Crooked Acres Hospital
Crooked Acres Hospital, 1 Spen Lane, Leeds, LS5 3EJ, was opened on 2nd June 1938, as Crooked Acres Annexe to Meanwood Park Colony. The opening, originally recorded on a brass plaque in the entrance, was performed by Councillor John. R. Chappell. The Leeds Mental Health Services Committee then consisted of the Lord Mayor, Alderman J Badley, J.P., Councillor F. Carter, Councillor Ada Hewitt, Councillor Elizabeth M Lister and Councillor Sidney Webster. The co-opted members were Mrs E. Bonell, Miss H. M. Nicholson and A. Hawkyard, Esq., M.D., LL.D., J.P. Barrister at Law. The Town Clerk was Thomas Thornton and the Executive Officer was Samuel Wormald.
On the inception of the National Health Service in July 1948, Crooked Acres became a hospital under the jurisdiction of the Leeds Regional Hospital Board and the Leeds Group B Hospital Management Committee,H.M.C. No. 22.
Crooked Acres was closely associated with Meanwood Park Hospital, Leeds for nursing and medical staff and general services and it functioned as an annexe to Meanwood Park Hospital. Crooked Acres accommodated mentally handicapped women. In the past many of the residents went out to jobs locally often doing domestic work. Crooked Acres has functioned as a “Halfway House” between Meanwood Park Hospital and home or other accommodation outside the hospital. The residents have usually been transferred from Meanwood Park Hospital. For some years the number of residents was 31, but in the early Seventies this was gradually reduced to 20. Day patients have been accepted.
In “A Hospital Plan for England and Wales” proposed in 1962, Crooked Acres was scheduled for closure, but in 1971 a change in the policy in the care of mentally handicapped adults favoured the provision of small units and Crooked Acres fulfilled this recommendation. The League of Friends of Meanwood Park Hospital, established on 2nd December 1965, has taken an interest in Crooked Acres and people living in the locality have been voluntary visitors and helpers.
The Assistant Matron of Croked Acres for some time was Miss Dorothy Stubbs, who died aged 55 on 24th November 1969. She had been associated with Meanwood Park Hospital since 1934 and she was awarded the M.B.E in 1952. During 1972, Crooked Acres Hospital received a major refurbishment. A new heating system, new electric wiring, new bathroom fitting and new furniture were installed. The interior was redecorated and an outbuilding was converted into a laundry room for the residents to use for training purposes. On the ground floor Crooked Acres had two sitting rooms, a dining room, kitchen, staff office and a downstairs bedroom. Upstairs were more bedrooms. The house had extensive cellars and attic.
On the April 1974 Reorganisation of the National Health Service Crooked Acres became within the Western District of the Leeds Area Health Authority ( Teaching) geographically, but it remained linked to Meanwood Park Hospital, which was in the eastern district, for administrative purposes.
In November 1975, two male patients were admitted to Crooked Acres Hospital as an introduction to the development of a mixed unit and the number of men resident had increased to 11 in 1981. Crooked Acres Hospital held its own Garden Party on Saturday 27th August 1977 and raised £150. In 1981 a small lodge or cottage at Crooked Acres Hospital, previously used as a staff residence, was taken over for the accommodation of patients. Fire precautionary measures were installed. With a kitchen and living room downstairs and two rooms upstairs this lodge was brought into use as an independent living unit for one male and two female residents in July 1981. Later it was found to work best with two residents.
In April 1982 on the Restructuring of the N.H.S. Crooked Acres remained attached to Meanwood Park Hospital for administrative purposes under the Leeds Eastern Health Authority. In recent years, many residents at Crooked Acres have attended Adult Training Centres daily. Others have travelled each day to Meanwood Park Hospital to attend occupational departments there. Some have been engaged in activities during the day within Crooked Acres. Each resident’s progress has been reviewed at case conferences. The residents have had annual holidays. They have been encouraged to go out shopping, to have leave to their homes and to lead an independent life.
In the eighties Crooked Acres Hospital concentrated on rehabilitating its residents for independent living outside the hospital. The patients were taught to cater for themselves and to manage their own money.
On 17th August 1981, two residents, a man aged 68 and a woman aged 56, who had spent respectively 60 and 48 years in hospital, were married in St. Stephen’s Church, Kirkstall. They were discharged on 22nd June 1982 to a Housing Association flat in West Park Drive, Leeds 16. On 11th June 1983, a lady aged 59 was discharged to a council flat in Spen Lane, Leeds 16 after 41 years in hospital.