Prior to 1890 no patient files were kept. The admission papers (HSD 285) were filed in a sequence and endorsed with admission details. Occasionally some correspondence was filed with them. Since c.1890 the admission papers have almost always been placed on a patient file in this series.
The records of the Royal Derwent Hospital became badly disorganised in storage and when transferred to the Archives Office of Tasmania (T.1345/1-103) three separate series were grouped together in a single alphabetical sequence as HSD 284. Files relating to Patients at Millbrook Rise Psychopathic Hospital (AB 372) and to staff of the Royal Derwent Hospital (AB 389) have now been removed from this series. Files appear to have accompanied patients transferred between the Royal Derwent Hospital and Millbrook Rise Psychopathic Hospital. Therefore, there is no separate file in each institution for patients treated at both. Rather, there is a single file, held usually by the institution to which the patient was first admitted.
Although this series was originally arranged numerically, according to the Admission Register number, the alphabetical arrangement imposed at the time of transfer has been retained. Firstly, because part of the index (HSD 288) has been lost, and secondly because the Hospital itself had re-arranged the files it still held (now consignments two and three of this series) into alphabetical sequences. This series includes files for all categories of patient, including those in the "Government Institution for Mental Defectives" transferred from St John's Park to New Norfolk in 1942.
The files in consignment one are for patients admitted after c.1890 and who had died or been discharged by 1965. They do not contain clinical information. That is to be found in the various series of Case Books. Most files contain the admission papers and correspondence with relatives and/or the Charitable Grants/ (later) Social Services Department, much of it relating to payment for the patient's treatment.
Clinical information relating to the illness and treatment of each patient was recorded in case books held on each ward. Where a correspondence file exists in consignment 1 of this series there should be case book folios in either series AB365 or series AB479.
The use of case books to record clinical information about all the patients on a ward was discontinued in the 1960s. Consignemnts two and three, in addition to the administrative files described above, contain a clinical file for each patient.
These records are part of the holdings of the Tasmanian Archives