24th October, 1973Vol. 3. No. 17 (15).

Contents -

Around the Hospital
Round the N.H.S.
Letters to the Editor
Mental Patients Union
Nursing News


The Preamble

In our edition of July 24th this year we gave a précis of the 10th Mind Report, 'Patients rights - the mentally disordered in hospitals'. (Compiled by the National Association for Mental Health).

The Mind Report argued from the premise that 'everyone has the basic rights to liberty and to equality of treatment, and these rights are not forfeited just because someone has to enter hospital for treatment, either for a physical or a mental disorder'.

Specific concern was expressed over - compulsory admission as an administrative convenience. Inequality of treatment, both medical and nursing, if the relative costs of 'acute' hospitals and 'mental illness' hospitals are an index.

The right of the long-stay patient to have gainful employment which can be defended against the charge of 'cheap labour'.

Recently we published an article which identified your own clothing as one of your 'rights'. And, as a Talking Point we mentioned pay for Bank Holidays as an aspect of the developing 'Rehabilitation scene' at Winwick, adding the query - 'How far and fast can you go?'

The point

The declaration of the Mental Patients' Union (which has been printed in Inscape No. 8, the journal of the British Association of Art Therapists) goes far and fast.



Social Club News

Club subscriptions deduction at source.

Forms enabling the hospital to deduct subscriptions (1p per week) at source are printed, and should soon be issued in pay packets.

Please sign these promptly and give them to your Head of Department, Charge Nurse, Sister, etc., from where they will be collected by members of the Social Club Committee. You may of course, continue to pay your subscriptions in the old manner, but deductions at source, it is hoped, will lead to increased membership - which will benefit the Club and all who use it.

L. Jones.



Netball practice will start on November 6th at 9.00 p,m. in the Female Gym.. The match held on Sunday, October 21st against the G.P.O. ended in a victory for Winwick, with a score of 30 - 16. Come and support your team.

J. Devine.

Snooker and Billiards

The Warrington Snooker and Billiards League started on September 27th. All three Winwick teams found it hard to get points.

The snooker 'A' team lost their first three games 5-3, 6-2, 6-2, but won last Thursday with a score of 5-3.

The 'B' team lost 8-0, 7-1, t'hon won 6-2. E. Aston was the only winner up till then.

The first match of the Billiards team was postponed because of the alterations to the bar and the re-decorating, of the Club, but they played on Tuesday last, losing 4-3.

P. Hastry.

Professional Hour

'The Presentation and the Servery of Food' was the subject of the monthly Professional Hour for Ward Sisters and Charge Nurses held in the In-service Training Room on Thursday, October 18th.

In outlining the subject, John Bainbridge, Catering Officer, said that his discussion could be divided into four parts: communication, presentation, distribution and choice menus. Of these, communication between catering department and wards was the most important factor in improving the catering service to the patient. Unless wards notified the catering department of errors or shortages, or dishes which were unpopular with patients, then the service would prove unsatisfactory. For their part, the department always undertook responsibility for rectifying any mistakes or omissions which occurred.

He went on to say that the presentation of meals could leave much to be desired, and in the lively discussion which followed it was agreed that replacement of the old-style food servers by modern utensils would allow ward staff to serve food much more attractively. The Principal Nursing Officer and Mr. Bainbridge agreed to examine this.

On the subject of the distribution of meals, there were those in favour of a cafeteria system on selected wards, whilst one charge nurse in particular felt that the introduction of a central dining hall in the hospital would prove extremely useful. Mr. Bainbridge said that it is planned to install self-service cafeteria equipment at Delph Hospital within a few weeks.

The major proposal put forward by Mr. Bainbridge was the introduction sometime next year of choice menus on the wards. He showed those present various sample menus and a proposed new diet list, which would allow patients a choice of meals. The diet list covered one week's meals, but eventually it was planned to introduce a daily sheet, and, later on, diet cards would be provided for those wards whose patients could be encouraged to complete their own selection of meals. He said that choice menus should lead to a reduction in the considerable amount of food wasted at present by allowing more accurate prediction of the amount of food required and by the knowledge that the patient was being supplied with the meal he or she desired. He realised that the system would have 'teething troubles', and would mean considerable extra work both in the wards and in the catering departments but he was sure that the end result would justify the effort.

In the ensuing discussion, it was felt that the proposals would certainly present difficulty in the wards, but if a better catering service could be achieved then the excercise deserved a trial. It was generally acknowledged that the catering service in the hospital had already improved considerably over recent years, and that increased co-operation between wards and the catering department was necessary if existing problems were to be overcome.

.Editors: As yet there has been no response to our request for a Deputy Ward Sister/Charge Nurse to provide a small report on their own Professional Hour. Any offers?


Ward 38 would welcome any oddments of wool which people can spare. The wool is to be used for a ward project.



Women In Top Jobs

The first woman to be selected as a Chief Officer by the new Cheshire County Council is Miss Mary Ross.

