|WINWICK HOSPITAL WARRINGTON|
EDITORIAL COMMENTQuite properly our attention is directed to the dangers resulting from fire outbreaks. The lesson is a simple one, don't wait for it to happen, prevent it. Mr. Evans' article provides the opportunity once again to comment on the value of the service rendered by the Hospital Fire Brigade. Tine and again have they demonstrated the advantage of a five to seven minutes "start" over the national Fire Service attendance, moreover there is always the added safeguard of having available in any emergency, such as, evacuation, personnel who ore professionals in the art of handling patients and who in addition could qualify for similar status in the technique of handling fire fighting equipment. Recognition of their work is an acknowledgement of our indebtedness to then. We look forward to more from Mr. Evans. Joint Consultation, Mr.McKendrick reminds us "can only be as successful as the staff make it". This is an irrefutable half-truth since in equal measure contribution must come from Management. Happily, it would seem that common ground has already been found and the days ahead should see much in the way of sound and constructive deliberation. Mr. Parkinson throws down the gauntlet and resurrects problems associated with therapeutic activities which have taxed the mind for many many years. They are not quite as easy of solution as on the surface it appears but his forthright approach is not only worthy of consideration but should evoke much by way of reply, He poses the question, have you got the answer?
KEEPING AN EYE ON THE GOALHow therapeutic are occupational and industrial therapy at Winwick Hospital and how much is the emphasis purely on occupation and output? I feel sad, and not a little annoyed when I think of the misuse of these and their potential. How many charge nurses send patients off to the Occupational Therapy departments because it reduces the ward work-load or because the Occupational Therapy Department are asking for more patients. The true criterion for occupation therapy usage should, of course, be its therapeutic value for the individual. Perhaps lists could be drawn up of the types of mental disorder and occupation therapy methods available which could be compared by the charge nurse, the ward doctor and the occupational therapist, to enable the patient to be given the form of occupational therapy which is likely to give the greatest relief of his symptoms, I am convinced that, since there are few occupational therapists who are also nurses, it may be of more value also, to instruct occupational therapists in the recognition of types of mental disorders and behaviour patterns and the handling of certain types of patient in the occupational therapy setting. Industrial therapy, it seems, was primarily designed as a stepping stone to re-employment outside of hospital and not as: (a) Cheap labour. (b) A full scale production line with orders to meet. Isn't there a case, also, for greater selectivity here too? As a final note I would like to say that I am not trying to detract from anyone's status or ability but merely attempting to prompt people into making better use of the facilities available.
IN SIMILAR VEIN
ARTFree expression painting, drawing, etc can play a part in diagnosis and treatment, but for the great number of patients to whom it is available it is a medium for rehabilitation wherein the patient is congenially occupied, has visual evidence of his own progress and an increasing sense of pleasure and achievement. All these are attributes which encourage him to a better self valuation.
LEAGUE OF FRIENDSThe League of Friends who for ten years past have been actively engaged in the provision of additional amenities for patients, in visitation, in remembering birthdays and providing other services which would normally fall outside the provision of the Health Service itself, have just announced their programme of visits to the seaside. These are set out hereunder and in themselves indicate the degree of added pleasure and satisfaction poured into the lives of our patients by this loyal and enthusiastic organisation. We are specially indebted to them and most appreciative of their continued help and support, Two forty-one seater coaches will be provided for each of the six trips so that in all something over four hundred patients will be enabled to visit the seaside and enjoy a meal, hotel or restaurant fashion.
