Nurses Barttram, Brooks and Leggett (nee Rought) on Kersey Ward (F10), 1937.

“No restraint can be employed which is so powerful as tenderness.” Dr John Kirkman, Medical Superintendent (1829-1876)

Staff at the Suffolk County Asylum were dedicated to improving the lives of patients, none more so than Dr Kirkman.  He was opposed to the idea of using personal restraint, and preferred: “…watchfulness, activity, gentleness, and that peculiar tact acquired by long training to replace contests of strength between patient and keeper.” Staff endeavoured to follow Dr Kirkman’s example of ‘moral management’ to keep the asylum in order. Dr Kirkman was also reluctant to use seclusion unless absolutely necessary for violent patients.

  

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