About the author of this blog, Dr Rachel Davis
I am the eldest of 3 siblings, children of Dr and Mrs Robert Brocklesby Davis. I am a Consultant Psychiatrist, working in New Zealand since 2004. I moved to New Zealand in 2004 because my son was studying there, and I wished to be closer to him. Since leaving the family home in Ranchi and moving to New Zealand, I have made 3 visits to Ranchi. Each time, the improvements I have seen in the Davis Institute of Neuropsychiatry have completely staggered me. Since the death of Mrs Davis, my mother in 2004, the Davis Institute of Neuropsychiatry is being managed by the Davis Family Trust. Since 2004, the hospital has been upgraded with many new buildings, including a new men’s ward, a new women’s ward, a new family ward and upgrades to the office and outpatient Department. A brand-new state-of-the-art hospital kitchen and canteen is being built, due to be completed in 2018. There has been a new toilet and shower block added for outpatients and visitors, many of whom have traveled long distances and are in dire need of these facilities. Infrastructure has been improved with new vehicles, including a new ambulance and pickup truck. Three state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly electricity generators have been installed for standby power. The grounds have been landscaped and there has been a lot of excellent artwork done on the grounds. From the point of view of the patient experience, the wards are much more comfortable, with hot water and improved facilities. The quality of food has improved. The patients are able to purchase special food from the hospital canteen. Staffing has improved, with more psychiatrists and many more nurses. The diagnostic testing facilities have improved with an upgraded clinical laboratory, x-ray, EEG, and ECG facilities. My friend and constant companion from New Zealand, Barbie Ohhlsen, has made several trips with me to Ranchi and has been inducted as a new Trustee for the Davis Family Trust. She commented on the new buildings, the gardens and art works (she is a long-time art collector and art enthusiast). She tells me that as one walks through the gates of the Davis Institute, one feels as if you have entered an oasis in a desert. She says that you immediately feel joy, healing and caring. She says that the landscape artwork is exquisite and that the mosaic work is spectacular. The hospital can only be uplifting and healing to anyone coming for help here. Dr Elizabeth Davis (Lizzy) complements the gardens with her colourful art works and installations. Other artists also have contributed to the artwork. Her vision of a healing space has been outstanding. The Davis Family Trust is realizing her artistic vision and is complimenting it with landscape art installations.
Seeing the wonderful developments and improvements in the Davis Institute of Neuropsychiatry is inspiring and it is an honour for me to join in the celebration of its ongoing metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly. This website will reflect the wonderful spirit of this place.
The Davis Institute of Neuropsychiatry is a private psychiatric hospital in Ranchi, India, founded in 1955. The Institute is situated on a 5-acre section of land, set in extensive gardens, and wonderful colourful artwork. There are 100 acute inpatient psychiatric beds. It has three inpatient wards, including a family ward with 11 rooms. The inpatient stay is about 21 days. There is a busy outpatient department, where four Consultant Psychiatrists, Dr Milind Borde, Dr Elizabeth Davis, Dr P.K. Choudhury, and Dr V.K Sinha see outpatients. There is also a pharmacy, clinical laboratory, X Ray department, EEG, and ECG facilities. Its kitchen and canteen provide meals to patients, families visitors, and staff. It has solid infrastructure including a fleet of vehicles, standby power generators, and numerous deep bore and open wells for water supply. The high quality of care, and excellent outcomes for patients has given it an excellent reputation in the health care field.
History of the Davis Family Trust
The Davis Institute of Neuropsychiatry was founded by Dr Robert Brocklesby Davis and Mrs. Aleyamma Davis in 1955. Dr Robert Brocklesby Davis was born on 27 of December 1911 in Amritsar, Punjab. His father, Dr George Brocklesby Davis, was an English missionary doctor who had come to India and was stationed as the chief surgeon in a mission hospital in Amritsar. He came from a long line of doctors, academics, and missionaries in England. His mother Lucy Howard, also had come as a missionary to teach children in Amritsar, where she had met and married him . The couple had 8 children,and Robert was the eldest. He grew up in Amritsar until the age of eight. In 1919, one week before the Jallianwala Baag massacre, his father's Sikh patients advised him to leave India, as his family would be in danger. The family hurriedly relocated to Ely, a small village near Cambridge, where Dr George Davis became a country GP. Robert Davis was educated in England, and qualified as a doctor from the London Hospital in 1936. Due to Dr Robert Davis’s connection with India, he joined the Indian Medical Service in 1937. He was posted to Rawalpindi. As he had a keen interest in Psychiatry, he was appointed as Psychiatric Specialist to the Northern Command from 1938-1942. During World War II he joined the British Army and became the Medical Officer in a parachute brigade. He led an evacuation of many walking wounded soldiers through the jungles in Nagaland, while under Japanese fire, and was awarded the D.S.O. (Distinguished Service Order) for his bravery by Queen Elizabeth II.
