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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): LCC/PH/MENT
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1890-1960
Level of description: Collection
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Extent: 5.18 linear metres
Name of creator(s): LCC | London County Council x London County Council


Administrative/Biographical history:

The London County Council assumed responsibility for the general hospitals formerly maintained by the Boards of Guardians and the Special hospitals and institutions formerly maintained by the Metropolitan Asylums Board with effect from 1 April 1930. These hospitals needed much work to modernise, equip and staff them adequately. The Council made great improvements in hospital accommodation and staffing standards. The nursing service had been improved, medical schools established, and a laboratory service built up. These functions were transferred to the Regional Hospitals Boards and Hospital Management Committees under the National Health Service Acts with effect from 5 July 1948. The Council assisted by providing services of supply, engineering and finance for several months after the transfer, until Council officers could be absorbed into the new organisation.

There was also a transfer from the City and the boroughs to the London County Council of health services including maternity and child welfare, health visiting, home help, vaccination and immunisation, and the care of those with tuberculosis. The Council took over 4,843 lay and professional staff, 70 freehold premises, and 252 tenancy arrangements, as well as adding new services such as home nursing, the provision of health centres and the expansion of the ambulance service. The County was divided into nine divisions, each with a divisional health committee, a divisional medical officer, a nursing officer and an administrative officer.

Until the Mental Health Act, 1959, the Council's mental health services were administered centrally from hte County Hall. From October 1960 responsibility for the day-to-day operation of mental health services was delegated to the nine divisional health committees, while other aspects of the work remained under direct central control, for example the provision of hostels and day centres, the medical examination of mentally subnormal persons, the obtaining of hospital beds for them, and the giving of medical evidence to courts and tribunals. Administration of training centres passed to the divisional medical officers; but planning, the formulation of policy, general control over admissions, the allocation of industrial work to centres, and the arranging of transport and home teaching were retained as central responsibilities.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the London County Council Public Health Department relating to mental health, 1890-1960, including general papers on mental deficiency, diagnosis, mental age tests, venereal disease in relation to mental deficiency, psychological tests and persistent offenders; sample of forms and reports on school children examined for admission to special schools; sample of case cards and papers of mentally sub-normal children; sample of case-papers of lunacy certification cases; sample of case-papers of mental deficiency certification cases; newspaper cuttings relevant to the work of the Asylums Committee and advertisements issued under authority of the Asylums Committee; minutes of the Executive Committee of London Association for the Care of the Mentally Defective and minutes of Meetings of Asylum Officers.

Also registers of patients admitted to LCC asylums, 1895-1904; lists of patients admitted, died and recommended for discharge, Banstead Asylum, 1916-1928, Bexley Asylum, 1913-1928, Cane Hill Asylum, 1916-1928, Claybury Asylum, 1915-1928, Colney Hatch Asylum, 1911-1927, Ewell Colony, 1903-1928, Hanwell Asylum, 1913-1928, Horton Asylum, 1913-1927, Long Grove Asylum, 1916-1927, Manor Asylum, 1913-1927 and West Park Asylum, 1924-1928; list of Contract Patients (London patients in out-County or non-LCC asylums), 1892-1901; register of patients at Farmfield Reformatory for Female Inebriates, 1900-1908-1914; Farmfield Reformatory for Female Inebriates Case History Books, 1900-1914; register of London patients at inebriate reformatories other than Farmfield, 1901-1910; register of London patients at inebriate reformatories of the National Institutions for the Care and Reformation of Inebriate Persons, 1909-1916; register of London patients at the Langho Inebriate Reformatory of the Lancashire Inebriates Act Board, 1910-1914.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

LCC/PH/MENT/01: General; LCC/PH/MENT/02: Case papers; LCC/PH/MENT/03: Miscellaneous; LCC/PH/MENT/04: Registers; LCC/PH/MENT/05: Minutes of committees.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright: City of London

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Acquired with the records of its parent body, the London County Council.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For Banstead and Horton Asylums, see reference H22; for Hanwell Asylum see reference H11/HLL and for Colney Hatch Asylum see reference H12/CH. For other asylums and institutes see the records of the Metropolitan Asylums Board (reference MAB) or consult the Hospital Records Database held on the National Archives website.

Publication note:

For further information on the history of the LCC please see Achievement: A Short History of the London County Council by W Eric Jackson (1965), LMA Library reference 18.0 1965, The London County Council 1938, LMA Library reference 18.7 SER 4, and The Youngest County: A description of London as a county and its public services, 1951, LMA Library reference 18.0 1951.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
April to June 2009

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