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'Admissions for Observation' book, unused, United Kingdom, 1900-1940

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A patient’s whole history at the psychiatric ward of Farnborough Hospital (now the Princess Royal University Hospital) could be recorded over a single line. Information such as name, age, sex, and date of admission was given a general reference number to help keep track of a patient’s medical history. Such documentation is indicative of the greater levels of bureaucracy and record keeping that characterised healthcare in the twentieth century. Patients were also classified according their mental disability, the type of healthcare (private or not) and whether it was the patient’s first or second visit to a psychiatric ward. The ledger also recorded when the patient was transferred, discharged or died.

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Glossary: book

A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers. Usually continuous printing or writing.