Miss Ross, whose first local government appointment was that of child care officer in Dudley, is at present Director of Social Services for Carlisle, and will become Deputy-director of Social Services with the new Cheshire Autbority.

St. Helens Exhibition

St. Helens' Social Services Department launched a four-day exhibition on Monday, October 22nd.

The exhibition - called 'Who Cares' - was held in the Town Hall, and was designed to show residents how the Social Services Department and voluntary organisations care for the needy.

The event also aimed at recruiting people for the town's voluntary organisations.

New appointment to "Mind'

Tony Smyth, previously general secretary of the National Council for Civil Liberties, has been appointed director of MIND, the National Association for Mental Health. He takes over from David Ennals, who is leaving in the next few months.

The MIND campaign has focused public attention on mental illness and handicap, through over 100 local mental health associations, which now include the recently-formed Warrington branch. Mr. Smyth intends to integrate the campaign at national and local levels to develop an even more effective pressure group.

In the Group

Maternity Department's Open Day

Warrington General's Maternity Department held their Exhibition and Open Day on Wednesday, October 17th. Over 1,000 people attended, and saw stands showing nursing methods of the past and the progress that has been made on the theme of 'taking the-drudgery out of nursing'. The exhibition also covered the career structure of the modern midwife and other associated careers.

The event was planned to attract nurses to train for midwifery, and over 50 enquiries have been received to date.

Miss Joyce Potter, Senior Nursing Officer of the Maternity Department, said that she had.been pleasantly surprised by the co-operation shown by all grades of staff in making the event a success.

The department is to be congratulated on the publicity achieved - not only the local press, but also the 'Nursing Times' and Granada Television announced the event.

Social Services Appointment

The Social Services Officer for the new Warrington District has now been appointed. He is Mr. Colin J, Smart from Bromborough, and he will be responsible for the administration of Cheshire's largest Social Services Departnent.

Since March, 1971, Mr. Smart has been an Assistant Social Services Director.with Cheshire County Council. He holds the Diploma in Public and Social Administration, was the last, and youngest, Life President of the Association of Child Care Officers and the first chairman of the Child Care Section of the British Association of Social Workers. He has one child, and is married to a social worker.

The resources administered by Mr. Smart from April next will be the largest of the County Social Services' allocation, for the Warrington District will contain more people than the other seven areas.

Tramp, Tramp, Tramp

WArrington Hospital held a Tramp's Ball in the Recreation Hall on Friday, October 19th. The evening was organised by the hospital's League of Friends, and proceeds went towards the building of a rehabilitation centre for rheumatoid arthritis victims.


Re: The Lunatic Look

In the immediate future blue terylene net bags will be issued to male wards. The bags are to be used for the washing of socks only, in an effort to return socks to the ward of origin. All socks should be despatched to the Laundry in the bag making sure the bag is securely tied.

The bags and contents will be washed and disinfected without the bags being opened and returned to the ward of origin as received. By this means patients may have a greater opportunity to wear their own socks.

Quoting my friend Mr. Breslin, let us all apply ourselves with "single minded tenacity. use improvements of a high order, and with total commitment ensure the success of the small contribution to the dignity of the male patient.

I hope to be able through the columns of the journal to report the total success of the venture that the stone has for once gone over the mountain.



Stepping Stones Xmas Trip

The Stepping Stones Club is having their annual Christmas Dance on Friday 28th December on board the Royal Iris. There is transport booked from Warrington to Liverpool and return. There will be on board a band plus disco, spot prizes and a very nice meal.

To all those people who attended our dance last year (and enjoyed it) I would like to welcome them again. Come on have a good night out, and enjoy yourselves and at the same time support a worth while charity.

For those of you who are unfortunate to be working until 9.00 p.m., and would like to go on our little jaunt, please let either Mr. Villiers Social Therapy Department or myself know and we shall arrange for a coach to be at the Hall Porters for that time.



We proclaim the dignity of society's so-called mental patients. We challenge repressive psychiatric practice and its ill-defined concepts of 'mental illness'.

We state that the present appalling situation in 'mental health' primarily arises from the acute problems in HOUSING. UNEMPLOYMENT, and SOCIAL INEQUALITY.

Mental patients in our society are treated as people with NO HUMAN RIGHTS. We are stigmatised and our accounts of what happens to us in mental hospitals and outside, are taken as symptoms of an 'illness'. Most of us are never even given the opportunity to speak about what happens in mental hospitals as we are incarcerated there and subjected to 'treatments' which DESTROY our MEMORIES, CONFUSE our SPEECH and COORDINATION, DESTROY our INCENTIVE and INTIMIDATE US.

OUR FIRST INTENT in forming ourselves into a UNION is to FIGHT against the 'conspiracy of DEAFNESS' that confronts us.

