‘It was lots of institutions’ Highvolume Play Pause Stop

Courtesy of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

Duncan Mitchell was born in 1962, and trained as a nurse at Calderstones between 1983 and 1986. After qualification he became a staff nurse, then deputy charge nurse on a resettlement area at Calderstones. After nearly two years he left to work in community based settings. He has been involved in the lives of people with learning disabilities both as a practitioner and academic most of his adult life.

In an interview he reflects upon the key factors that shaped the everyday experience of people who lived in Calderstones.


I think the main thing I’d want to say is that we talk about one institution but it was lots of institutions. And the experience of individuals at Calderstones would have been very different depending which ward they were on. And it was very different for some of the people who lived there depending which shift was on – they would be  a completely different culture. And they used to know what the Red Shift would expect – I mean the fact the residents were constantly saying, Who’s on tomorrow? Are you on? ‘Cause they knew the day would be different depending who was on. So it was lots of different institutions. within the one. That was my real memory of the place and subsequently I know that from looking in the records of other institutions as well…

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