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Rule book for the City of Cardiff Mental Hospital

Rules and regulations for the City of Cardiff Mental Hospital are in this book, published in 1919. It outlines penalties for ill-treating patients. This indicates an increasing awareness of the ‘rights’ of patients with mental illness after the First World War. The rules state no patient should be struck or placed in restraints or in seclusion, except in cases of extreme violence. An attendant caught carrying out such acts would be dismissed. The institution was run under strict security. Patients’ mail was searched for contraband such as alcohol or sharp instruments and letters were read. Patients were allowed some freedoms. Those with a ‘special trade’ were employed outside the main hospital buildings. Publications of a ‘cheerful nature’ were supplied for the rest. The rule book was published by S. Glossop and Son, of New Street, Cardiff.

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Glossary: book

A written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers. Usually continuous printing or writing.

Glossary: psychiatric hospital

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