On the 9th August 2018, we visited The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
We met librarian Sarah Lawson who gave us a brief history of the hospital and told us more about the fascinating patient records.
We felt privileged to be able to look through the original volumes from WW1, containing the doctor’s handwritten notes on patient’s history, diagnosis, treatment and progress of various brain injuries.
During the War, more than 1,000 service personnel were admitted to the hospital, with hysteria, neurasthenia and shell shock being the most commonly treatment conditions.
“It’s amazing to think we’re holding documents that are 100 years old” Stephen, Research Group member
Whereas the records at The National Archive’s had been sourced for us beforehand, we had to search for local Cambridgeshire soldier’s in these patient files as they were simply arranged alphabetically by name. We found 3 men from Cambridgeshire who had sustained a brain injury and been treated at the neurology hospital at Queen Square, London, all for gunshot wounds to the head. This absorbing research will all feed into our development of the project outcomes: the performance, film, podcast and posters.
“ I struggled with a lot of issues, especially how I felt my father’s personality had changed and Headway Cambridgeshire helped me a lot at that time in my life. They made me feel much less alone and I’ll always be grateful for that. ”