"Well, the earlier wards were horrendous. They were just children institutionalised in little prisons which they called "cots" - and there was the smell of urine, and there was just eerie silence, or the noise of rocking. That was at its worst - I suppose in the 50s and the 60s. I saw that kind of thing when I was sent as a consultant by the World Vision to Romania in the 80s I think - after the Ceaucescu regime fell - and to look at 'orphanages'. Now they really were children who had all sorts of suspect and very frequently very minor defects that were not thought to be acceptable by the Ceaucescu regime. And I would go to many of these orphanages which were in transitional times and here you would see echoes of what we had seen in the 50s and the 60s - and that was just long Victorian dormitory corridors with little cots, the smell of urine, the eerie silence, or the noise of rocking, or just bits of plastic - because there was nothing else to stimulate.
So we'd come a long way with the initiatives that Guy Hamilton was introducing when he was director of the emerging new service. Pyrton was much better than that. It was moving towards a much more cottage kind of family-orientation. It hadn't arrived at that, but at least it was providing the positive therapeutic intervention, activities, certainly a quality of care which was respectful of those for whom they cared as being primarily humans rather than conditions."