Archive Title

Stratheden Hospital Records

Description

Records naming patients and with details of their medical condition are closed for 75 years from the date of the last entry in the record. Access to closed records is only allowed to readers with written permission from the Administration Services Manager, Mental Health Directorate, NHS Fife, Whytemans Brae Hospital, Whytemans Brae, Kirkcaldy tel 01592 648 083. Admin. History of Stratheden Hospital (formerly Fife and Kinross District Asylum)Stratheden Hospital, or the Fife and Kinross District Asylum, opened on July 1st 1866. The asylum was built in Springfield near Cupar by Fife District Lunacy Board and the Kinross District Lunacy Board to accommodate up to 200 mental health patients, the initial patient roster was 159. District Boards were created by the Lunacy (Scotland) Act 1857. They were made up of representatives of the Commissioners of Supply for Fife and for Kinross and burgh magistrates. Their function was to provide asylums for the reception and care of pauper lunatics. The first chief physician, Dr Tuke, was regarded highly as a doctor who changed the traditional methods of mental health care and helped pioneer the “open door” policy of the hospital. This policy involved not locking the doors of the hospital like a prison. In 1873 Dr Tuke retired and it was noted in a report by the local health commissioner that under his care the hospital had undertaken “a steady progressive improvement” and had assumed a “very prominent place among the asylums of Scotland.” Patients would do simple paid jobs, such as teasing hair out of chairs and upholstery. A bolt of lightning caused a large fire in 1888, which fortunately resulted in no fatalities.In 1896 the hospital underwent a vast extension programme in order to ease overcrowding. Over £20,000 was spent, in order to increase the capacity of the hospital to 600. In 1900 the Springfield estate was completely purchased, and by 1905 two new hospital wings had been opened, to accommodate the large influx of in-patients seen by the hospital at the time.The next era of the hospital was led under the care of Dr Turnbull, who received many commendations on his running of the hospital. His resignation in 1914 led to what was described as the “end of an era” for the hospital and was noted that “his influence was felt far beyond the immediate sphere of his daily labours.” Also in 1914 the Fife and Kinross District Lunacy Boards were replaced by the Fife and Kinross District Board of Control (Mental deficiency and Lunacy (Scotland) Act 1913).In the First World War the asylum treated a few cases of men who became ill while serving in the armed forces. But the majority of Fife servicemen needing psychiatric treatment must have been sent to other hospitals. Civilian patients were admitted from outside the Fife and Kinross Area as other asylums were taken over by the military. In January 1917 more than a hundred patients were transferred from the Perth District Asylum at Murthly. Perth District Asylum was used by the War Office as a military psychiatric hospital until March 1919. (The Murthly Hospital records are in the University of Dundee Archives their ref THB 30).In April 1918 some more patients were transferred from Larbert Asylum. Larbert was used by the Admiralty as a military hospital. The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 abolished the Board of Control. Responsibility for the hospital passed to the Fife Joint Asylum Committee (with representatives from Fife County Council, Kirkcaldy Town Council, Dunfermline Town Council and Perthshire County Council for Kinross).The National Health Service Act 1947 brought in new measures and organisational structures throughout the country. From June 1948 the hospital was managed by the Springfield Mental Hospital Group. The board name was changed to the Fife Mental Hospital Board of Management In August 1948. On the 7th July 1948 it was decided that Fife and Kinross District Asylum was to change it’s name to Stratheden Hospital.Playfield House: On 10th Sept 1969 the Regional Hospital Board approved some capital building projects recommended to be taken in the period subsequent to 1972. £500, 000 to be allocated to a psychogeriatric unit, a day unit and a child psychiatry unit. On 23rd Sept 1970 the Board confirmed their intention to provide a new unit for the Department of Child & Family Psychiatry in the Capital Building Programme after 1971/72. The collection includes photographs of the building in construction in July 1973 and 1974. The units were sited close to the existing adolescent unit. So it appears that the new unit was opened in 1974-1975.The hospital still operates as a mental health clinic. Since July 2005 Stratheden Hospital has been managed by the Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth Community Health Partnership, NHS Fife.

Access Conditions Access to closed records is only allowed to readers with written permission from the Administration Services Manager, Mental Health Directorate, NHS Fife, Whytemans Brae Hospital, Whytemans Brae, Kirkcaldy tel 01592 648 083.
Admin History

Stratheden Hospital, or the Fife and Kinross District Asylum, opened on July 1st 1866. The asylum was built in Springfield near Cupar by Fife District Lunacy Board and the Kinross District Lunacy Board to accommodate up to 200 mental health patients, the initial patient roster was 159. District Boards were created by the Lunacy (Scotland) Act 1857. They were made up of representatives of the Commissioners of Supply for Fife and for Kinross and burgh magistrates. Their function was to provide asylums for the reception and care of pauper lunatics. The first chief physician, Dr Tuke, was regarded highly as a doctor who changed the traditional methods of mental health care and helped pioneer the “open door” policy of the hospital. This policy involved not locking the doors of the hospital like a prison. In 1873 Dr Tuke retired and it was noted in a report by the local health commissioner that under his care the hospital had undertaken “a steady progressive improvement” and had assumed a “very prominent place among the asylums of Scotland.” Patients would do simple paid jobs, such as teasing hair out of chairs and upholstery. A bolt of lightning caused a large fire in 1888, which fortunately resulted in no fatalities.In 1896 the hospital underwent a vast extension programme in order to ease overcrowding. Over £20,000 was spent, in order to increase the capacity of the hospital to 600. In 1900 the Springfield estate was completely purchased, and by 1905 two new hospital wings had been opened, to accommodate the large influx of in-patients seen by the hospital at the time.The next era of the hospital was led under the care of Dr Turnbull, who received many commendations on his running of the hospital. His resignation in 1914 led to what was described as the “end of an era” for the hospital and was noted that “his influence was felt far beyond the immediate sphere of his daily labours.” Also in 1914 the Fife and Kinross District Lunacy Boards were replaced by the Fife and Kinross District Board of Control (Mental deficiency and Lunacy (Scotland) Act 1913).The Local Government (Scotland) Act 1929 abolished the Board of control. Responsibility for the hospital passed to the Fife Joint Asylum Committee (with representatives from Fife County Council, Kirkcaldy Town Council, Dunfermline Town Council and Perthshire County Council for Kinross).The National Health Service Act 1947 brought in new measures and organisational structures throughout the country. From June 1948 the hospital was managed by the Springfield Mental Hospital Group. The board name was changed to the Fife Mental Hospital Board of Management In August 1948. On the 7th July 1948 it was decided that Fife and Kinross District Asylum was to change it’s name to Stratheden Hospital.The hospital still operates as a mental health clinic. Since July 2005 Stratheden Hospital has been managed by the Kirkcaldy and Levenmouth Community Health Partnership, NHS Fife.

Calm Record ID5be08099-d92b-49a9-884b-d48fd216a55b
Start Date1866-01-01
End Date1970-01-01
LevelCollection
Original Date Data1866-1970
Part Of

Statutory Authorities

StatusOpen
Title No StrokesH