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Fair Mile into the NHS

Occupational therapy

Occupational therapy at Fair Mile, c.1959 (P/HA2/5/1 (part))


In 1948 Fair Mile became part of the NHS. It ceased to be known as an asylum or a mental hospital.  It was joined with Borocourt and other, smaller residential homes as part of a group of service points delivering care.

This period coincided with dramatic improvements in pharmaceutical and psychological treatments for mental illness.  With the introduction of the NHS and the modern welfare state, together with the post-war economic boom, standards of living and general health also began to rise.

Fair Mile began to use the new ‘physical therapies’ such as electro-convulsive therapy, new drug treatments, and trained psychologists, social workers and therapists. The hospital also began to offer a more flexible range of options to suit individual needs, such as outpatient clinics and daycare centres.  Mental health became more integrated into general health care.

ECT treatment

(right) ECT treatment at Fair Mile, c.1959 (P/HA2/5/1 (part))

During the 1980s, social policy moved away from the provision of large-scale residential care and towards what became known as ‘care in the community’.  This emphasised either out-patient care or smaller residential units. In 1993 Borocourt was closed, and Fair Mile followed in 2003.  In-patient care was moved to the newly-built Prospect Park Hospital in Reading.

Ballroom at Borocourt

(left) The ballroom at Borocourt, c.1959 (P/HA2/5/2 (part))



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9 response(s) so far…

David Caffery
Posted on the : 15 Mar 2013

I trained at Faimile from 1965 to 1969. Are there any staff members from that time who remember me? or Martin Longley, Momena Shamshudeen, Yvonne Trimm etcand would like to get in touch ? If you would like to contact me here is my Email ca.david1945@gmail .com

Posted on the : 29 May 2013

Hi Denise - we don't think we can publish the names in your message, but do you want us to put you in touch with anyone? Please let us know.

Carolyn East
Posted on the : 16 Oct 2013

Hi Anyone trained in aug 1982-1984? Prevous surname Jeanes. James and Judith are you out there? Please contact me Thanx

Posted on the : 22 Jan 2015

I have seen this building in more than one tv production - who owns it now and is it in regular use? :-)

Posted on the : 23 Jan 2015

Dear J - Fair Mile was converted into housing so is used every day.

Linda Rush Arterburn
Posted on the : 27 Mar 2018

My dad’s sister Lily Rush was there as a patient till her d3ath in 1975. Can anyone tell me if I can obtain her records for some closure?

Posted on the : 27 Mar 2018

Hello Linda Rush Arterburn We see that you have also written to us via email about this. This is what we would have suggested you do for such an enquiry. We will reply directly to your email. Regards, BRO.

Gillian Wright
Posted on the : 18 Jul 2018

My Grandma - Vera Payne stayed at Fair Mile in the 1950's and/or 1960's. I just wondered if I would be able to get hold of her records please. Unfortunately my Dad died in a machine accident when he was 21 years old and my Mum was 3 months pregnant with me. I know that Vera's (my Grandma) other son (my Uncle) also died - in a lorry accident so it was a lot for my Grandma. It would really help if I could see her records please. Thank you Gillian Wright Please could I have the email address so that I can email this message. Thank you

Posted on the : 24 Jul 2018

Hello Gillian Wright Apologies, but we've only just received your enquiry on here. However, we have received your emails and have responded directly them. Kind regards, BRO.


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