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OUR ASYLUMS., Issue 7982, 10 August 1889, Supplement
The following refn’ences to tho lunatic asylums in this district appear in Dr Macgregor’s recently issued report SE.'C! 11T. 2kh July, 18?8 —I have been engaged for tl.ivc days—the -Ist, 23rd, and 2fch— in inspecting this a&ylum. 'the general health and appearance of the, patients are very safe-factory. 1 f nTA comfortably clutl arx«\ a\u>3, jvui\ after careful examination I found no indications (fin gleet or uckii.dness towards tho pitiont». Prom my previous knowledge of Dr Ring, I was confident that nothing that carefulness and Madness could do would be wanting in his treatment (f his patients, and I am quite satisfied Hurt his promotion to Seaciilf Asylum has been amply justified. The number of patients to day in tbo asylum H ‘l'.lfi, including seven who are out on trial, nf these 309 are males, and ISO females. None wove under restraint; one male and three females were recludcd for short peiiods. I found three males and one female confined to bed ard under mrdicil treatment. Perhaps tho mo.-t signal improvement which Dr Ring has ducted is (ho largo p-oportion, especially on the male tide, who have been induced to work. All the males exept forty-eight were out in the open air, or doing some kind of work inside today. This makes a veiy great change in the system on which this asylum is conducted, and ic reflect a the greatest credit on Dr King and his staff. No other cause has had so much to do with the greatly-improved ■ appearanoe and heabh of the inmates. The whole institution is working smoothly ami LarmoniouHy, and tho only difficulty now ahead is tho coalu-don and anxiety that will bo inseparable from lire reconstruction of tho damaged portion of tho female side. Tills piwt, I am convinced, must be pulled down, and the sooner the better, for no one cm fay what the effect cf a heavy rain-storm may be. I found all the books properly kept, except the medical journal, owing to a misunderstanding, and the case-book, owing to the admitted impossibility than Dr King can, single-handed, overtake it. Tho farm operations are in a good etato of forwardness for the spring, and show vigor on the part of the manager. 25th September, 1883.—Last night and to-diy 1 made a surprise visit to this asylum, with a view to satisfy myself as to whether tho overcrowding, rendered necessary by the dangerous condition of the north wing of the buitdir g, was such ns to require additional buildings. lam greatly relieved to find that, owing to the energy with which Dr King and the matron, as well as tho rest of the staff, have set themselves to face tha emergency, the arrangements are such as will enable us to get over the summer without any very great inconvenience or suffering, I hope, however, it will be distinctly understood that on no account whatever must Dr King be expected to face next winter, with the existing accommodation, I made last night an inspection of the whole asylum after the patients were in bed, and found everything in admirable order. One female patient is in seclusion this morning, and five males are confined to bed from bedily illness. It is of the utmost importance that Dr King be informed at tho earliest possible moment of the Government’s decision regarding the remedial measures to be adopted to deal with tho damaged portion of the building, and that, if possible, a definite t ! mo be fixed fpr handing it over for occupation.
2nd January. 1889.—1 spent the whole of today and yesterday in examining the condition of the asylum, having special reference to the choosing of such persons as could most advantageously bo transferred to Addington Immigration Carractca. I am compelled to utilise this place in or d r to house those who cannot remain at Seacliff during the winter. My expectation of being able to occupy the north wing before winter is now at an end, and additional accommodation must he found both for the relief of Seacliff and Suuny-ide, at any rate, for a time. The cracks in the budding are, I think, getting worse. I am exceedingly gratified to find that, owing to the unceasing energy and care of Dr King and his staff, the great overcrowding that has existed since the north wing was abandoned has not been allowed in any way either to disorganise the working of the asylum or relax the discipline. I found all the books and documents in good order. I am very much pleased with the great improvements which Mr Cruiokshanka has in the management of the farm. Most satisfactory progress has been made in clearing new land, and the crops promise well. Of the whole 297 male patients 184 are working on the farm—a much higher proportion than has as yet been attained in any other of our large asylums. This is the fact of all others that, in my opinion, proves that great skill and patience must be devoted to obtain such a result. I find that a great increase of expenditure was rendered necessary in consequence of the low state into which the supply of bedding and clothing had been allowed to fall, and it is very satisfactory to find that now the supply of both is ample. ASHBUBN HALL, 25th July, 1888.—I have this day made a careful inspection of this institution, and conversed separately with every one of the patients. I find one of the female patients so far convalescent that she will soon be fit for discharge. No one is improperly detained. I made careful inquiries of all the more intelligent patients, and heard no serious complaints. They are treated with very great kindness—well fed, well lodged—the only cause of dissatisfaction being the loss of liberty and the necessity of control.
I am always particularly arxious to discover any indications that patients may give of improper detention. With this view I carefully examined every source of information, and I am certain that nothing of the kind is to bo apprehended. Every ono of the patients had the opportunity of piivatn conversation with me, and nothing could be more satisfactory th n the accounts they give of their cxpeiicnce on t.ie whole, I found all the books in proper order. One patient’s letter, which had been detained for my consideration, I forwarded to its address. 30th January, 1889. —To-day I have been engaged in making my half-yearly examination of this asylum. Too number of patients is fourteen males and nine females, also one female out on trial. I saw and conversed with each individual separately. I examined every room and every part of the institution. One lady patient was allowed to remain i'i bed for reasons which I found satisfactory, I made a careful examination of the medical history of each case and the treatment adopted, aul I am saii fitd that the most careful attention is devoted to secure the recovery aod comfort of the patients. All the stalutoi y books are p. operly k, pt, I was pa. tisuhrly pleased to find that no letters mitten by the patients were detained for my inspection, o: that of the deputy iutp (tor. The fact that this is a priva'e asylum, in my opinion, makes it prudent to omit the precautions which have been adopted in the State institutions, even at the risk of some tiupleas mtness to the relatives. The buildings and grounds are admirably arranged, and the organisation of the asylum as a whole is very satisluctory.
OUR ASYLUMS., Issue 7982, 10 August 1889, Supplement
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