open door’ principle.   We  hope that this can be extended, for instance to- Male Ward 7 and Female Ward 21, as suggested by our Colleagues last year.   


The dayrooms and galleries were tidy and well kept, and the beds and bedding in the single rooms and dormitories clean and well arranged.   There is still an excess of beds in several of the dormitories on the female side to what should be the proper number. We hope that, when the labels showing accommodation in the wards are fixed, the figures for each- department, of the ward, or dormitory will be put up.


In the bathrooms on the’ female side we suggest that curtains or screens should be placed between. -the- baths to ensure greater privacy.


Unfortunately, at the present time an epidemic of influenza is attacking patients on both sides, 28 men and  42 women, and also a number of the male and female staff.   Apart from this, and from 2 cases of dysentery on the female, and one on the male side  the health of the’ patients has been good, and the death rate for 1926 had: fallen to 9’5 per cent. as against  11 .5 per cent. in 1925.


Except for the iinfluenza cases and for patients who were being rested for mental reasons, there were- few in bed.  All these patients appeared to us to be receiving careful and skilful nursing, but we should like to hear that greater use is made of the Verandahs for open-air treatment.   We noticed that there was a shortage-of nightdresses for the women in one of the infirmary ward  but were glad to know that the deficiency  was made up before we left.


All the deaths, except two,’ were- due to’ natural causes.

Concerning these  two and four other deaths, inquests have been Held.

Memoranda on Commissioners’ Report.

(1) Lighting of single rooms by electricity.

(2) Parole. Suggested extension.

(3) Fixing of Labels showing accommodation in Wards.

(4) Provision of Curtains or Screens in Bathrooms.

(5) Greater use of Verandahs for open-air treatment.

(6) Provision of central room for Operating Theatre.

(7) Mortuary, Improvement of arrangements for viewing bodies

of deceased patients.

(8) Appointment of Laboratory Assistant.

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