WINWICK HOSPITAL WARRINGTON

THE STANDARD

2nd June, 1972Vol. 1. No. 52.

EDITORIAL COMMENT

Here, as promised, is our new cover to mark our 52nd Edition.

Inside we have contributions from our Publications Committee and Reporters.

All we needed for a special edition was your help.

Well........ there's always next year.

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Whilst the occasion of the first birthday of "The Standard" should not go unheralded, it would be premature to close the chapter on the magazine's development at this point.

In its first twelve months, those who have been involved with "The Standard" have encountered a fair number of difficulties, both with the mechanics and the policy of the magazine. If these have not yet been solved, then most of the pitfalls have been avoided. Of course, much remains to be done, and not the least of the challenges facing us is the encouragement of equality in the management and staff involvement in the running of "The Standard", and the realisation by all at Winwick that the magazine has a useful part to play in moulding the changes which are so rapidly occurring in the hospital service. The staff of "The Standard" are determined to continue tackling these problems.

It would be remiss if appreciation was not expressed when well deserved. As a member of the Publications Committee I would like to thank all my colleagues who have worked towards keeping "The Standard" alive, but in particular I think that two people deserve special mention. One is Joe Jolley, who has been the key figure in the magazine's development, performing a difficult task as I believe no other person at Winwick could have done.

The second, whose achievements may at first appear much simpler, is, I think, no less worthy of praise. Since our efforts to increase the number of reporters last October, Kathleen Appleton has submitted an article promptly every week, and has been an example to us all.

The changes which occur with the beginning of Volume 2 of "The Standard" means that Joe Jolley yields his central role in the production of the magazine and becomes a member of the Publication Committee. His place is taken by Roger Bruton, our Assistant Education Officer, who has already proved a valuable asset to "The Standard" and will I believe, ensure its further development over the next twelve months.

D. McKENDRICK.

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UNION COVER

The monthly branch meeting of the Confederation of Health Service Employees will be held in the Recreation Hall Annexe on Monday, June 5th at 9.00 p.m.

Topics for discussion include "Employment of domestic staff for Sunday Work" and "Proposed changes in ward staffing by Senior Ward nurses".

All members are asked to attend to discuss these important subjects.

B. McAULEY,
Branch Secretary.

LEAVE PRESCRIPTIONS

An analysis of weekend leave prescriptions dispensed in the pharmacy in an average week yields results which may interest some of your readers.

In one week in May 1972, the number of prescription forms dispensed for Winwick Patients only, but not including day patients or out-patients was 122. These forms held prescriptions for 59 different drugs contained in 328 items. The total number of unit doses (tablets or capsules) amounted to 3,499. An average prescription therefore, contained statistically speaking, 2 2/3 items, for a total of 28 2/3 tablets.

The pharmacological class of drugs most commonly prescribed (68 times) was found to be the antiparkinsonian agents. At first sight it would seem that more medication is given to counteract the side effects of tranquillisers than there are tranquillisers taken. But before we begin to suspect a great increase in 'iatrogenic' disease let us remember the weekly or fortnightly injections of the long-acting fluphenazine salts which take the place of the daily oral tranquillisers. Orphenadrine was the most commonly prescribed anti-parkinsonian drug with Procyclidine in second place. Three other agents were responsible for the remainder of the prescriptions in this class.

Anti-depressants were the second most frequently prescribed class of drugs. More than a half of these were for Amitriptyline. The remainder were represented by ten other anti-depressants of which a new one, Clomipramine, and one of the very earliest, Imipramine, were prescribed in almost equal numbers.

The next group in frequency was the major tranquillisers, which, for the sake of this article, are taken to include all the phenothiazine and butyrophenone compounds and derivatives. The total of these (55) was eleven more than the minor tranquillisers or anxiolytics which here includes the benzodiazepines, and which were the fourth class commonly prescribed. There were only two drugs in this class - Diazepam accounting for 37 items and Chlordiazepoxide for 7 only. With recollections of the newspaper publicity which accompanied the launching of this latter drug (its calming effect on lions was prominently reported) it would seem that there just aren't many lions rampant nowadays!

Not wishing to bore readers with a full list of the pharmacological Top Twenty, I will just mention that the next in order of frequency were hypnotics, anticonvulsants and vitamins (!)

As distinct from classes of drugs, the single most prescribed including its three strengths of tablet was Diazepam. Next came Orphenadrine followed by Procyclidine, Amitriptyline (in its four forms) and Nitrazepam.

The time taken to dispense these leave prescriptions, based on an average of 11 minutes per item, would be 8 hours 12 minutes - more than the whole working day for one person.

