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Stratheden Hospital, Fife

Stratheden Hospital was first opened in July of 1866. The purpose built asylum buildings held up to 200 patients at the begining.

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. The reporting commissioner  was impressed by this and noted that not one of the patients had abused it, including an inmate from Perth Prison who had been transferred to the hospital. The patients health benefitted greatly from this advancement in treatment and it was noted by the reporting commissioner that this led to the patients becoming “more contented and less destructive.”

In 1896 the hospital underwent a vast extension programme in order to ease overcrowding. It was described by the reporting commissioner as “a valuable and instructive advance in asylum administration”. 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 NHS Act 1947 brought in new measures and organisational structures throughout the country, and Fife was no exception. The Springfield Mental Hospital Group, which was the governing body for the surrounding local mental health hospitals, was changed to the Fife Mental Hospital Board of Management. The NHS Act was implemented fully by 5th July 1948. On the 7th July 1948, just two days later, it was decided that Fife and Kinross District Asylum was to also undergo a name change. Implemented in January 1949, Fife and Kinross District Asylum was changed to what we now know as Stratheden Hospital.

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