17th September, 1971
Vol. 1. No. 16.


Within these pages holiday arrangements are reported, which leads us on to ponder on the subject.

Like one man's meat being another's poison so ideas of holidays differ - There's

Sun seeking......
Sight seeing......
Lazing at home......
D.I.Y. at home......
etc. etc.. etc.

Sometimes taking a holiday ourselves, automatically gives others a holiday -- from us!


we can't take a holiday from ourselves.......
   at least by normal means.


This series is an endeavour to discover what various members of our staff are thinking, their feelings about their work, and their opinion of the hospital.

This week, we talk to Geoffrey Moon, Charge Nurse of ward Male 5 Up.

Q) To start with an easy question - Why did you take up mental nursing?

A) By accident! I was at Newton Carnival one day and happened to see a float from Winwick Hospital. This prompted me to write here for a job, and I later went into P.T.S., but I came out again. I then spent eighteen months as a Nursing Assistant, and it was then that my real interest in mental nursing developed, and I re-commenced my training.

Q) Since then, there have been many changes within the hospital; have they all been beneficial?

A) Most, but not all, When I started, sixteen or seventeen years ago, things were very 'traditional', but there were plenty of registered nurses on the wards. It's a sad thing now - many wards are covered by people who have had no formal training. Therefore, I think in some ways the standard of actual patient care has fallen. People's attitude towards the job isn't as responsible as it was then. Also, student nurses seem to have senior positions in the ward early in their career compared with earlier days.

One sometimes wonders if the complete disappearance of the traditional system is such a good thing, from the patient's point of view.

Q) Speaking of student nurses, do you think it would be better if they received a college based education?

A) I don't think you can learn nursing out of a book. They need to learn by apprenticeship on the wards.

Q) Do you feel your secondment to general training proved an advantage?

A) In my case, yes. At the time, I was working on a 'quiet' ward, and was rather in a rut. Secondment re-injected interest into me, and I came back feeling a better nurse, both in attitude, and in my knowledge of the job. It also enabled me to see the other side of the coin.

Q) You are in charge of a long stay ward, What do you feel about working on this type of ward?

A) Personally, I enjoy the challenge, but I feel there is a tendency amongst young trained staff to believe that one cannot gain a lot of experience on this type of ward. Even the students seem to feel they haven't learned a great deal about 'real' nursing in their short stay on the ward. One needs to be really involved in the ward and the patients, and to be here for a considerable time.

Q) It has been said that "morale' is low in the hospital; would you agree?

A) This gets back to the traditional side we mentioned earlier - there seems to be a lack of purpose now....... staff feel Winwick was a happier place then. It's not so much that morale is low - more a feeling of confusion about what we're really here for.

Q) Do you think that recent changes such as 'unitisation', will prove beneficial?

A) I think that the fact that we're working with a smaller area, a closer knit community, will help us. Perhaps with the splitting of the hospital, individual units will be able to redevelop a sense of purpose.

Q) Ely and Farleigh hospitals have in recent years been in the news. Do you think this publicity is undesirable?

A) On the contrary, I think it has produced nothing but good for mental hospitals. It has served to rapidly alter the sense of values of many mental Nurses. At one time, many of the institutional methods seemed to exist more for the benefit of the staff than the patients. Ely and Farleigh have perhaps created more of a realisation of the patient as an individual.

Q) Finally, what is your opinion of "The Standard"?

A) I think it would be better if it appeared monthly. It is too short at present; if it was monthly one would be more inclined to sit down and digest it, rather than skim through its contents. Also, it seems to have contained a lot of criticism, although I'm not against that if it's constructive. On the whole it's proving very useful.

D. McKendrick.


Re: M. Seddon's Comments
In "The Standard" last week
Stating, "Of evil
Neither see, hear, nor speak;"
I'd like him consider:
When the evil we see
Is affecting our patients
On whose side should we be?
Should we state our convictions,
Perhaps make a stand;
Or stay put, as exhorted,
With our heads in the sand?
And to others who preach "Silence!'
The advice above,
Can also be accepted
As "Brotherly Love".

D. McKendrick.

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For many years, patients and staff have been going away on annual holidays to such places as Barmouth, Cromer and Blackpool. I would be interested to read any comments from staff who have been on such holidays, regarding details of the organising of the patients' week, and problems encountered on the holidays, as I think it would be of assistance to nurses going on such holidays in future, and also be of interest to all staff.

L. Bayliss

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Holidays 1971

We wish for good weather and an enjoyable time for the patients (and staff accompanying them of course) on holiday in Pwllheli this week, other parties will be going on holiday as follows:

18th September to Pwllheli
20th September to Barmouth
27th September to Blackpool
11th October to Blackpool
18th October to Blackpool

If the present weather continues there should be no doubt about all concerned having a jolly good time.

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Thank you to the League of Friends

The patients and staff of Male 5 Up wish to thank our League of Friends for their generous donation which has enabled them to stock an aquarium with tropical fish. Thanks also to ST/N B. Hayes, who provided the tank.

"The aquarium has brightened the ward, and proves a source of interest and pleasure" reports the charge nurse, Mr. Geoffrey Moon.

* * * * * * *

The Domestic Superintendent

Mr. J. Bartholomew, the Domestic Superintendent has now "taken up residence" in his new office near the patients bank and can be contacted by telephone at number 324.

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A. Lawrinson
Nursing Assistant
T. Keegan
Post Grad. Student
P. B. Gyennin
Post Grad. Student


M. Follin
Holiday Employment
J.C. Adams
Holiday Employment
J.A. Regan


Our Patients cricket team on winning the InterHospital Patients' League, Undefeated.

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Do not forget there will be another GYMKHANA on SUNDAY, 19th SEPTEMBER, 1971, commencing at 2.30 p.m.

We all look forward to another enjoyable spectacle.

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