After the war, in 1946, Dr Robert Davis became the Medical Superintendent of the European Mental Hospital in Ranchi (now known as the Central Institute of Psychiatry). He was responsible for making this hospital into the leading center for Psychiatry in India at that time. He introduced the first EEG in India and did the first neurosurgery in Ranchi, along with army surgeons from the Namkom Military Hospital. He also started doing the first modified ECT and Insulin Coma treatment in India. He conducted trials of new drugs as soon as they were available. Dr Davis started a pathology and radiology department. He modernized the hospital, and ran it as a therapeutic community. Patients and staff had socials, picnics,played games and had outings together. . He loved teaching and taught post-graduate psychiatry students. Many of the leading psychiatrists in India were trained under him. During this period, he obtained his DPM from London whilst taking regular sabbatical visits and working in the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Neurology.
Along with other senior psychiatrists in India he was instrumental in founding the Indian Psychiatric Society in 1947. He was the founder secretary and remained secretary until 1954, when he became IPS President. He regularly attended all its national conferences. Dr Davis was a member of the UPSC for many years and served on the committee for drafting the Mental Health Act. His research interests were the epidemiology of psychiatric disorders, schizophrenia, major depression, catatonia, and cannabis psychosis.
After resigning from the European Mental Hospital in 1955, he married Aleyamma Eapen, an Indian nurse, who was the Matron of the European Hospital. She was the first Indian nurse to be sent by the government to the Maudsley Hospital, London, for training in psychiatric nursing. Together, they started the Kishore Nursing Home (now known as the Davis Institute of Neuropsychiatry) in 1955. Dr and Mrs. Davis succeeded in making their hospital one of the most well-known private psychiatric hospitals in the country. As of today, over 70,000 inpatients have been treated here.
Dr Robert Davis became an Indian citizen in 1948 and was a great admirer of Gandhi. He died on 8 October 1980 at the age of 69.
What we are today
After Dr Robert Davis died, Mrs. Aleyamma Davis was the sole owner of the Davis Institute of Neuropsychiatry. She wanted to ensure that the hospital continued to serve the people of India after she died and accordingly she started a Trust which was known as the Davis Family Trust. This Trust was responsible for the management of the hospital from the 1st of August 2004 wth Mrs. Aleyamma Davis as the first Managing Trustee. The other trustees were Dr Milind Borde, Mrs. Hazel Davis and Mr. Cherian Abraham. After Mrs. Aleyamma Davis died on 26 September 2004, Dr Milind Borde became the Managing Trustee, a post which he still holds.
The priority of the Trust was to plan to completely rebuild the infrastructure, since the existing buildings were outdated . The main problem was a lack of funds, since most of the patients came from Jharkhand and Bihar which are the poorest states in the country. We realised that it would take 10 to 15 years to completely revamp the infrastructure and we planned accordingly. We had to start small and be patient.
The first new complex we constructed was a new Toilet Block for outpatients and their relatives which was much needed. After that we constructed of the new Men's Ward. This construction was done over a period of years and the new Men's Ward was commissioned in 2008. The next priority was the construction of a Family Ward, where patients could stay along with their families. We constructed eleven rooms with attached bathrooms for the family ward. We found we needed a hall to hold patient education programs, medical meetings, and other functions. This new hall was constructed and named the Mrs. A.B. Davis Memorial Hall.
We then went on to pave all the roads in our campus with interlocking bricks and landscape the gardens. After this we demolished the old Women's Ward and built a new Women's Ward. We then remodeled our office and pharmacy and built a storage area on top of the office where old patient records could be kept. Our current project is to build a new hospital kitchen for inpatients and a new canteen for outpatients and their relatives. This build has been started and will be completed in 2018. Our goal is to continue to improve our facilities and services. It remains a long and difficult process and has involved a lot of hard work and sacrifice. However,for us, this is a continuing journey to provide the best possible facilities for both patients and their families. It is your support which has made all this possible and we will continue to work with you in the future,retaining the same level of excellence.