Restricted Records

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Restricted Records

Postby Dig » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:39 pm

Hi all,

Glad to be back after a long absence! Now I'm back, I could do with your help.

I have discovered that two of my ancestors died in asylums. One at Powick in 1919 and the other at Barnsley Hall in 1926.

I am interested in accessing patient records for these institutions and know they are kept at Worcestershire Archives. Trouble is, the records remain closed for 100 years after the date of last entry due to data protection laws.

There are dozens of records I have identified on their online database which I want to view but it seems like a lot of hassle to get the information I need. I have been told that I need to contact someone at the NHS for permission, then prove that I am next of kin by ordering birth certificates and then pay the archive people to do a search for me. This will end up costing a small fortune for all the records I'm interested in :o Plus, some of the records I'm interested in are for events that occurred more than 100 years ago, but they are still restricted because there are more recent events in the same file! Even burial records are restricted, despite containing details of deceased individuals.

Does anyone know of a quicker and cheaper way of accessing restricted records that I might have missed? As always, your help is much appreciated.
If you don't know history, then you don't know anything. You are a leaf that doesn't know it is part of a tree.
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Re: Restricted Records

Postby Marchesgirl » Tue Apr 16, 2019 5:16 pm

When you say 'online database', I presume you mean the one on the Worcester Medical Museums website at I've been quite lucky and managed to access case notes for several people I've been interested in.

I've visited both Worcester Archives and Stafford Record Office in the last couple of years to look at case books for county asylums. The records I was interested in were over 100 years old and, although there were more modern records in the same book, the archivists allowed me to view the records of interest and used archival bindings to tie other parts of the register shut. As you are viewing the register in their sight, they can ensure that you don't undo the binding to look at anything you're not supposed to. I was able to transcribe and photograph the records I wanted to but advised that if I wanted to publish any of the information (I'm currently writing a book on one branch of my family) I would have to contact the relevant NHS Trust for permission. I recommend talking to the archive staff about what you want to look at - I found them incredibly helpful.
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