The cost of the drugs themselves varied enormously. The least expensive was a Multivitamin Tablet at 31p per 1,000. In contrast, the most expensive was Amantadine which costs the hospital 119.00 per 1,000.

Based on the cost of the top ten popular drugs (which accounted for nearly a half of all the doses prescribed) the average cost of each prescription form, and therefore for each patient on leave, was 19p and the total cost to the hospital for drugs for all the patients on leave 23.19. In 52 weeks this would amount to more than 1,200.00.

And one strange thing about it all is that no one knows how much of this medication is actually taken by the patients!

H. TABERNER.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Through the medium of the 'Standard' may I say a sincere thank you to the following J.C.C. Committee Members and staff for their help and support in the 'joint' effort last Friday evening.

Mr. Bartholomew who worked unceasingly.
Mrs. Porter who did a great job with the raffle.
Mr. Stewart and gardens staff who always put on a good display.
Mrs. Collier and Sewing Room staff.
Mr. Dilworth who kept the refreshment room in order on his own.
Mr. Stan Jones, who was first to arrive and last to leave.
Mrs. Seddon, aided by Mrs. Campbell who never expected such a crowd so early in the evening.
Mr. B. Naylor, who kept the dance going while the Band and M.C's went for refreshment.
Mr. Booth and Mr. Seddon who did their job efficiently.
Ward Sister Lee for her help.
Mr. Ian Jackson "The Disc Jockey" who no one saw but who never stopped working.
Last but not least, Mr. Evans the Fireman.

As I have remarked, it was a joint effort, which is just as it should be.

Many thanks to all who helped us.

MRS. M. MILNER

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With reference to Mr. D. McKendrick's letter in The Standard of the 12th May, 1972, surely in these materialistic, "permissive" days membership of an organisation such as the Catholic Nurses' Guild is to be encouraged.

The Guild is a highly reputable body which came into existence long before the public controversy on abortion and family planning measures, and the promotion of its aims and principles serves to maintain professional and ethical standards. In any case, the condemnation of abortion does not reduce the contribution which can be made to her profession by any nurse who is a member of the Guild.

W. P. WALSH ,
Consultant Psychiatrist
Deputy Medical Superintendent.

SOCIAL THERAPY REVIEW

On Monday evening we began the week with a geriatric entertainment evening in the gym. With the help of 13 voluntary workers, 104 Ladies and gentlemen were escorted to the female gym where they were given a display of Scottish dancing by a group of country dancers from Lymm. In between dances there was old time singing and it turned out to be a very successful venue.

Tuesday afternoon brought a visiting team of Cricketers from Mary Dendy Hospital. It was an inter-hospital league match and resulted in Winwick being the victors. This year we have lost at least two of our best cricketers because they have been discharged to work outside. However 15 men from Delph attended a practise match with Winwick on Wednesday afternoon and showed that we still have lots of talented players within the hospital. New blood always helps to inject fresh enthusiasm in a team. Wednesday evening the staff team played and beat Rainhill hospital giving them a chance to play Moss side or West Cheshire Hospital in the semi-final, to be played on Wednesday, 31st May.

On Thursday afternoon another cancelled match meant an impromptu trip out to Southport for 20 ladies from Female 8 Middle. It's surprising how much enjoyment it is being derived from these unexpected visits out.

On Whit Monday we had arranged to play a cricket match, ladies v men to entertain the patients. However, it wasn't exactly spectator weather so instead we held a ladies five-aside football rally in the female gym. All who attended enjoyed the spectacle of approximately 15 young ladies clad in football strip racing around after a ball and "knocking cobs" off each other. I'm sure it was more entertaining than the cricket match would have been.

For future reference - on Saturday 10th June, the inter-hospital netball tournament will take place at Winwick, we have two teams entered and hope to carry off first and second prizes. However, it's always nice to have supporters who will be more than welcome on this occasion.

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I'm sure that many of you know lots of older people who are living alone or unemployed. It might be possible to alleviate their boredom or fill in their spare time by inviting them to come to the hospital for an hour or so, morning or afternoon, to do some voluntary work. If anyone would like to make enquiries please contact the Social Therapy Department and be assured that on enquiry there is no obligation.

K. APPLETON,
Social Therapy.

HELP NEEDED

Don't throw your old bric-a-brac away - M.6 Down are putting on a White Elephant Stall on Sports Day which will be held on June 15th, 1972, and will be glad to receive it.

