2nd March, 1973Vol. 2. No. 38.

Contents -

Attitude Survey V
Around the Hospital
Round the N.H.S.
Social Club News
Union News
Nursing News


The annual elections to the Joint Consultative Staffs Cttee. take place in a few weeks' time. We hope that the information we are publishing will be read as an invitation to NOMINATE and VOTE.

All the relevant information will appear in due course.

We are pleased to carry so much Social Club news this week, and wish the Club Cttee. every success with their programme.

* * * *

PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITALS VIEWED BY THEIR PATIENTS - Report of an Attitude survey by W. Raphael and V. Peers



Percentage critical: whole group 25
short-stay 32
long-stay 17

'It is not normal for people to live together', said one patient, and dislike was often expressed about the constant pressure of humanity around, of living closely in a group very mixed on age, type of illness, interests and social background. Many were unhappy at living closely with people very unlike themselves with little possibility of privacy by day or by night. Therefore, it is not surprising that a quarter of the patients criticised this aspect of hospital life - the short-stay patients much more than the long-stay. 'Feel terribly exposed.' 'Want to be alone more'. 'Always with others.' 'Don't like having visitors here, can't merge the two worlds.' These were typical remarks. One patient said, 'It is like being in the middle of Hyde Park'.

The exceptions were the lucky few who had single rooms and, to some extent, those who could escape social pressures by going into the grounds. Often single rooms cannot be provided but some patients said they would feel happier if there were curtains between adjacent beds. There was some resentment when people from other parts of the hospital infringed the privacy of the ward: 'dislike patients from other wards wandering in', or used the ward as a short cut, 'outsiders constantly coming through.

Lack of privacy in the bathrooms, washrooms and lavatories received some criticism - though less than might be expected as seldom, if ever, was there screening between the two baths. Sometimes the bathroom and lavatory doors had no locks and were open for anyone to enter. It should be noted that locks can be bought which can be opened easily by a nurse in case of emergency.

Only a few people made such remarks as, 'not used to privacy' 'get used to lack of privacy' or who said, 'I always bath at a quiet hour' or rather pathetically proud, 'We can lock the toilet doors' or 'We have curtains between the baths.'

Washbasins and Baths

Percentage critical: whole group 18
short-stay 17
long-stay 14

In some of the hospitals, priority had been given to the provision of good sanitary annexes, and there had been recent improvements in them. Indeed, in no hospital was there serious criticism such as occurred frequently in surveys of patients' opinions in general hospitals. Where the washing accommodation was good, the patients wrote such remarks as, 'bathroom gorgeous', 'hot bath at any time', 'clean and lovely', 'basins excellent'. However - critical comments were far more frequent and these centred on four topics: shortage, equipment, lack of cleanliness and privacy.

The shortage of baths stimulated such comment as, 'only two baths for 23 people', 'a continuous queue for the bath', 'we only get one bath a week'. Sometimes this shortage was due to the bathroom being closed at certain hours: 'bath closed at 8.15 p.m.', 'cannot take bath when you like'.

Suggestions on equipment included, 'Showers would be preferable and more hygienic', 'Need shelves above basins on which to put toilet things', 'Warm water runs out of cold taps' (this was said frequently).

Lack of cleanliness was only mentioned occasionally: 'dirty because patients don't clean them' and there were one or two complaints about the presence of beetles or ants.

Comments on the lack of privacy in the bathrooms and washrooms have been quoted above.

Facilities for washing and drying clothes, especially underclothes, were wanted by many women. Some wards already had washing machines which were greatly appreciated. In others, there were requests not only for washing machines but also for spin dryers or a drying room. Most women are used to laundering their clothes frequently and the opportunity for doing this adds to the normality and dignity of their lives. Several people said that they wore hospital underwear because they did not want their own to go to go to the hospital laundry.


Percentage critical: whole group 17
short-stay 20
long-stay 12

As with washbasins and baths a far smaller proportion of patients in psychiatric hospitals criticised the lavatories than was found in the survey with patients in general hospitals. Criticism was on similar topics to that given on washbasins and baths, that is, shortage, equipment, lack of cleanliness and privacy, but the balance of criticism between these topics was different. Few patients spoke of shortage, except in one hospital where some of the WCs were locked up during the night, but many commented on their dirty condition. 'Could be cleaner'. They stressed that this was not the fault of the staff, but was due to 'the habits of some of the patients'. 'Some patients dirty the floor'. 'Filthy in the morning'. 'People don't follow the rota for cleaning'. Several people suggested that more disinfectant was needed and should be left in the lavatories. New lavatories were said to be required in some wards because the old equipment would not flush properly or tended to overflow, and occasionally there was a shortage of toilet paper. Again, people spoke of the embarrassment of having no locks or engaged signs, 'so people barge in',


* * * * *



Now that April is near, preparations are being made for the annual election of candidates to the Staff Side of the Joint Consultative Staffs Cttee.

