Records less than 30 years old are closed to public inspection. Records relating to individual patients are closed for 100 years.
Immediate source of acquisition:
Deposited under the 1958 Public Records Act by the Chairman of Homewood NHS Trust in January 1994 and March 1996.
Administrative / biographical background:
Botleys Park Hospital was founded by Surrey County Council as a 'colony for mental defectives' in 1932. Previously patients had been boarded out in institutions belonging to the Metropolitan Asylums Board, but following the introduction of the 1933 Mental Deficiency Act the County Council had to take direct responsibility for them. Existing accommodation at Clerk's Croft, Bletchingley and Murray House, Ottershaw, used from 1928, was not sufficient. This led to the decision to open the colony at Botleys Park. The site was purchased in 1931.
The 18th century mansion house at Botleys Park was adapted to provide accommodation for the nurses' home and new hospital buildings were erected. Mentally handicapped patients were divided into three groups (male, female and children) and were housed in villas in the grounds. Administrative and medical blocks, workshops, kitchens, a recreation hall and school were built at a cost of about £500000. The institution was formally opened by Lady Henriques, wife of Sir Philip Henriques, chairman of Surrey County Council, on 24 June 1939.
During World War II the hospital was used as a war hospital. Following the passing of the National Health Acts control of the hospital was transferred from Surrey County Council to the National Health Service in 1948. The hospital was administered by its own hospital management committee. By 1951 Botleys Park Hospital also included Murray House at Ottershaw, Brook House at Addlestone, Royal Hostel, Elstead, and Sherborne House, Basingstoke, Hampshire. In 1964 Botleys Park HMC amalgamated with Woking and Chertsey Group HMC to form the North West Surrey Group Hospital Management Committee. It subsequently became part of NW Surrey Health Authority. In the most recent National Health Service reorganisation the hospital became part of the Homewood NHS Trust.