The following text is taken from a booklet of pictures of Coton Hill in the possession of Jim Foley. The legal terms used post-date the 1930 Mental Treatment Act

I have included notes on the text in the same form as this header

Coton Hill Mental Hospital, Stafford

This Institution was founded in 1851 and is a Registered Mental Hospital for the reception of ladies and gentlemen (private patients only) suffering from any type of mental disorder. Rate aided cases are not admitted. Coton Hill is situated on a high and healthy position about one mile from the town of Stafford, and has excellent views in all directions.

The grounds are extensive, and the patients are encouraged to play games and to interest themselves in handicraft work, etc. The Farm (consisting of about 100 acres) supplies the Institution with milk, eggs, poultry, vegetables, etc.

The Management is regulated by rules approved by a Secretary of State, and consists of a President, Vice-Presidents, County Justices appointed by the Court of Quarter Sessions, and three members appointed by the Governors of the Staffordshire General Infirmary.

When patients are sufficiently well mentally to justify it, they may be given parole either within or without the grounds. In Winter time dances and cinematograph entertainments are held in a large recreation hall, where there is a stage for theatrical productions, etc. On the male side there is an excellent billiard room, and on both sides the patients have the benefit of the wireless transmissions.

In the grounds there is a private Chapel where services are conducted regularly.

The wards themselves are comfortably furnished, and patients are supplied with private bedrooms provided their mental condition does not prevent this. There are public sitting-rooms, lounges, &c., for the use of all patients. Private sitting-rooms are obtainable when desired.

Dr. MacDonald, the Resident Medical Superintendent, may be consulted privately, by appointment, in regard to mental cases either at the patient's home or at the Hospital.

The 1930 Mental Treatment Act supplemented, rather than replacing, the 1890 Lunacy Act

Necessary Formalities for Admission of Patients

Three classes of patients are received:-


Persons suffering from nervous or mental symptoms may enter the Institution voluntarily provided they are not sufficiently ill to render certification necessary. In such cases no certificates are required, the patient being merely required to sign a form stating that he or she desires to enter the hospital. Patients in this class may leave at any time on giving 72 hours notice to do so.


In many cases patients who are ill mentally must be placed under certificate. The following certificates (which may be had on application to the Medical Superintendent) are then necessary :-

This should be signed, if possible by a relative, who must have seen the patient within a period of 14 days.

One of which should, if possible, be signed by the usual Medical Attendant.

(3) A RECEPTION ORDER: Signed by a J.P. specially appointed for the purpose.


In very urgent cases a patient may be admitted on an Urgency Order, signed by a relative and one Medical Parcftitioner.

This only holds good for 7 days, and during this period the usual forms have to be completed.


A Person suffering from Mental Illness and who is incapable of expressing willingness or unwillingness to undergo treatment, may be admitted on a written application by a relative and two medical recommendations. One of the recommendations must, be made by a medical practitioner approved by the Board of Control, and the other, if possible, by the usual medical attendant.


Full particulars may be had on application to the Medical Superintendent.


Coton Hill lies about one mile from the centre of the town on the Weston Road. It may be reached from Stafford Railway Station (L.M.S.) in a few minutes by taxi.

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