Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Centre Lawn, Admitting

Still used today. I will place lots of historical information about the building into this blog. If you have any yourself, get in touch. Or just post them into the comments.


As the hospital population increased at Essondale, the second building, the Acute Psychopathic Unit, now known as Centre Lawn, was officially opened November 1, 1924. It cost $623,168.87 to build and the original capacity of the building was for 300 beds. The occupation of this building made it possible to reclassify a great many of the patients. The top floor of the building was set aside as a psychopathic admission unit entirely separate in its staff organization and its care of patients from all other areas of the institution.
All patients admitted to the hospital were received in this department where physical, laboratory and medical examinations were done.
Patients would then go to a staff clinic where their case was studied and recommendations made by staff as a whole for further treatment. The patient would then be transferred to whatever department of the hospital it was felt best suit their patients needs and requirements. The first registered nurse, Miss Van Wyck, was appointed as Superintendent and there was a great difference from earlier matrons. Beside her registration Miss Van Wyck had special post graduate training in "mental disease" as well as considerable practical experience. Her staff consisted of graduates in psychiatric nursing who came from other Canadian hospitals and the United Kingdom.
It was again noted that there was "a great and most pressing need" at the hospital for more bed capacity. There was considerable overcrowding in the women's department at Public Hospital for the Insane,( P.H.I. ) in New Westminster and it was recommended that immediate consideration be given to providing more beds at P.H.I. and to the construction of the permanent Chronic Building for female patients. It was anticipated that this would take three to five years to complete.