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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 Minstry 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. 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.


  • Phil Fennell (1996). Treatment without consent: law, psychiatry and the treatment of mentally disordered people since 1845, Routledge.

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