Mental Health Care in Modern England: The Norfolk Lunatic Asylum/St. Andrew's Hospital C. 1810-1998

By Steven Cherry | Go to book overview

4

A medical superintendent, expansion and reform, 1861—87

William Hills was 33 years old when he became medical superintendent at Norfolk Lunatic Asylum on 17 October 1861 and he completed his working life there, retiring early in 1887. He had obtained his M.D. at Aberdeen and held membership of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Association of Asylum Medical Officers. Given the context of his appointment, the temptation to associate Hills' regime with reform and 'medicalisation' at the asylum is strong. Evidence might include: a greater emphasis upon treatments, drugs and medicines; the public presentation of medical explanations of recovery, sickness or death; a more caring and therapeutic approach to patients by attendants and nurses; and revised concepts of management and of the political economy of the institution. Such changes can be exaggerated. Although Hills made an active beginning, the lunacy commissioners probably overstated improvements in their endorsement of his appointment. Between 1861 and 1887 patient numbers doubled, from 370 to over 730, pressuring the asylum fabric and facilities. Increasing acceptance of the asylum as an appropriate place of care, sometimes in the absence of suitable alternatives, also reflected further medical claims made on behalf of asylum therapies. Yet a sense of lost momentum later surrounded Hills' retirement when, in turn, high hopes were transferred to his successor.

Meanwhile, continuity was provided in the stable membership of the committee of visiting justices. It still met monthly, though the variable timing of weekly visits, suiting the justices' personal convenience, made inspections less predictable. The committee also retained formal control over the discharge of patients, and much routine continuity was embodied in long- serving members of staff, not least the clerk to the justices, William Girling. More pertinently, the challenge of medicalisation to conventions and to contemporary authority may be questioned. Hills also brought to the NLA a heightened sense of economy, expressed in the desire to save costs and utilise patients' skills. This was confirmed in his interpretation of work therapy, changes to the patients' dietary and promotion of an auxiliary asylum as an efficiency aid. He linked the use of probation for patients with a proactive stance on the admission of boarders, acknowledging openly systems of cross- subsidy and savings to Norfolk ratepayers. Though Hills shared with the lunacy commissioners hopes of further improvements, notably in the care of 'idiots' and in nursing standards, he did not press the committee on such matters.

-82-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Mental Health Care in Modern England: The Norfolk Lunatic Asylum/St. Andrew's Hospital C. 1810-1998
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 335

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.