|WINWICK HOSPITAL WARRINGTON|
EDITORIAL COMMENTJudging from the number of both written and verbal messages received, the reception of our first issue was favourable to the point of enthusiasm. We find pleasure in this but if 'tis true as Shakespeare said that "things bad begun make strong themselves by ill" then the converse must also be equally true and the good beginning in our case will require the sustained support of good contribution if the worthwhileness of publication is to be evidenced and justified. We record two apologies, first to our respected Chairman for a typographical error which designated him as a County Councillor, whereas in fact for 19 years past he has been a County Alderman. We hasten to enter the correction and at the same time seize the opportunity to say that his image at Winwick depends less on status symbols than upon the wisdom and understanding he has exercised in his dealings with us all over the years. Secondly we apologise for our cover - the one we have doesn't in any way reflect the excellence of the design submitted by Mr. Ulrich West. We shall do better soon. We publish to-day a selection of staff submissions, comment on them at this stage would be superfluous - each speaks for itself and points raised by the contributors are at once controversial and provocative. Remember space is limited and if your contribution doesn't appear this week - that doesn't necessarily indicate the waste paper basket.
THE YARD IN FOCUSThe publication of the first issue of THE STANDARD was well received by Engineering Department Staffs, particularly after reading in the Chairman's Remarks of the restorative miracle performed by them following the fire in the Recreation Hall. Of particular interest too, was the Editorial Column, which outlined some of the changes that are to take place in the Health Service, we look forward to the explanations in detail of the effect that the proposed changes will have on the working population. However, there is one change now being introduced for craftsmen and labourers, the effects of which, to us needs no explanation because we know only too well what they are. It is a change that is causing frustration, bitterness and low earnings and although at the moment it only affects building workers it will no doubt affect, in due course, nurses and other staff. I am of course referring to Job Evaluation. Although our craft skills and expertise is recognised by local administrators it is not so with those who conducted the job evaluation exercise and by those who negotiate pay awards for the Department of Health, for after months of negotiations and discussions, the best grading that our building craftsmen can obtain is that of a semi-skilled worker, and building labourers are graded as unskilled when in fact they are semi-skilled workers, and even this low grading is subject to our acceptance of a far reaching Flexibility Agreement. This is one change we can do without, it is an insult to men who are turning out first class work, who would like to take a pride in their work and who would like to be proud of the part they play in the Health Service. My purpose in writing this article is the hope that someone in the hierarchy of the Health Service will read it and be so influenced as to bring about a change of attitude by the Department of Health to accept and recognise that we are Craftsmen worthy of hire.
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COMPETITIONThe Hospital Management Committee has under consideration a change in the nomenclature of the wards. For the past seventy years wards have been numbered with the terms "up" and "down" used in conjunction. Whilst a numbering system may in essence be one of the simplest methods pointing out the shortest possible route to any given point it certainly seems lacking in imagination and savours of the incarceration age. The Committee would welcome ideas and invite contributions on a competitive basis. How would you tackle the problem? A first prize of £10, a second prize of £5 and several consolation prizes are offered for entries adjudged to be the most meritorious. Entries will be judged on originality and attractiveness - but these considerations aside purposiveness should be the mainspring of the exercise. The Committee do not bind themselves to use any entry whether a winning entry or not but reserve the right to do so either whilly or in part if they so desire. The closing date for the competition will be announced in a subsequent issue of The Standard, but in the meantime - get thinking!!
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COINIn response to Mr O'Mahoney's article (The Standard 4.6.71) I feel that the cause of untidiness and ill-dressing amongst nursing staff is probably due to the uniform - at least for male staff. The suits provided as outdoor uniform for male staff have a definite aura of bygone days. They are, generally, so dull and ill-fitting that they would make a tailor's dummy weep and the white jackets are really more suitable for waiters than nurses. As a consequence, the nursing staff who do not wish to be dressed in clothes which are as old-fashioned as those worn by many patients (another regrettable fact) and do not wish to present the authoritarian figure that uniform offers, take to wearing clothes that make them feel more 'normally' dressed (whilst still trying ot be basically in uniform because of hierarchical pressure). I must admit that some staff do wear some really 'odd' forms of clothing but they are in the minority and are only a little worse than being dressed in the uniform of a decade ago. Day Hospital has used uniform as an optional form of dress for some time and I cannot remember having seen any nurse there that was not reasonably well dressed and tidy. Perhaps, as a form of solution, protective clothing could be supplied when necessary and staff's own clothing worn; with some rules to moderate any outlandish outfits. Alternatively, I think maybe, it is time to review the male uniform design, bearing well in mind the need to reduce the martinet 'image'.
