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Series VPRS 7409
Quinquennial Examination of Patients Registers
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1905 - 1925
  Series in Custody 1905 - 1925
  Contents 1905 - 1925
Public Access: 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
1905 - 1925 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
    Researchers may need to refer to a number of volumes in order to find a report on a particular patient. Approximately one-fifth of would be examined each year, thus all patients would be examined at least once every five years. Refer to the Records Description List to identify the unit/s 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).

    Quinquennial Examination of Patients Registers - Yarra Bend Asylum

    These volumes record the dates of the examination of patients required once every 5 years under the provisions of the Lunacy Act 1903 (No.1873), section 88. Approximately one-fifth of the patients would be examined each year. Hence one group would be examined in 1905, 1910, 1915 etc, another in 1906, 1911, 1916, 1921, and a third in 1907, 1912, 1917, 1922 etc. Each group had a separate volume allocated to them. Examinations recorded in all five volumes between 1905 and 1912 are also recorded in VPRS 7408, volume 2. That volume acted as the "master copy" for the examinations recorded in VPRS 7409.

    It appears that patients were grouped together according to the last date of their three annual examinations.

    Some pages in volume one have been prepared for another function however these were not used.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The volumes have stamped on the spine the examination years recorded in that volume. For example the volume recording examinations in 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920 etc has '5-0' stamped on the spine of the volume. Sequential numbers have also been stamped on the spine. The Public Record Office Victoria has arranged these volumes chronologically by date of the first recorded examination for ease of reference.

    Each volume is arranged alphabetical by patient's surname and then chronological by date of admission.

    The records in VPRS 7409/P2 were donated by a member of the public. They contain a rough chronological list of annual and quinquennial patient examinations.

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Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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Controlled SeriesControlled Series
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Previous SeriesPrevious Series
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Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
- 1905 Annual Examination of Patients Register VPRS 7408
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
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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 1905 - 1925 Open 5
P0002 1918 - 1922 Open 1
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
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