Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Claire Hilton
    Pages 1-18 Open Access
  3. Claire Hilton
    Pages 57-95 Open Access
  4. Claire Hilton
    Pages 173-200 Open Access
  5. Claire Hilton
    Pages 201-249 Open Access
  6. Claire Hilton
    Pages 251-269 Open Access
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 271-283

About this book


This book is open access under a CC BY 4.0 license.

This book tells the story of Barbara Robb and her pressure group, Aid for the Elderly in Government Institutions (AEGIS). In 1965, Barbara visited 73-year-old Amy Gibbs in a dilapidated and overcrowded National Health Service psychiatric hospital back-ward. She was so appalled by the low standards that she set out to make improvements. Barbara’s book Sans Everything: A case to answer was publicly discredited by a complacent and self-righteous Ministry of Health. However, inspired by her work, staff in other hospitals ‘whistle-blew’ about events they witnessed, which corroborated her allegations. Barbara influenced government policy, to improve psychiatric care and health service complaints procedures, and to establish a hospitals' inspectorate and ombudsman. The book will appeal to campaigners, health and social care staff and others working with older people, and those with an interest in policy development in England, the 1960s, women’s history and the history of psychiatry and nursing.


psychogeriatric elderly older people chronic illness mental health AEGIS NHS public services Sans Everything Open Access

Authors and affiliations

  • Claire Hilton
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Contemporary British History and Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and NeuroscienceKing's College LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • License CC BY
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-54812-8
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-54813-5
  • Buy this book on publisher's site