17th November, 1972Vol. 2. No. 24.

Editorial Comment

Under the pulsating headline 'Hospital shut-down shock' (which you may think you've read somewhere before) the Press informs us - 'Massive reorganisation, starting in two years' time, will affect all of Britain's former mental institutions'.

And continues -
'They will become redundant.'
As the Magazine of one of Britain's former mental institutions we take some interest in this. It is true that we can progressively reduce our size, but estimates vary so widely that - simply, no-one knows how far. In the meantime, can we look forward, if that's the right expression, to reduced community and State involvement? If so, then another headline springs to mind which we can offer to the pundit - 'We'll be here after you've gone.'

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Supplies of 1972/3 calendars are now available from the pharmacy for those wards requiring them in conjunction with the treatment with 'Modecate'.



The Hidden Benefits of Up-Grading

The other day I was visiting Female 3 Up and found, as I entered the day-room, the patients, staff and unit officer sitting quietly, listening with great attention to Mr. Evans, our Fire Officer talking on the very important subject of fire prevention.

I tip-toed to a vacant chair and sat down. Mr. Evans was at the point where he had stated that there were three fire exits from the ward:- the front stairs, the back stairs and across the bridge to Female 2Up. Any one of these exits could be used for a complete safe evacuation of the ward population if a fire did break out.

At this stage one of the patients interrupted Mr. Evans, and said, with firmness and sincerity, that they couldn't have a fire in their ward. Mr. Evans, with rather a surprised look on his face, asked her why. She replied, very simply, that all the "fire places" had been removed from the ward.



Not everyone is so confident

Quotation by Chief Fire Officer, A. Leese,
"We have muddled thinking with regard to fire safety in mental hospitals. However, one is compelled, for obvious reasons, in many instances to restrain freedom of movement and this is inimical to the principles of good means of escape in a case of fire. Furthermore, 66% of fires in mental hospitals were attributed to two causes: malicious ignition and smoking materials."

"Allowing mental patients access to smoking materials is almost akin to allowing infants to juggle with primed hand grenades. Combine this with the old, overcrowded, unsuitable buildings in which mental patients are housed and inadequate supervisory officers and it becomes patently obvious that further fire and tragedies are statistical certainties."

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We are pleased to acknowledge receipt of a letter from one of our patients on the subject of The Stepping Stones Club. The idea behind a Club such as this is a splendid one, and we're always ready with a bit of publicity. In so far as this letter was concerned with possible improvements in the general running of the Club, we have returned it with a covering letter suggesting that it be sent on to Mr. Beck, as Unit Officer of the area where the idea and impetus originated.



The history of the Competition, in so far as it has appeared in The Standard, is as follows.

Vol. 1 No. 2, 11.6.71
'The H.M.C. has under consideration a change in the nomenclature of the wards. The Committee would welcome ideas, and invite contributions on a competitive basis. A First prize of 10, a second of 5, and several consolation prises 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'.
Vol. 1 No. 24
'We are still receiving suggestions for the re-naming of wards, the bulk of them for districts of Warrington, Trees, etc.' P.C.
Vol. 1 No. 27 saw' another letter of enquiry. Vol. 1 No. 32 contained the announcement that the competition would close on 31.1.72 after which entries received would be considered by the H.M.C.
Vol. No. 34 (just in time) carried a letter asking 'Why not name our wards after the senior staff who have given the hospital years of service?'
Vol. 2 No. 7 confirmed that the competition did exist.
Vol. 2 No. 13 noted that Miss Coppack had enquired about the competition twelve months previously.
Vol. 2 No. 17 heeded a rumour that the re-naming of the wards was shortly to take place, and the Publications Committee looked forward to publishing the winning entry and the list of prisewinners.
Vol 1 No. 11 Miss Coppack asked 'What has happened to the competition to re-name the wards.'

Our reasons for publishing the present resume are not mercenary (none of us could think of a more efficient way of 're-naming' the wards than using some variation of the arabic number system - 1,2,3) We simply feel that a lot of unnecessary confusion has existed too long.

We wholeheartedly support a quick and efficient conclusion to this competition.


CLUB NEWS     Snooker & Billiards


Tuesday November 21st


Thames Board v Winwick Hospital Start 7.30 p.m.
Thursday November 23rd


Winwick A v Farmers Arms Start 7.30 p.m.

Latchford Cons. v Winwick B Start 7.30 p.m.




Winwick Hospital 5 Alliance Box 2


British Railway 4 - Winwick B 4
Winwick A 1 - St. Mary A 7



With reference to the Union News section in last week's Standard, we have been informed that the Hospital Club can not grant, and has not granted facilities for Union activities such as that advertised.

The original item, subsequent information and a letter of protest from another Union, have all been accepted by us in good faith. We will endeavour to clarify the issue. In the meantime we can only stress that we depend on our contributors' good faith as much as their support.

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The sewing room staff would like to take the opportunity of saying thank you to the painters for the effort put into the redecorating of the sewing room with which we are very pleased.

