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Town pass for psychiatric patients, Suffolk, England, 1953

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Rules, regulations and behaviour expected of patients when they were allowed to visit the local town were outlined on this town pass. It was issued in 1953 by St Audry’s Hospital in Suffolk. This pass indicates the increasing level of freedom allowed to some patients during the 1950s. Institutions closely controlled their behaviour and how they were perceived by the local community. Patients were not allowed to visit pubs, drink alcohol or post letters for other patients. They had to dress tidily at all times and return to the hospital by 7pm. Passes such as this indicate progress towards integration within the wider community. This attitude characterises today’s psychiatric care.

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Glossary: psychiatric hospital

Psychiatric hospital specialising in the treatment of serious mental illness, usually for relatively long-term patients.

Glossary: asylum

A historic term for a psychiatric hospital. The term in this context was common in the 1700s and 1800s, but is no longer in use.

Glossary: instructions - document genre

Information in the form of outlines of procedure, as directions or commands.

Glossary: pass

No description.