How did the Ely Hospital Inquiry put Mental Health reform on the agenda?

Courtyard Room HSMC (Park House)
Thursday 28 March 2019 (13:00-15:00)

Some 50 years ago, on March 27th 1969, a Report of the Inquiry into conditions at Ely Hospital, Cardiff(a long stay hospital for ‘mental subnormality’, to use the official terminology of the day) was presented to Parliament.

. It investigated charges towards people with ‘mental subnormality’ (using the official terminology of the day) in long-stay wards at Ely Hospital, Cardiff. It is generally considered the government began to implement changes to modernise services and make care more humane as a result of this Inquiry (chaired by future Conservative Chancellor, Geoffrey Howe). However, similar Inquiries that investigated conditions at similar hospitals set up after the publication of Barbara Robb’s book Sans Everything: A case to answer (1967) did not appear to result in any action.

This Seminar uses ‘Multiple Streams Analysis’ (following John Kingdon’s 1984 text Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies) to explore why Ely seemed to put mental health service reform on the agenda, while the ‘Sans Everything’ Inquiries did not.