The functions of this Cttee. are laid down in the Whitley Council's General Conditions of Service as the promotion of co-operation between the Management Cttee., its senior officers, and staff; the furthering of the welfare of patients and the efficient administration of the hospital; the consideration of suggestions for the improvement of staff amenities and welfare; and the prevention of friction and misunderstanding.

Meetings of the Committee take place monthly (excepting August) on the second Thursday of the month. Then, representatives of the Warrington Group H.M.C. and senior officers of Winwick Hospital meet with the Staff Side.

In addition to this, the work of the J.C.S.C. is assisted by two Sub-Committees - the Nursing Staff Sub-committee, which deals with matters relevant to the nursing service of the hospital; and the Communications Sub-committee, which is concerned with policy decisions involved in the production of the hospital magazine, and, via the Publications Committee, with the week to week running of 'The Standard'. (Staff may be nominated to serve on these Sub-committees from the full J.C.S.C., or can be co-opted on to them).

The present Staff Side of the J.C.S.C. consists of 10 members, with one seat vacant. The names of those serving are as follows:

SectionSeats  Representatives
Administrative & Clerical2Mrs M Milner (Higher Clerical Officer)
---seat vacant---
Artisan2Mr S Jones (Electrician)
Mr J Shaw (Painter)
Domestic, Farms & Gardens2Mrs D Porter (Telephonist)
Mrs M Seddon (Wardmaid)
Nursing3Mrs K Lythgoe (Sister)
Mr B McAuley (SEN)
Mr D McKendrick (Charge Nurse)
Professional & Technical2Mr E Bromley (Psychologist)
Mr R Bruton (Education Officer)

Last year, staff were also nominated to deputise for Staff Side members in their absence. Serving in this capacity are:

Mr T.P. Flaherty(Deputy Charge Nurse)
Mr B. Naylor(Art Therapist)
Mr B. Nugent(Student Nurse)

This year will be the final year in which the J.C.S.C. exists in its present form, due to the re-organisation of the N.H.S. which is scheduled to take place next April. The future format of management/staff relations is at present under consideration by the J.C.S.C. and it is hoped that the experience gained by this Committee will prove useful in introducing improved consultative procedures.

To be a representative voice, the Staff Side relies upon the involvement of staff members, especially at election time. Last year, interest in the elections appeared to decline. In March, 1971 20 staff put their names forward for election to the Staff side, which resulted in ballots being held in three out of the five sections. At the elections, 246 ballot papers were returned - 59 by domestic, farms and gardens staff; 144 by nursing staff; and 43 by professional and technical staff. All 11 seats on the Staff Side were thus filled. In contrast to this, only 13 staff were nominated last year, and ballots were necessary in only 2 sections. The number of ballot papers returned was down to 127 - 102 from nursing staff and 25 from professional and technical staff. One seat in the Administration and Clerical Section was left vacant.

The wheels should soon be in motion for the distribution of nomination forms, and it is hoped that details can appear in 'The Standard' next week.

Each member of staff should consider the importance of staff involvement in the process of communication and consultation, and seek to increase the number of staff nominated this year as candidates and assure the success of the elections by completing and returning their ballot paper.

D. McKendrick


If you were around when a party of student nurses from the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary visited the hospital on Friday, February 23rd, you may have recognised one of the faces. For amongst the group was SYLVIA HEATH, who was at one time dental receptionist in our clinic.

Sylvia, who was very popular with both patients and staff, comes from Ashton-in-Makerfield. At present she is in her third year of training at Wigan Infirmary, and when she has qualified hopes to undertake her psychiatric training at Billinge Hospital.


A statistical report - "The Facilities and Services of the Psychiatric Hospitals in England and Wales 1971" was published last week by the Department of Health and Social Security and the Welsh Office.

