As patients from Cane Hill were decanted into other hospitals and residential care facilities, the population declined greatly. Wards were gradually shut down and patients relocated so that only the wards closest to the administration block remained open.
October 1991 was the proposed final closure date, but due to the new Anerley Home failing to open on time, many patients were unable to move. Due to the instability of the elderly patients, it was decided not to move them twice in a short period of time, and Cane Hill’s closure was put back.
A proposal was put forwards for Cane Hill to operate as a ‘mini-institution’, with Alleyn and Browning wards to remain open. The corridors were to be closed up and access would only remain to the Administration area, the two wards and the cafeteria. Even the chapel would cease to be used, but the chaplain would be able to visit the wards. The Laundry was to close and patients clothing would be laundered at Netherne. Services such as the dentist and the hairdresser would be provided by contracters.
A budget was announced and approved for 2 wards with 50 patients, or 3 wards with 70 patients, and Cane Hill operated for a further 6 months as a ‘mini-institution’.
When the Anerley home opened in March 1992, Cane Hill closed it’s doors for the final time and the security guards moved into the administration block.
Cane Hill’s decision to operate as a mini-institution for 6 months contributed to the figures on the follow up report of the closure. Of the 103 patients who had agreed to participate while at the hospital, not one had become homeless. If these patients had been accomodated in hostels and bed and breakfasts, I feel that this figure would not have been acheived.