Board of Control for Lunacy and Mental Deficiency

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The Board of Control for Lunacy and Mental Deficiency was a United Kingdom body overseeing the treatment of the mentally ill. It was created by the Mental Deficiency Act 1913 to replace the Commissioners in Lunacy, under the Home Office but independent in that it reported to the Lord Chancellor (who would investigate breaches of care and integrity). It was transferred to the Ministry of Health by the Ministry of Health Act 1919 and reorganised in 1930.

The Board consisted of: a Chairman, two Senior Medical Commissioners, one Senior Legal Commissioner, six Commissioners (lawyers and doctors), six Inspectors and administrative staff. By law, at least one of these had to be a woman. The Commissioners of the board went round the country seeing that those detained under the various mental and mental deficiency Acts were legally in custody and that care was proper and moneys and other properties owned by patients were not being misused or stolen.

The board was based in Northumberland Avenue, London, until 1939 when it was moved to Hobart House, Grosvenor Place.

Its responsibility was limited to England and Wales.

Its functions were transferred to the Minister of Health by the National Health Service Act 1946


Announcements of members were carried in the major national newspapers, including The Times.

From the start of 1931, the board was reconstituted, with a chairman and four other members. L.G. Brock continued as chairman, with S.J. Fraser MacLeod, C. Hubert Bond, Arthur Rotherham, Ellen Pinsent.


  1. ^ The Times, Saturday, Nov 01, 1913; pg. 8; Issue 40358; col E
  2. ^ The Board Of Control. The Times, Thursday, Nov 09, 1916; pg. 5; Issue 41320; col C
  3. ^ The Board of Control. The Times, Tuesday, Apr 19, 1921; pg. 4; Issue 42698; col F
  4. ^ The Times, Friday, Oct 22, 1926; pg. 18; Issue 44409; col D
  5. ^ The Times, Monday, Feb 13, 1928; pg. 14; Issue 44815; col C
  6. ^ The Board Of Control. (Official Appointments and Notices) The Times Wednesday, Jul 10, 1929; pg. 5; Issue 45251; col C
  7. ^ The Times, Thursday, Dec 17, 1931; pg. 12; Issue 46008; col D Board Of Control
  • Phil Fennell (1996). Treatment without consent: law, psychiatry and the treatment of mentally disordered people since 1845. Social ethics and policy series. Routledge. p. 75. ISBN 0-415-07787-7.