About the Last Refuge collection

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"Are long stay institutions for old people necessary"

'The Last Refuge' data collection consists of interview transcripts, photographs and field notes generated by a 1958/1959 national study, undertaken by Peter Townsend, which investigated the provision of long-stay institutional care for old people.

The study sought to ask "Are long stay institutions for old people necessary in our society, and, if so, what form should they take?"

In-depth interviews were conducted with local authority chief welfare officers, with serving staff and with residents in almost 200 institutions. Photographs and field notes about the condition of the buildings and the facilities were created. Diaries were also kept by a number of residents and staff.

This research was used by Townsend for his analysis, subsequently published in his book 'The Last Refuge’(1962).

Data collection: SN 4750 Last Refuge, 1958-1959

Townsend, P., Last Refuge, 1958-1959 [computer file]. 2nd Edition. Colchester, Essex: UK Data Archive [distributor], August 2011. SN: 4750, http://dx.doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-4750-1

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