FIRE & FIRE PREVENTIONThere is a saying that Prevention is better than cure, and the prevention of fire is of great importance when one considers the following facts. About 1,000 people die in fires in the United Kingdom each year, and many thousands more are maimed, disfigured, burnt, shocked and perhaps their deaths accelerated in consequence. The financial loss to the country is appalling. Fire damage costs have been rising faster than the growth in the Gross national Product, and the most recent figure in total cost of fire was £120 million for one year. The average person takes the view, "it will never happen to me," but fire is no respecter of persons or places and strikes with terrifying swiftness when least expected. Its victims are usually those people least able to help themselves, the young and the elderly, the sick and the disabled. When a big fire makes headline news, or when the hospital Fire Alarm sounds, people's thoughts are drawn to the problems of fire, and perhaps for a few days they become "fire conscious". How quickly day to day problems push this "fire consciousness" out of their minds. Perhaps only those who have seen for themselves the tragic consequences of a fatal fire can appreciate the full extent of the danger which is ever present in every home and hospital. The varied activities in hospitals make them especially vulnerable. The presence of laboratories, stores, kitchens, laundries, boiler rooms, electrical equipment, gas apparatus and cylinders and many other specialised services adds to the risk. This risk is ever increasing in psychiatric hospitals with the increase in freedom for the patient and the decrease in patient supervision. Fires which in themselves are not of a major nature often have a disproportionately serious result, because they are in rooms where there are helpless people who may be adversely affected by the smoke, or even fear, created by a small fire. Knowing that the consequence of fire in hospitals can be so serious, it is most important that all who work in then should take particular care that the simple rules of fire precautions are always observed. "It's nothing to do with me," is an excuse heard more and more nowadays - but justification for using it grows less and less. Fire Prevention is everyone's business, and with the aid of this magazine I will draw your attention to the unnecessary suffering and loss of life which too often result from fire, and show ways of preventing such tragedies.
ON JOINT CONSULTATION
ARE YOU FULLY AWARE OF IT?Next month (June) sees the first anniversary of the reconstituted Joint Consultative Staffs Committee, and yet how many of you can name your representatives on the Committee, or can remember reading the minutes of the last meeting? Many staff seen unaware of the work done by the J.C.C., and, indeed, as shown in a recent case, people faced with departmental problems may not even consider approaching their J.C.C. representatives. You may feel cynical about the achievements of the Committee, but it can only be as successful as the staff make it. As for the Joint Consultative Staffs Committee itself - meetings take place every month, excluding August. First, there is a meeting of the Staff side made up of representatives of all sections of staff within the hospital, who are elected each April for a period of twelve months. Points are put forward for discussion, and an agenda for the full J.C.C. meeting is prepared. This meeting takes place on the second Thursday of each month. Presided over by the chairman, Alderman L. Ball, chairman of the Hospital Management Committee, it is attended by appointed members of the Hospital Management Committee, Mrs. E. H. Kershaw and Mr. J. Vardy, heads of departments Miss N. Coppack, Mr. E, Fox (Joint Secretary) Mr. R. French, Mr. H. A. Moss, and Mr. J. Woods, and the eleven members of the Staff side. Discussion may range from improvements proposed for individual wards or departments to matters affecting almost all staff, such as the computerised wages system or the supply of information on the National Health Service Superannuation Scheme. To deal with natters which require considerable individual attention, sub-committees of the Joint Consultative Staffs Committee may from time to time be created. At present, there are two of these, one of which, the Communications subcommittee, has led to the introduction of this magazine. The other, the Nursing Staff subcommittee, is at present examining the modification of the nursing staff's hours of duty, and will later be examining the subject of protective clothing worn by nursing staff. Much has been achieved in the last twelve months by the J.C.C., and, of course, much remains to be done. However, next time you find yourself criticising some aspect of the Hospital, try being constructive, and think how the J.C.C. could help. Who knows, you may even end up as a future candidate for the Staff side. Representatives of the Staff side of the J.C.C. are:-
NURSING STAFF SUB-COMMITTEEThe Nursing Staff Sub-Committee met on Wednesday, 9th June, 1971 to consider views received from the nursing staff regarding a proposed shift system. Two hundred and thirteen letters were received, one hundred and sixty-six from day staff and forty-seven from night staff. All except two were opposed to this particular system. Following consideration of the many helpful comments received, and in view of the introduction of the new nursing administrative structure and proposed integration of staff, the Committee have decided to adjourn until September 15th, 1971. Members wish to take this opportunity to thank those staff who sent in letters, and those who suggested alternative systems. It is hoped that some of the suggestions made by staff could be incorporated into the shift system finally agreed upon.
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A V E
BIRTHTo Mr. and Mrs. Callaghan on 13th June, 1971, a son.
TWENTY FIRST BIRTHDAYSCongratulations and good wishes to:
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