Gartnavel Royal Hospital, Glasgow

Reference HB13
Dates of Creation 1811-2002

Name of Creator Gartnavel Royal Hospital (formerly Glasgow Royal Lunatic Asylum)
Language of Material English

Physical Description 88.0 meters

Scope and Content

Minutes 1948-1964;
Annual reports and other publications 1814-1947;
Ledgers and cash books 1811-1957;
Case notes and records of electroconvulsive therapy 1816-1973;
Registers 1831-1975;
Admission documents 1816-1960;
Papers of auxiliary committee 1949-2002;
Registers of physical condition 1872-1958;
Files and papers of secretary / treasurers 1812-1957;
Files and papers of superintendents 1881-1987;
Files and papers of Dr A A Bell 1810-1966;
Miscellanous (including scrap book and publications) 1730-1999;
Photographs c1900-1991;
Maps and plans c1842-1989;
Records of gardener's department 1852-1993;
Western Regional Hospital Board circulars 1947-1965;
Education and training records 1968-1985;
Staff records kept by physician superintendent 1900-1968;
Pharmaceutical requisition books, 1953-1957.

Clinical records including patient case notes for 1814-1913 have been digitised and are available via the link provided.
Some patient case notes for the 1920s and 1930s (ref: HB 13/5/178-194) have been catalogued in detail with generous financial assistance from the Wellcome Trust. A database describing these case notes can be consulted in the Archives' searchroom.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Committee of Management of the Glasgow Lunatic Asylum was formed in 1804. Construction of the Asylum in Parliamentary Road near the present-day Buchanan Street Bus Station commenced in 1810 and was completed in 1814. In 1843 the Asylum moved to new premises at Gartnavel which, like the previous buildings, were designed to facilitate segregation both by gender and social class. Substantial extensions were added in 1877, 1937 and 1959.

In 1824 a royal charter was obtained. In 1931 the Glasgow Royal Lunatic Asylum was renamed the Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital, and the present name was adopted in 1963.

Construction of the adjacent Gartnavel General Hospital commenced in 1968, and as a result some sports and recreational facilities of the psychiatric hospital were lost. Towards the end of the nineteenth century the proportion of pauper lunatics at Gartnavel began to decline as parochial asylums came into being. After its transfer to the National Health Service Gartnavel continued to have a substantial proportion of paying patients.

Industrial/occupational therapy was formally introduced in 1922, and a psycho-geriatric unit was established in 1972. From 1948 until 1968, Gartnavel had its own Board of Management for Glasgow Royal Mental Hospital. In 1968 a new Board of Management for Glasgow Western and Gartnavel Hospitals was formed, partly to facilitate the construction of the Gartnavel General Hospital. In 1974 Gartnavel was placed in the Western District of the GGHB. When the Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust was formed in 1993, the hospital was placed within its jurisdiction. In 1999 the Greater Glasgow Community and Mental Health Services NHS Trust became the Greater Glasgow Primary Care NHS Trust. The Primary Care Trust became the Primary Care Division of NHS Greater Glasgow in 2004.

Alternative form available
Clinical records, 1814-1913, and administrative records to the mid Twentieth Century have been digitised and are available online.  

Largely in chronological order within record series unless further accessions have been added.

Conditions Governing Access
Data protection applies for clinical records up to 75 years after their creation, or 100 years if the data subject is a minor.

Acquisition Information
Records held within the National Health Service prior to transfer.

Other Finding Aids
Item level catalogue can be located in the searchroom.

Appraisal Information
Standard proceedures.