Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Craig-y-nos -No attempt to train nurses

Dr Carole Reeves writes:

In November 1945, members of the General Nursing Council for England and Wales visited Craig-y-nos to assess its suitability as an approved Training School for Nurses. This is part of their report:

‘A country mansion adapted as a Hospital which is neither compact nor convenient. The large rooms make four wards but the sanitary annexes were inadequate. There were no facilities for nurses’ handwashing except the kitchen sink, and no attempt was made to sterilise the patients’ crockery. Main kitchen was not good. Laundry small but adequate with disinfector adjacent.’

The single storey nurses’ home accommodated 18 nurses in 8 single and 5 double rooms, with 6 handbasins, 2 baths and 2 w.c.’s. The Sisters slept in a separate home and the night nurses in a flat apart from the home. Only Matron Knox-Thomas and the Assistant Matron were state registered nurses (SRN). The 4 ward ‘sisters’, 1 night ‘sister’ and 4 ‘staff nurses’ were not state registered. In addition there were 12 assistant nurses with over 2 years’ experience and 6 student nurses who were preparing for the Tuberculosis Association Examination. The day nurses worked 54 hours a week and the night nurses 72 hours a week. Teaching facilities were considered ‘poor’. Lectures were given in the Patti Theatre by the Deputy Medical Officer (Dr Hubbard) and the Assistant Matron.

The inspectors summed it up: ‘There is no attempt to train nurses. Apart from the Matron and Assistant Matron there is no trained supervision, day or night. The patients appear comfortable and happy. Disinfection is adequate, sputum properly dealt with, gowns provided for nurses.

A number of boys between 4 and 8 years, and several children under 4 were tied in bed with restrainers, except at night. The poison cupboard key was left hanging in the Duty Room.’

Recommendation: ‘That this Hospital should not be granted approval as a Training School for Nurses.’

Had things improved by the time the inspectors visited in 1950? Read the next installment to find out.

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