On the one hand, the report reveals the improvements which have taken place in recent years in the levels of staffing, training and education of patients in the psychiatric sectors. However, wide variations in staffing ratios and educational and occupational facilities are demonstrated. For example, nurse/patient ratios vary from 22.5 nurses to 100 resident patients in one mental hospital in the South West Metropolitan Region, to 70.6 nurses per 100 resident patients at a mental hospital in Yorkshire and 118.5 nurses per 100 resident patients at a London teaching hospital.

Levels of medical staffing also vary, ranging from 0.55 doctors per 100 patients in a 2,000 bedded mental hospital group in Lancashire(?) to a ratio of 36,52 medical staff per 100 patients in a London teaching hospital.

The report also stated that six per cent of psychiatric hospital beds in 1971 were in dormitories of 50 or more beds, and lists a number of hospitals where such a situation exists. The "Lancashire Evening Post and Chronicle" recently carried a news item on the report and mentioned that Winwick Hospital was one of such hospitals. The paper said that DR WARD, Medical Superintendent, had confirmed that the number of people in a dormitory went as high as 65, although this did represent a reduction in numbers from what was at one time accepted as the optimum number of patients per ward. Dr Ward pointed out that, as the Department of Health was not in favour of providing new buildings, the only solution lay in splitting wards and by a general reduction in the number of patients.




The above opera company will be appearing at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool, for two weeks commencing April 30th.

A list of the works to he performed can he found on various notice boards about the hospital.

There are party booking concessions and in certain circumstances 50% of a party's travelling expenses can be obtained from The Merseyside Arts Association. Contact R. Bruton in the Library if you can't get all you need from the Notice Boards.



PHILLIPS 4-Speed, 4-Track Tape-recorder. Plus Tapes and Microphone.
£15.00   Box No 3


The Students' Society of the Institute of Health Service Administrators is arranging a disc featuring "The April Fool" on 31st March 1973, in the Recreation Hall, Broadgreen Hospital, Thomas Drive, Liverpool 14 from 16.00 hours to 24.00 hours. There will be a bar, and tickets (35p each) can be obtained from Mr. Nicholson at Broadgreen Hospital or via one of the Administrators in your General Office.

* * * * *

M E M B E R S   N 0 T I C E

D A N C E  T O



8.00 p.m. - 12.00 midnight




* * * * *

M E M B E R S   N 0 T I C E
Announce the return of



FRIDAY, 2nd MARCH 1973

8.00 p.m. - 12.00 midnight


NO Admission after 10.30 p.m.

* * *


After a rather long delay we are once again attempting to get the monthly disco sessions underway.

We hope to have a Disco on the first Friday of each month, but due to other sections of the club wishing to use the Dance Room we may occasionally have to change the night to Thursday.

Each Disco will be advertised on the club notice board and in The Standard. Please use your eyes as well as your ears and be sure of the date. "DON'T RELY ON THE GRAPEVINE".

Last Friday, 23rd February, at rather short notice and with little advertising - we had a "DANCE TO DISCS NIGHT". We hope to arrange one each Friday the Dance Room is not in use: (Disco Nights excluded of course). The next one will take place on Friday 9th March. Please watch the notice boards and Standard for further news.

May I take this opportunity to remind all Hospital Staff wishing to partake in any of the club activities, that they must become club members and renew their membership annually (Fee 30p).

On Friday 2nd March, (Disco Night) the subscription secretary will be available for the convenience of staff wishing to renew their membership and any new staff who want to become club members.

Members are, of course, welcome to bring guests into the club and may nominate a friend to apply for Social membership.

M. Moon

* * * *


The monthly meeting of the Winwick Branch of the Confederation of Health Service Employees will be held on Monday next, March 5th, at 5.30 p.m. in the In-service Training Room.

All branch members are asked to attend.

B. McAuley
Branch Secretary

* * * *

Welcome to

Mr J Doyle N/A
Miss M Moores N/A

Farewell to

Miss E.C. AngusStudent Nurse
Miss J. MidgeleyPupil Nurse
Mrs J. AnzioniT/SEN Night Duty
Mrs W. LarverT/NA Nurse Night Duty
Mrs B. BirdT/Staff Nurse Night Duty


New Books available on loan -

'The Educational Needs of Severely Subnormal Children' - M. Stevens.

'Preventive Medicine, Community Health and Social Services' - Meredith Davies

'Adolescence and Social Work' - A.L. Laycock

'Modern Textbook of Personal and Communal Health for Nurses' - M.A, Priest


** ** ** ** ** ** ** **