The Greenhouses

The National Health Service

When the war ended, the Directors noted "a feeling of restlessness" and uncertainty about the future. This was occasioned of course by the proposed reorganisation of the Health Services. When the National Health Service (Scotland) Act became law in 1948, the Royal Asylum of Montrose became the Royal Mental Hospital of Montrose, under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Regional Hospital Board, one of 5 set up in Scotland.

The new Act allowed patients who wished "to have greater privacy by paying the extra cost (the use of) any accommodation in single bedrooms or small wards that is not for the time being needed for other patients on medical grounds". By this time, there were around 140 private patients out of a total of 814, but inevitably, the numbers choosing to pay gradually declined, until by the 1970's provision for paying patients became no longer necessary. Thus ended the long saga of appropriate division of patients according to class and different rates of board which had been such a major headache to earlier Asylum Administrators.

The effects of the new Act were also soon felt in other ways, e.g. in 1948, the Board decided to adopt the same diet for both private patients and "rate-aided" patients. It is also reliably reported that just before the, final dinner of the old Board of Directors, held to celebrate their imminent demise, the portrait of Dr. Howden fell from its mountings and crashed to the floor. The significance of this event is left to the reader's imagination!

 

 

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