The Mental Patients' Union will REPRESENT mental patients wherever they require to be represented. WE WILL FIGHT to make what rights of representation formally exist effective and to secure rights of representation wherever they do not exist. We will seek to INFORM patients and ex-patients about their rights, minimal though they are, e.g. the right to appeal against compulsory detention in some circumstances. We will, however, as representatives of our fellow mental patients REFUSE to bargain behind the backs of our members with the 'authorities'. We will attempt to provide LEGAL, SOCIAL and ADVISORY SUPPORT for all mental patients and ex-patients who ask the Union for help.

We will expose the Myth that most treatment and admission to mental hospitals is really voluntary. We will do this by:

1. PUBLICISING the deceit that authorities use to get people into mental hospitals with the least resistance, the DECEPTION and FORCE that is frequently used to inflict 'treatment" and the cases of forcibly detained patients classified as voluntary.

2. EXPOSING the POWER of psychiatrists to prevent technically 'voluntary' patients from leaving by imposing compulsory detention orders, removing patients' clothes, by locking 'open' wards and by heavy drug use and other deceptive tactics.

3. EXPOSING the desperate SITUATIONS where people have no alternative but to accept mental hospital admission because of lack of accommodation, necessary welfare services or homes for the elderly.

We will expose the use of 'treatment' as forms of punishment.

We will expose the way in which social workers are used as CONTROL agents to cover up the social outrages of our society; and how industrial and occupational therapy is used as a source of CHEAP LABOUR; and expose the dull, soul-destroying work which is called occupational therapy. We intend to show how 'rehabilitation' is used as a process which seeks only to achieve ADJUSTMENT and CONFORMITY of the patient to the present social system.

We will show how PSYCHOTHERAPY can act as a subtle form of social control.


1. the abolition of compulsory treatment, i.e. we demand the effective right of patients to refuse any specific treatment.

2. the abolition of any right of 'authorities' to treat patients in the face of opposition of relatives or closest friends, unless it is clearly shown that the patient of his own volition desires the treatment.

3. the abolition of irreversible psychiatric 'treatments' (electroconvulsive therapy, brain surgery, specific drugs).

4. higher standards in the testing of 'treatments' before use on us.

5. that patients should be informed if a 'treatment' is experimental and should have the effective right to refuse to be experimented on.

6. that patients be told what 'treatments' they are receiving and what the long term effects are.

7. the abolition of isolation 'treatment' - seclusion in locked side rooms, padded cells etc.

8. the right of any patient to inspect his or her casenotes and the right to take legal action relating to the contents and consequences of them.

9. that the 'authorities' should not discharge a patient against his or her will because they refuse 'treatment' or for any other reason.

10. that all patients should have the right to have any 'treatment' which they believe will help them.

11. that local authorities should provide housing for patients wishing to leave hospital and that adequate social security benefits should be provided. We will support any mental patients or ex-patients in their struggle to get these facilities and any person who is at risk of becoming a mental patient because of inadequate accommodation, lack of financial support, social pressures, etc.

12. We call for the abolition of compulsory hospitalisation.

13. an end to the indiscriminate use of the term 'mental subnormality'. We intent to fight the condemnation of people as 'mentally subnormal', in the absence of any real practical work to tackle the problem with active social understanding and help.

14. the abolition of the concept of 'psychopath' as a legal or medical category.

15. the right of patients to retain their personal clothing in hospitals and to secure personal possessions without interference by hospital staff.

16. the abolition of compulsory work in hospitals and outside and the abolition of the right of hospital 'authorities' to withhold and control patients' money.

17, the right of the patients to join and participate fully in the Trade Union of their choice.

18. that Trade Union rates are paid to patients for any work done where such rates do not yet exist.

19. we call on the Trade Unions to support patients in their fight for Trade Union rates of pay.

20. that patients should have recourse to a room in which they can enjoy their own privacy with others, of either sex, of their own choosing.

21. the abolition of censorship by hospital authorities of patients' communications with society outside the hospital and in particular the abolition of telephone and letter censorship. We demand the abolition of any power of the authorities to restrict patients' visiting rights.

22. the right of mental Patients Union representatives to inspect all areas of hospitals, or equivalent institutions.

23. Ve deny that there is any such thing as 'incurable' mental illness and demand the right to investigate the circumstances of any mental hospital patient who believes he or she is being treated as 'incurable'.

24. that every mental patient or ex-patient should have the right to a free second opinion by a Psychiatrist of the patients' or Mental Patients' Union representatives' choice, if he or she disagrees with the diagnosis.

25 that every mental patient or ex-patient should have the right to effective appeal machinery.


Mental Patients' Union.



Welcome to:

Mrs. B. Hoban  T/NA
Mrs. J.E. Butler  T/SN
Mrs. S. Green  T/NA

Farewell to:

Mr. T. L. Kisthoo  P/N
Mrs. M. Lamb  N/A
Mrs. E. Greensmith  T/SEN N.D.

Technical Hursing Library

New books available on loan

'Drugs and Pharmacology for Nurses' - S.J. Hopkins
'Nursing of People with Cardiovascular Problems' - Armington & Creighton
'Adult Surgery' - McWee & Kennedy Browne
'Microbiology for Nurses' - Bocock & Parker

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