4th February, 1972Vol. 1. No. 35.


This week our pages contain a contribution from a student nurse. Such letters, giving spontaneous comment from members of a group which might be expected to prove more critical and more vociferous than most are few and far between. Whether or not this is to 'The Standard' - and the hospitals advantage is certainly a matter of opinion.

However, it should go without saying that we of 'The Standard' always welcome their viewpoint - indeed can we even comment on the paucity of student nurses articles without at least making passing reference to the fact that, after 35 issues, our magazine's existence has yet to be acknowledged by the most influential professional group within the hospital?

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Social Therapy Review

Evening Entertainment on Geriatric Wards

Entertainment is perhaps the correct word to use concerning the evening socials organised by our department for the Geriatric patients. The older members of our community cannot be expected to want to join in anything which entails them being actively involved, so for the majority dancing is out of the question. We wouldn't expect our grand-parents to want to be 'jigging' around every night and the same applies to our patients. Also, they do not enjoy loud or boisterous music, again I'm speaking for the majority because some of them do enjoy it but I would think that music should be kept quieter after all many of them are in bed by 8.30 p.m. and I'm sure it would be quite unresting to find music blaring through the dormitory. Of course, we have problems in competing with the T.V. I usually find it acceptable to all concerned if we leave the T.V. on for an hour and then have a little 'sing-song'. Visitors from other wards, on these occasions , may find a bingo session in progress or a game of cards or dominoes where those who want to may join in. To summarise I should say that geriatric patients need to be entertained in the evenings and not have to join in anything too energetic.

This week we received communication enquiring about staff, net-ball fixtures for the season '72. We have decided to try to organise fixtures and are now short of one thing only - a TEAM. Anyone who is interested please cone down to the gym and be counted.

Your team needs YOU!

K. Appleton.


I went on to night duty because I had taken my Intermediate exam and I was told that night duty was the next step in my training. Whilst training may benefit, social lives are destroyed or, frozen into a limbo period of twelve weeks. You have to go to work when other people are going out. You have to stay awake when it is natural to sleep. You have to sleep when other people are awake. Bodily functions are upset. Eating cooked meals at 1.00 a.m. doesn't do your stomach any good if you haven't made it a regular practice to eat a meal at that time. Constipation occurs easily.

After coming off duty at 7.00 a.m. I found that no matter how much sleep I managed during the day, there came a time the next night when time seemed to stand still, and my eyes felt like closing. Those who have never worked at night can't realise what it is like when 7 O'Clock arrives and the day staff don't arrive till late.

Working on nights gave me the opportunity to see the hospital as a whole and what really does happen at night. So often if anything happens on a ward during the day time which can't easily be explained the night-staff are blamed. This is hardly a constructive attitude to adopt because they are not there to defend themselves. There is a great lack of continuity between what happens at night and what happens during the day, and the "buck" is always passed from one to another.

At night time as well as during the day there seems to be an acute shortage of staff and I'm glad that I escaped the introduction of the new shift system. The lack of staff on occasions means that some wards are left unattended for long periods. It also means that women are left in charge of a male ward with a heavy work load. Some of these women may have never worked on a male ward before. Sometimes there is such a great staff shortage that women have to be left on their own on male wards. They can only call the patrol or roundsmen by using the emergency bell. Sometimes there are only a few roundsmen so that help to a ward is not immediately forthcoming. Two disturbed wards are left under the supervision of one nurse.

The senior staff on nights seen to take more of an interest in their staff than is taken on days. The Unit Officers visit the wards nightly and occasionally the Night Superintendent comes around, so that staff can be seen on the wards as well as at the frequent meetings.

People in training are usually readily accepted and the majority of permanent night staff are helpful to us - even though some of us in training try to encroach upon their nightly preserve.

Training is helped in the form of lectures given by a night charge nurse. These lectures, although they may not be included in the G.N.C. syllabus, are useful as encouragement after the training school has (or seems to have) disowned you for three months.

Slowly you adapt to the profound changes in your daily (or nightly) environment, only to find that your period has ended and that you can return once more to your normality. You then find that it's hard to return to sleeping at night and seeing the hospital working by day. I don't think that you will long for another period on night-duty. I won't.

B. Nugent


Fully-furnished flat/bed sitter for couple who are about to be married. Any area convenient for hospital, e.g. Warrington, Newton-le-Willows.

Contact B. Nugent at the Nurses Home or Male 3 Up.

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A text-book of surgical nursing.

Contact M. Owen
       West Wing
This week, a new student nurses' introductory course commenced, and the Teaching Department continued the practice of inviting a charge nurse or sister to sit in with the students during their first eight weeks training.

Designed to keep the senior ward staff in touch with current teaching methods, the scheme has been in operation for several years now.

The charge nurse selected to join the present school is Mr. G. Moon.

Whilst on the subject of in-service training we hear that the course of lectures for nursing assistants given by Sister Hankey has now been completed.

State-enrolled nurses are the next group to receive post-graduate instruction, and the course of lectures begins next week.

