The staff at St Audry’s endeavoured to make the hospital environment more welcoming and homely for patients and their visitors.  In effect they created a ‘home from home’ with fresh flowers, animals and birds, plants, paintings and a variety of furniture.  Click on St Audry’s Lives to find out more about life at the hospital.

From the start, Dr John Kirkman firmly approved of the idea that St Audry’s should emulate a home setting: ‘The beneficial effect of decoration and ornamentation in furnishing the wards has often been pointed out…’

James R. Whitwell, Medical Superintendent (1896-1924), followed in Kirkman’s footsteps:

The Attendants shall use every endeavour to make their Wards pleasant, comfortable and home-like, and an Attendant in each Ward shall look after and water the plants supplied from the garden, and attend to the birds or other pet animals. They shall also strive to employ and amuse the Patients and to interest them in books and games. A great deal of good may be done in this way by patient perseverance.’ Suffolk District Asylum, Regulations and Instructions for Attendants and Nurses, c.1910.