E. LATHAM.

THOUGHTS FOR THE YEAR

A new world has been created by our intellect, which dominates nature. Monstrous machines have been made so useful that we cannot dispense with them or our subservience to them. Man is bound to follow the adventurous promptings of his scientific and inventive mind. At the same time his genius shows the uncanny tendency to invent things which become more and more dangerous. In view of the rapidly increasing world population man has already begun to seek ways of keeping the rising flood at bay. But nature may have anticipated his attempts by turning against man his own creations. The H Bomb for instance would affectively curb over-population.

There are no longer any gods whom we can invoke to help. The great religions of the world are suffering from increasing anomie. Because the helpful numina have fled from the woods, rivers, and mountains, and from animals, and the god men have disappeared underground into the unconscious. There we fool ourselves that they lead an ignominious existence amongst the relics of our past.

Our present lives are dominated by the Goddess REASON who is our greatest and most tragic illusion. By the aid of reason we ensure ourselves we have conquered nature. It remains quite natural. though for men to quarrel and struggle for superiority over each other. So how then have we conquered nature?

Most of the above observations were made by Dr. C. G. Jung some years ago. I believe these to be true and that a more Christian like attitude towards fellowman is essential to peace of mind and peace on earth.

B. NAYLOR.

A KING DIED HERE

Time has dealt kindly with Winwick. Barely four miles from the industrial borough of Warrington, it has retained much of its old-world rural atmosphere, and it is only over the past few years that Winwick has been pushed headlong, somewhat reluctantly no doubt, into the 20th Century.

Motor traffic on the main Warrington to Preston road took away little of the villages charm, but now lush green fields close by are giving way to housing estates, and a sprawling motorway link road system that places Winwick on the map in this age of space and speed.

My curiosity about its ancient past was first aroused by the local guide book which briefly said of Winwick: "King 0swald died in battle here in 642". For me this was not enough. If a King had died at Winwick it was a little known fact, I wanted to know more. Delving into history I uncovered tales of the Civil War, and the legend of a pig, but more of this later. First to King Oswald.

Try to imagine a Britain divided into separate Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, two of which, Northumbria and Mercia, had the Mersey as their boundary. Indeed the very name means "boundary river", coming from the old English word "Maeres-Ea".

Oswald became King of Northumbria in 638 and, a practising Christian himself, immediately set about converting his people.

In Penda, King of Mercia, Oswald had a deadly rival, for Penda hated Christianity and looked on with jealousy as Oswald's people prospered contentedly under his wise rule. Penda struck without warning. His troops forded the Mersey at Warrington to march northward to Winwick, where they met the scattered armies of the Christian King who had been totally unprepared for attack.

Of the battle itself there is no clear record, only the date, August 5th, 642, can be verified and the fact that Oswald died in the conflict.

The Christian convictions of the King were such that he was cannonised and today St. Oswalds Church stands to perpetuate the faith for which he fought. Standing as it does in a small hillock the church, with its tower capped by a steeple, is a land mark for miles around. Much of the building dates from the 14th Century with additions made in 1530.

Many are the tales told of the pig carved on the church tower near the clock. Winwick and its pig are well known locally and a wider audience of tourists have often trained their cameras on this unusual carving. Legend has it (and this is the tale which appeals to visitors) that the church was to have been built in another site and that building materials put there were removed by some mysterious agency to the spot where the church now stands. This agency was discovered to be nothing more than a humble pig.

Entertaining as this story is, however, the most likely explanation is that in 1331 an order was issued in Paris prohibiting pigs from running loose in the streets, but an exception was made in the case of the Monks of St. Anthony on condition no pig went into the streets without a bell around its neck. It is thought at one time the church held a statue of St. Anthony which was fixed to the tower, hence the Winwick pig with the bell.

One thousand years after the death of Oswald, Winwick was the site of another battle, this time in the Civil War. Scottish Royalists under the Duke of Hamilton were defeated here by the Roundheads after a three day battle in August 1648. Writing from Warrington, a Roundhead stronghold captured from the Royalists, Oliver Cromwell proudly told Parliament that 4,000 men surrendered with arms, ammunition and horses and that the Duke had retreated "defiled and dejected!".

The church did not escape unscathed during the Civil War, Royalists fortified the building at one stage and fired on their opponents from top of the church tower.

Save for the lovely old church there is nothing at Winwick today to connect it with those stirring days of English history. The ancient battlefields have long since disappeared, Old gives way to new.

It is perhaps appropriate that here, at a place where battles raged, there now stands this hospital to care for the sick and infirm.

Time marches on.

J. SHAW.

The following Pupil Nurses have been successful in the recent Assessment:

SOOBASCHAND BHUNJUN

JEAN HUNT

MARY J. McMANUS

PATRICIA M. ROWLANDS

IRENE TURNER

 

FAREWELL TO:

T.N.A. L. M. SICKLING.

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