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"Uniform" can never be optional: How does the protective clothing idea appeal generally?
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Re Mr. O'Mahoney's comment,
on one point I'm with him,
For both Constable and Dali worked
on canvas taut and trim,
TRADITION DIES HARDWith reference to Mr. Jolley's article on Social Therapy and his comments about frantic day and night nurses putting patients to bed before 9 p.m., I would like to say that on Female 4 Up it is the patients who are frantic to go to bed at 9 p.m. They have been allowed to stay up until 10 p.m. and later for the last twelve months and it is still asked at every ward meeting why they can't go earlier. Although it can be argued that twelve months is not long compared to their length of stay in hospital it is usually the more able patients who ak to go to bed, in fact a few of the patients leave social before 9 p.m. (not at the instigation of the frantic day staff) in order to go to bed early. There are still a few patients who try to sneak into bed as soon as they have finished their tea in spite of being allowed to remain up until 9 p.m. for the last ten years or so. With regard to his comment about special cups for staff, we on the wards have seen cups used for other purposes than those for which they have been designed and although these are destroyed if known to have been mis-used, we cannot always be sure that this is the case. Apart from this, I wasn't aware that the hospital provided cups for the staff any more than they provide tea, sugar or milk. To quote Mr. Jolley "Perhaps I've already said more than enough".
INTEGRATIONIntegration is very much a burning issue at the moment. It is a topic of conversation at nearly every discussion, with staff from both sides of the hospital considering how integration will affect them. Some express doubts, some definite refusals to participate in the venture. Talking about it is very good, for everyone is able to put forth their personal views. However, the only way to find out what it is really like is to do it. I started work on the female division in January. I went with not a little doubt about the venture. I wondered how patients and staff would accept me, what I could offer to the nursing of female patients and how I would be able to adjust to an all-female environment after my seven years on the male division. Now, after nearly four months, I realise all my fears were groundless. The ward Sister made me feel very welcome, the staff were always ready to help and give me encouragement and, most important of all, the patients accepted me from the very first. I can say that I have been happy and am fully convinced of the benefits of integration. It is a known and accepted fact that female nurses on the male division have a good rapport with the men, and can offer them the feminine care and homely attentions that the male nurses cannot. This also applies to men nursing women, at least in my own experience. I have found that patients will often do things for me that they are reluctant to do for a female nurse. I would advise all nurses who have fears and doubts to push these to one side and give integration a sincere try. I think they will be as pleasantly surprised as I was to find that integration can work, and that their contributions will be immense.
DartsCongratulations to two of our staff, Mrs. Lythgoe and Mrs. Pat Brown, who won the Ladies' Pairs title in the Earlestown and District Darts League. The Secretary, Mrs. Turner, who won the Individual competition, would be glad to hear from any ladies interested.
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Keep FitOur visit to St. Catherine's School in Chorley for the Keep Fit Rally was a great success. Seven of our patients from various wards gave a display they had trained very hard for, and impressed everyone by their skill and deportment.
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NetballThe Liverpool Regional Hospital Board Netball Rally was held at Winwick Hospital on Saturday, 5th June, 1971. We would like to thank Miss Downey for her offices, and the Catering staff for a really magnificent spread. I am glad to say that, although the response was poor from other hospitals teamwise, Winwick girls won with Sefton General runners-up. Thank you girls.
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Regional AthleticsA Record Entry - 280. Given a good day - could we have record support with a triumphant finish for Winwick.
A V E
V A L E
FARE THEM WELL
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To Una and Bernard MacAuley on 3rd June, 1971 a son.