24th July, 1973Vol. 3. No. 3.

Contents -

Round the N.H.S.
Letter to the Editor
Social Club News
Around the Hospital
Nursing News


Further increase in Health Bill

Expenditure on health and social services rose by £279 million in 1972 to £2,267 million. About £209 million of this was to meet price rises and salary increases.

The increase over the previous year was just over 14 per cent, states the annual report of the Department of Health and Social Security. In real terms, the increase was about £7O miIlion. Expenditure for 1972/73 is estimated at £2,607 million.

On manpower, the report says that by October, 1972 the number of principals providing full general medical services in England increased by 401 to 19,775. This continues an upward trend and represents the largest increase for many years. The average number of patients per doctor fell by 39 to 2,421. The number of prescriptions dispensed rose slightly to 256 million, and the total cost of prescriptions was about £211 million, an increase of £24 million on the previous year.

Running costs of N.H.S. hospitals totalled £1,130 million, up £144 million. About three-quarters of this was due to pay and price increases.

The number of nursing staff was the highest ever recorded, with the number of whole-time staff 6.3 per cent up, and part-time up 4.9 per cent.

On the social services side, about 24 million claims for benefits and allowances were made during the year, with an average of about £18 million being paid each week.

During the year there were 97,640,000 claims for sickness and invalidity benefits, about 963,000 more than the previous year.


1974 Salary Scales for top doctors

Top community physicians, the successors to the Medical Officers of Health in the reorganised National Health Service, will be on maximum salaries of just over £10,000 per year, according to scales recommended by the Review Body on doctors' and dentists' remuneration.

This is in line with proposals by the health departments to the Review Body, but nearly £3,000 a year less than figures urged by the medical profession. The Review Body admits that the pay is less than some medical officers of health already receive.

The highest salary paid in 1972 was £11,347 would have gone up under a recent award. Negotiations are under way to ensure that no one moving from an existing post to a comparable one in the new service shall take a drop in pay.

The recommendations will also make it possible for a doctor working as a member of a team to get up to £5,000 a year more than the leader of the team.


'Mind' Report

Britain's 160,000 mental hospital patients are grossly underprivileged compared with patients in general hospitals, says a report published last week by MIND, the National Association for Mental Health.

The report cites figures which show that mental patients are not getting anything like their fair share of the National Health cake. It points out that on present trends one in every nine men and one in every six women will at some time be an in-patient at a mental hospital, and calls for immediate allocation of more staff and funds to hospitals for the mentally disordered, and more imaginative use of the resources that are available.

The MIND report claims that in an acute general hospital of more than 100 beds, £4.48 per patient per week is spent on medical staff and in a mainly long-stay hospital the figure is only £1.83. But, for the mental illness hospitals, the figure is £1.17, and for subnormality hospitals only 60 pence.

According to MIND 45 per cent of all hospital beds are occupied by the mentally-disordered, yet only 11 per cent of hospital consultants are psychiatrists. The report states "Consultants are ultimately responsible for patients' treatment. There is one consultant for every 105 mentally ill patients in England and in subnormality hospitals the ratio is one to 503. A recent survey concludes that the mentally ill patient could expect on average to see his consultant for half an hour a month and a consultant psychiatrist of wide experience has put the figure at one hour a year. Five minutes a month would be an optimistic estimate for the subnormal patient. Under these circumstances, what chance has the patient of developing any confidence in those responsible for his treatment, or of giving them any genuine co-operation."

The report says that the acute general hospital of more than 100 beds spends £20.81 per patient per week on nurses and the mainly long-stay hospital £16.61. Mental illness hospitals spend £9.31 and mental handicap hospitals spend £8.34.

MIND also claims some hospitals are reluctant to admit patients in the absence of a consultant and says, "This leads to an inexcusable situation where some patients must be admitted compulsorily to enable them to enter hospital at all."

Rates of compulsory admission show considerable regional variations ranging from 143 per thousand to 225 per thousand.

Another criticism is the alleged lack of employment opportunities for mental patients.

Overcrowding, too, is mentioned in the report, which says that in 1969 nearly 70 per cent of patients in subnormality hospitals slept in a bed two feet or less away from the next one and more than 90 per cent had less than the minimum recommended space either by day or night.

