Please note: Access Direction 7 applies to NSW-operated mental health facilities and asylums for the poor/infirm and destitute, except Liverpool State Hospital.
Patient records created by the Liverpool State Hospital and Home, 1890-1959, are Open to Public Access (OPA). This is an exception to the access direction.
Records more than 110 years old are Open to Public Access (OPA). You can access the records in the reading room.
Patient-identifying records - Closed to Public Access (CPA) for 110 years
NSW Ministry of Health has made an access direction that closes all patient identifying records for 110 years. The direction includes NSW run mental health facilities and records created by asylums for the poor and destitute, such as those listed in our catalogue under the name of the facility, and under the Government Asylums Branch (with the exception of Liverpool State Hospital).
To obtain access to records created less than 110 years ago you will need to follow the three steps below:
Step 1 - Obtain permission from the NSW Ministry of Health
The NSW Ministry of Health does not distinguish between patients of asylums for the poor and destitute and those of mental health institutions in their application procedures. Contact the department at:NSW Ministry of Health Locked Bag 2030 St Leonards NSW 1590
Attention: Records and Library Services
Phone: (02) 9424 5736
If your application is successful NSW Ministry of Health will notify you in writing.
If you are researching a patient who was in a number of hospitals you may need to approach several agencies for permission, eg: if the patient was at Gladesville (contact NSW Ministry of Health) and also at Parramatta (contact Cumberland Hospital).
a. Hospitals that are closed
To access patient records from hospitals that are no longer operating and are held as NSW State archives contact the NSW Ministry of Health. An exception is the records from Hospital for Consumptives, Waterfall / Waterfall Sanatorium. To request permission to access Waterfall Sanatorium records contact:
Waterfall NSW 2233
Telephone: (02) 8545 4700
b. Hospitals that are still operating
These hospitals include Bloomfield Hospital and Cumberland Hospital (Parramatta Mental Hospital). You will need to contact the hospital directly.Bloomfield Hospital
Western NSW Local Health District
Health Information Service
Orange Health Service
PO Box 319
Orange NSW 2800
Telephone: (02) 6369 3722 Cumberland Hospital
Western Sydney Local Health District
Health Information and Record Service
Locked Bag 7118
Parramatta CBD 2124
Telephone: (02) 9840 3321
c. Stockton Hospital and Peat and Milson Island Hospital
Patient records from Stockton Hospital and Peat and Milson Island Hospital are under the control of the Department of Human Services. For permission to access Stockton Hospital records contact:NSW Department of Family and Community Services
Right to Information Officer
Ageing Disability and Home Care
Telephone: (02) 9716 2662
Step 2 - Contact us ten working days before your visit
Because many of the records, such as indexes and registers show a number of individuals on one page, our reading room staff need to check the records on your behalf to confirm the records exist.
You should contact us ten working days in advance and provide the following information:
- name of patient
- name of facility
- dates of admission
- dates of discharge/death
We will advise you if the records check is unsuccessful. In some instances it may be possible to send copies to remote users for a fee.
Step 3 - Visit the reading room
To access the records you will need to:
- visit the Western Sydney Reading Room
- apply for a readers ticket and show identification to confirm your name address and signature
- bring your letter(s) of permission from NSW Ministry of Health, and
- ensure the person who is named in the letter to access the records is the person visiting the reading room.
You will only be given access to the records of the individual named in the letter of permission. In most instances you will be able to obtain copies of this material.