Thanks also to Mr. G. Scott and his staff for allowing us to use a section of the laundry for a few days, while we took the monthly ward condemns.

We apologise for any inconvenience that may have been caused due to the redecorating, but the results were well worth it.


WORK STUDY - Part 12

Method Study contd.

Last week in Part 11 I dealt with the first three of the six principle stages in a method study investigation. These three stages were: selection of the work to be studied, recording, and examining the facts. In part 12 this week I will deal with the three remaining stages, namely developing, installing and maintaining the new method.

It will be seen that by comparing the existing practices with possible. alternatives a decision can be made about the desirability of changes in the working practice. In. making the comparison account will need to be taken not only of economical, technical and marketing factors but of human considerations. Therefore, before a final judgement is made on the merits of a proposed improvement, there should. be consultation with other management specialists and with trade union representatives.

Reference has been made previously in this series to the need for trade union representatives to be vigilant about the effect of work study on employment. and general conditions of work. These are matters for consultation and negotiations through the appropriate machinery. But work study may have more direct effects on workers, an example is the way an actual study results in a specified motion pattern, Unless care is taken by the work study men an improved method might cause more, and not less, fatigue for the operator. If this happens the improvements expected from the study will not take place. To guard against this, some simple rules have become generally accepted, the following are some examples of these rules.

Both hands should work together, as far as possible doing the same operation at the same time, The left hand should not be merely used to hold something the right hand is working on.

Movements should be arranged as far as possible so that they can be performed symmetrically about an imaginary line through the centre of the body, to maintain balanced position and to minimise fatigue.

A natural movement is easy and makes the best use of the shape and arrangement of all parts of the body. Natural movements are curved, not straight. (e.g. the hand moves in an arc pivoting on the elbow, the leg swings from the knee or hip).

One of the main characteristics of a good work sequence is the rhythm than is developed when it is repeated, a cycle is not complete in itself. The last cycle must run easily into the first movement of the next if a rhythm is to be built up.

The formation of movement habits will occur whether a method has been studied or not but habits will be formed more easily if material and tools come to hand in the same way in each movement cycle and there are no unexpected obstacles.

Once a proposed new method has been devised, acceptance of the proposal has to be secured from executive management and from the workers who would have to operate it. Objections may come from both sides, not least from those members of management responsible for production. Union representatives will wish to satisfy themselves at this point that the new method will not have any unacceptable repercussions on employment, work conditions or earning opportunities. If the proposed new method is very different from the old special training may have to be given to workers to operate it.

The study will be pointless unless the new method is maintained and the tendency to revert to the old familiar way of doing the job is avoided. If a payment-by-results scheme is proposed, or already exists, the union representative will need to be especially careful to ensure that the tools, equipment, layout of the revised job, are accurately recorded. Many disputes about time standards arise because of gradual deviations from the specifications for the job.

There is nothing mystical about the techniques of method study although some of then may be complicated, essentially they are guides to common sense in pointing out where improvements in methods of working might be made. They are analytical tools; devising new methods requires knowledge of alternatives from experience or experiment.

There is no one objective or final "answer"; different "answers" may be considered equally satisfactory from different standpoints, quality, quantity, fatigue involved, and capital expenditure required are some of the factors whose relative importance must be assessed. Moreover, a method which seems the best under present conditions or requirements is always open to be improved later, when there may have been subtle changes in conditions connected with the job, or when new equipment or technical knowledge is avoidable.

In most cases method study applications and problems should be considered in their particular circumstances. Trade unions must be aware of the limitations as well as of the possible advantages of the techniques. Full consultation with management from the beginning of any scheme of change and freedom to negotiate on disputed points must be demanded, both in general principles and details of application. To play an effective role in this respect, therefore, work peoples representatives should have a general appreciation of the techniques of method study.



It has been a very busy week in the department; most of our dinner hours and spare time have been taken up with rehearsals for our variety show which is on Saturday, 25th November, starting at 2.30 p.m. and 7.00 p.m.

Monday night was Winwicks Bonfire barbecue and firework display. It was a splendid evening with over 500 people attending. A large majority were old people and our thanks go to everyone who helped.

Thursday was Female 2 Up Hotpot supper, Bingo and dance, held in the Female Gym. `This was by ticket only. 200 people came - again it was a very enjoyable evening.

And to finish off the week, on Saturday was the 6th annual Cross Country Race held at Deva Hospital - three miles for men, one thousand yards for women.

Winwick entered two teams in the mens' section.

Team AI. Adair, W. Crook, P. Rowe
Team BH. Painter, T. Allen, T. Haseldon
The A team came second and the B team sixth. I. Adair was the third fastest competitor of the day. Well done, lads!

I would like to thank Charge Nurses E. Potts, J. Moon and J. Harrison, and their staff, for allowing these lads to change their time off for training. Thank you very much.

Social Therapy.

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WELCOME TO     Mrs. J. Davies S.E.N.
ATTENDINGMiddle Management Course - Mr J.G.Mahoney from the 20th November 1972

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