MIND concludes that both as patients and as residents, the mentally disordered in hospital are at the back of the queue. Among the things urgently needed are: higher staff-patient ratios; more employment and training for patients; replacements for old and overcrowded hospitals; improvement in meals; greater recognition of patients' emotional and sexual needs; patients to be kept informed of their rights.


New Theatre for Wrightington

Wrightington Hospital, world-famous centre for hip surgery, is to get a third space-age theatre. An extra staff of six and an extra surgeon are being taken on to man the new unit, and the nearby recovery room is to be extended to accommodate 16 patients room instead of the present eight.

The new facilities should be open in September, according to the hospital secretary, Mr. Harry Bibby.

The new theatre, costing £8,000 is on the lines of two others installed at the hospital over the past two years. It has a special air-conditioning system that changes the air inside up to four times per minute. At 10 feet square, it is also the biggest at Wrightington, and can be extended through removable sides.


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Dear Sir,

May I once again make use of your columns to inform those concerned that some vacancies still exist on the Annual Pilgrimage of Ward Sisters and Charge Nurses.

This year's series of trips, commencing on July 30th, will be to the Records Office, in the glorious, sun-drenched Front Corridor. As usual, they provide a much-needed opportunity for ward staff to experience a break from the tedious, repetitive routines of ward life, and see the fascinating, important work carried out in the many departments of the hospital.

Previous successful excursions, remembered with nostalgia by many nurses, were the Overland Trek to the windswept Swill Wastes, and the romantic Scaling of the Foul Linen Heights. Many a humble ward office is brightened by a souvenir collected on these trips, a tribute and reminder of the debt owed to the organisers.

It iq hoped that as many sisters and charge nurses as possible will avail themselves once again of the opportunity of widening... and... widening... their horizons.

David McKendrick.
On three occasions I have left the hospital by the Infirmary exit, noticing, on coming to the car park, a number of cylinders just standing upright with nothing to hold them. Surely there is something wrong here.

I, for one, do not like anything under pressure (unless it pleases me). But if they happen to fall, or be knocked over by a patient (after all, this is a psychiatric hospital), they could be damaged or injure someone. If they happen to be full, surely the chances are they will explode, causing serious damage or perhaps killing someone?

There is no disrespect meant in this letter to anyone at all. I wonder if I am right in bringing up this question. If so, can anything be done?

W. K. Painter
Student Nurse.

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It has been agreed to suggest to Management that membership Subscriptions in future be 1p per week, and be deducted at source. It is proposed to issue forms to everyone in the hospital to establish how many people would be in agreement with this plan.

Committee Elections 1973

Results of the 1973 Ballot were as follows:-

Mrs. B. Powell 24 votes )
Mrs. M. Badger 21 votes )
Mrs. C. O'Driscoll 15 votes  
Mrs. E. Williams 9 votes  
Mrs. M. Harvey 5 votes  
Mrs. M. Pilling 5 votes  
Mrs. M. Milner 3 votes  
Mr, E. Jackson 32 votes )
Mr. C. Rimmer 32 votes )
Mr, E. Critchley 31 votes )
Mr. W. Hanson 29 votes )
Mr, D. Hamilton 24 votes  

6 Members were to be appointed - 2 Female, 4 Male.

Due to re-development and upgrading of the concert room, there will be no discos for the next three weeks. We hope this does not cause any inconvenience to our patrons, and look forward to seeing you once more when we re-open on August 18th.

Entertainment Section.

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Responsibility for Homeless

Subject to full council agreement the responsibility for providing.temporary accommodation for the homeless in this area is to be transferred from the Social Service Committee to the Housing Committee.

Director of Social Services, Mr. George Royle, has said that it had not proved possible to provide a hostel-type building which would have suited the need.

New Day Nursery

Tenders have been invited by Warrington Town Council for a new day nursery in Orford Lane.

Mr. Royle said that it would be a replacement for the existing building, which is to be cleared for the redevelopment of St. Benedict's School, and would have the same number of places. However, the allocation of places was different, and it was expected to meet the large demand in the 3½ - 5 year bracket.


For Sale

Black and Decker Rotor Mower, three months old. £7.

Box No. 18

Austin 1100, 1964.
Good running order
M.O.T.'d till February £60. Box No. 17

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Off Sick

Among others -

Les Powell, Miss O'Connell, Str. Lythgoe, and Jack Shaw

We wish them a speedy recovery.