Publications Committee.


The idea of a club for patients discharged from hospitals like ours is not new, but they are few and far between in practice. Certainly, there has not been one linked with this hospital until recently. Thought has been given to it from time to time, and one who was committed to the idea was Mr. Haughey, an Assistant Chief Male Nurse, who began to explore the practical possibilities and to stimulate others by his enthusiasm, Premises at Bold Street Methodist Church, where one of our Free Church Chaplains is Minister, were offered as a venue and visited by Mr. Haughey and Mr. Jolley and considered suitable. After consultation with the Hospital Authorities, the Social Services and Telephone Samaritans, the first meeting was arranged for November 11th last year, and the club has been meeting each Thursday since.

It seemed unfortunate that as the child struggled to be born, the one who had fathered it was on the point of moving to another area. On Mr, Haughey's departure, however, Mr. Beck was appointed to succeed him, and quickly adopted the infant club. On his suggestion a programme is being drawn up for 4 weeks at a time, attempting to cater for the varied interests and tastes of those who come, and giving some shape to each evening. He is acting as Secretary, Mr. Wright as Chairman, and the Rev. A.P. Horner as Treasurer for the time being, but otherwise the club is largely unstructured. The enthusiasm of some who have begun to attend suggests that the club will grow and in time will meet a real need.

The premises we are using may not be a hundred per cent ideal (what would?) but they are warm. clean and convenient, and are away from the hospital itself. While originally for patients who had left the hospital, the club was quickly seen to be a helpful bridge back into the community for patients nearly ready for discharge, and more recently a third role, one of social therapy, has begun to emerge. As the name implies, the club is meant to be a stepping off point, and the membership, which is informal, is therefore likely to be a changing one, except for those who are more fully committed to it. Attendance is not restricted to past and present patients. and staff and interested agencies but is open to all who can contribute to it or benefit from it. General Practitioners have been informed of its existence and may introduce people to it, as indeed may Telephone Samaritans and others.

If you have read so far, you must be interested in this venture of community involvement! You will be welcome to visit us any Thursday between 8.00 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. to see what goes on. You will be even more welcome to contribute to the life of the club by your special ability or merely by your friendship, We look forward to seeing you!

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Last Saturday evening we had the pleasure of a visit from the Knotty Ash Players with their presentation of Toad of Toad Hall. This was very much a departure from our usual type of entertainment. It is only by experiment and variety that we can hope to change and possibly raise the level of our patients involvement.

We are grateful to the H.M.C. for granting us the. facilities to pursue this kind of exercise, and I can state that the evening was successful beyond my wildest expectations.

The attendance was 450 patients, 40 visitors from Rainhill Hospital and 45 from Cranage Hall Hospital, also 100 staff and children (not bad for a Saturday night). We wish to thank all the many people who gave their help, especially Mr. Bartholomew, Mr. Curtis, Mr. Woods, Mr. Woodward (who did a magnificent job) Mr. Stewart and of course our catering officers Mr. Aston & Mr. Bainbridge.

Our voluntary helpers gave their usual splendid support, 10 seniors coming to assist in bringing wheelchair cases to the hall. In total a grand example of all round co-operation and endeavour.

J.A. Jolley,

P.S. Thanks also to our Fire prevention dept. for coverage.

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Last Saturday, the Knotty Ash Players presented Kenneth Graham's 'Toad of Toad Hall' in the Recreation Hall.

The first venture of this type to be presented on a Saturday evening, it drew a large audience.

Although most people were full of praise for the production itself, the audience at the rear of the hall had difficulty in hearing the dialogue, despite the use of microphones.

However, we are sure this can be remedied and look forward to future Saturday evening entertainments on these lines.

Surely it is a pity that the hospital staff are not able to present their own concert? After all, there is no lack of comedians in the place!

Publications Committee.
The monthly meeting of the Winwick Branch Of the Confederation of Health Service Employees will be held in the Recreation Hall Annexe next Monday, February 7th, at 8.00 p.m.

B. McAuley
Branch Secretary.
I would like to express, through the medium of the 'Standard', my sincere thanks to Mr. Lennon, a member of the 0. & M. Team, for his great kindness in coming out to my home to carry out beautifications to the living room. Mr. Lennon worked extremely hard, under difficult conditions, and the results are ample proof of the good work he did.

My thanks also go to Sister Lee, who accompanied Mr. Lennon. Mr. Lennon volunteered to help Sister Lee, and he gave his services as a favour to Sister Lee and to Winwick Hospital.

G.E. Moreton
Ex-patient F.2A.
I would be grateful if you could publish this letter of thanks in the next issue of the 'Standard'.

Fire Precaution Films

The two films, The Control of Fire and, They Called it Fireproof should by now have been by all staff at both Winwick and Newchurch Hospitals.

I an sure you will agree that these films have been both interesting and instructive and have made you all more aware of fire dangers in Hospitals.

It is encouraging to see senior staff, unit officers and departmental heads taking such an active interest in fire precautions and making arrangements for their staff to receive regular fire instructions.