Tony Haughey

Mr. Haughey, who is a Nursing Officer at Sefton General Hospital and was previously an Assistant Chief Male Nurse here from April 69 to December 7l, has recently been appointed Regional Nursing Officer to the Manchester Regional Hospital Board. Tony takes up his new duties on 1.9.73, and may I, on behalf of the staff who knew and worked with him, wish him well in his new post.

J.E. Wright.

George Britch

A farewell party was held last Friday to mark the retirement, after 42 years service at the hospital, of Mr. George Britch. George started work on the Farm in 1931, moving to the Gardens, where he has worked ever since, in 1935 In the hospital George!has at various times been an active member of the J.C.S.C., and the Representative of N.U.P.E. It isn't possible in a few words to give much idea of vhat a 42 years working life must have covered, but a hint of the perspective can be gathered from the fact that George's first wage was 39/- per week.

We wish him a lomg and happy retirement to follow his many outside interests - campanology at Winwick church being one.



Mr. G. Scott, and the staff of the Laundry, would like to record their appreciation of the recent efforts of Mr. Wood and his engineering staff in the Laundry.

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Professional Hour 19.7.73

The speaker was the Rehabilitation Officer Mr. J.A. Jolley who took as his subject.- Sense and Nonsense in Rehabilitation. Noting that there is sometimes confusion between the two concepts - rehabilitation and resettlement - Mr. Jolley suggested that it was nonsense to attempt resettlement before the many areas of a complete rehabilitation scheme had been pursued effectively. Further, resettlement in its fullest sense might be impossible to attain in many cases. Nevertheless, rehabilitation of all patients should be the goal, since in so doing everyone would lead a more meaningful and worthwhile life.

The lack of any positive rehabilitation scheme had been the main area of criticism of the H.A.S. team on their first visit, and though the hospital's response had been very slow in the first instance Mr. Jolley felt that the establishment of a Rehabilitation Committee, followed by the setting up of a special unit at Delph, were evidence of a growing momentum in this area. The opening of two half-way houses, and of a Community home, were important future steps.

Mr. Jolley went on to illustrate how the lack of an overall scheme had led to certain anomalies in the patients' working situations.

A major step on the road to a realistic scheme had been taken when the Rehabilitation Committee recommended payment related to productivity initially in the Industrial Therapy Department. There were still three major problems, Mr. Jolley suggested, which stood in the way of complete amd effective rehabilitation in the hospital.

The ultra-protectiveness resulting from traditional 'custodial' nursing attitudes; The misuse of patient labour, when the convenience of the particular department is the main consideration; The lack of accommodation provided by Local Authorities. The meeting was then thrown open for questions, many of which indicated widespread dissatisfaction with the hospital's lack of progress until the recent developments Mr. Jolley had instanced, which were felt to be a sound basis for a realistic, on-going rehabilitation programme.

Mr. Critchley moved the vote of thanks for what had been a challenging and heartening lecture.


Xmas Cards

These will be sold again this year, with the profits going on behalf of the League of Friends.

Recreation Hall

The H.M.C. have given permission for the Recreation Hall to be marked out for Badminton courts.

New Uniforms

Discussion is taking place on the matter of new uniforms for female nursing officers in the Group.

Additional Staff

Finances have been allocated by the Regional Board for the recruitment of 12 additional nursing staff.

Patients' Bank

In a few weeks' time it is expected that the Bank will open on Fridays for patients' withdrawals.

Welcome to:-
Mrs. L.D. EvansN/A
Mr. M.P. Esler N/A
Miss M. Woods Holiday Employment
Mr. R. Taylor Holiday Employment
Farewell to:-
Mr. P. Gyennin Student
Miss S. Mann N/A
Miss S.M. Noon N/A
Mr. T. Allen S.E.N.
Mrs. A. Byron T/S.E.N.
Mrs. W. Kitson S.E.N. (Retirement)

Technical Nursing Library

Now books available on loan -

'Psychiatry' - Sargent & Slater
'Introduction to Growth, Development and Family Life' - D. E. Babcock
'Textbook of Surgery' - MacFarlane & Thomas
'Human Behaviour in Illness' - L. Gillis

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