St Nicholas Gosforth

st nickolas

The City of Newcastle upon Tyne and its’ neighbours at Durham, Northumberland, Cumberland and Westmorland were all authorities which were slow to respond to the 1845 Lunacy and County Asylums Acts which had obliged them to provide lunatic asylums. Until the new asylum was opened, Newcastle had utilised a number of private asylums in the Gateshead, Co. Durham area.The new asylum site was chosen in 1865.The asylum was designated as the County of Northumberland War Hospital by the military in 1914 and in addition to the medical and surgical cases accepted, 100 beds were also set aside for mental health patients. With the return of the civilian population the opportunity was taken to rename the asylum, which became the Newcastle upon Tyne City Mental Hospital.In line with surrounding authorities and the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913 the Newcastle Corporation purchased a site at Shotley Bridge in order to provide facilities for so called mentally defective persons. Shotley Bridge was evacuated at the start of the 1939 War to serve as an Emergency Medical Services Hospital. After the War, the creation of the National Health Service 1948 meant the transfer of the Newcastle upon Tyne City Mental Hospital to the newly formed Newcastle Regional Hospital Board. The new management resulted in a change of name to the St. Nicholas Hospital.

As the Government’s policy of winding down large mental hospitals continued into the 1980’s the former female wing, previously the original asylum was gradually vacated and patients were concentrated into the 1890’s extensions. The chapel was destroyed by fire in 1986 and subsequently demolished, part of its’ site being developed in 1994 as the Ashgrove Nursing Home. The hospital continues to operate from the refurbished former male wing and a number of newer detached units in the grounds. The majority of the hospital grounds south of the main buildings are occupied by housing development.


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The National Health Service Act 1946 (c 81) came into effect on 5 July 1948 and created the National Health Service in England and Wales. Though the title ‘National Health Service’ implies a single health service for the United Kingdom, in reality one NHS was created for England and Wales accountable to the Secretary of State for Healt, with a separate NHS created for Scotland accountable to the Secretary of State for Scotland by the passage of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1947. Similar health services in Northern Ireland were created by the Northern Ireland Parliament through the Health Services Act (Northern Ireland) 1948.The whole Act was replaced by the National Health Service Act 1977, which itself is now superseded by the National Health Service Act 2006 and the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

This piece of legislation was far ahead of its time. Slowly it appears to be under constant threat. Why is it that it is admired by the whole world, and the ordinary members of the public in the UK, but somehow demonised by our own Government. We should all remember the brave politicians who fought to get this legislation on the statute books in the first place. Do we really want a system where people with mental health issues are admitted quite unnecessarily just so that the hospital can benefit from exorbitant fees?

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Independent Review =are we moving forward on implementation?

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Following the final report of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983 last year the government has, so far, accepted two of its recommendations:

  • to replace the nearest relative role, in which a patient is allocated a relative to be involved in decisions about their care, with that of a nominated person that they would choose;
  • to allow people to make statutory advance choice documents setting out their preferences for inpatient treatment, which clinicians must honour unless there are compelling reasons not to.

Ministers accepted two of its 154 recommendations straight away and promised to respond more fully in the New Year. In June of this year, it promised a white paper before the end of 2019 setting out its plans for legislation.However, as a new act was an idea strongly associated with Theresa May, it is unclear whether the plan will survive now that there is a new prime minister.

AMHPs (approved mental health professionals), the vast majority of whom are social workers, have a critical role under the existing Mental Health Act, co-ordinating assessments for admission to hospital or for community treatment orders, and ensuring that safeguards for people’s rights are upheld, including that restrictions on them are minimised.

The inquiry report said that the role required practitioners to have the “time to make the appropriate, least restrictive decision for an individual; time to get to know them, to explain their options to them, to talk to family members and to come to a collaborative decision”.

There are an estimated 3,900 AMHPs practising in England, according to a Skills for Care briefing issued last year.However, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services reported, also last year, that ratios of AMHPs to population  – 1:16,000 in November 2017 – were much lower than previous recommendations set out in 1991 (1:7,600 for inner city areas and 1:11,800 for other areas).The inquiry said the situation meant that the existing statutory provisions needed to be strengthened to require a statutory minimum number of AMHPs per head of population.

“The introduction of ratios with statutory force would support local authorities in gaining resources to meet need and ensure provision of more rights protective and consistent service. It would assist in workload management and staff recruitment and retention. It would also help to underpin successful partnership with NHS colleagues and organisations.”

The UK Social Workers: Working Conditions and Wellbeing research, co-commissioned by Social Workers Union (SWU) and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) found that almost two-thirds (61%) of social work practitioners and managers surveyed were looking to leave their current position in the next 16 months. This compared to 52% in last year’s study. We seem to be in a state of paralysis watching all this happen whilst politicians generally seem to be so heavily involved in the Brexit process that they appear unable to appreciate the enormity of the problems facing everyday members of the public. When they wake from this slumber it may all  be too late!!

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Terms demystified?

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  • Acute Recovery Team for Adult Mental Health Service =The Acute Recovery Nursing Team specialise in delivering Electro-convulsive Therapy (ECT). We also run Clozapine blood clinics as well as Olanzapine depot clinic. These clinics operate during the working week and are staffed by a specialist nursing team.

  • Acute Wards for Adult Mental Health Service = The Trust has a number of inpatient wards for the acute mental health service which provide different levels of care and support depending on the need of the individual service-user.

  • Adult Community Mental Health Teams = The Adult Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) are made up of Consultant Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Social Workers and Psychologists providing a range of treatments, interventions and assistance to adults (people aged 16-65) suffering from difficulty with their mental health who have been referred by their GPs or other health professionals. The types of illnesses people are referred with include bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, severe depression, personality disorder, dual diagnosis and aspergers/autistic spectrum disorder.

  • Assertive Outreach – Assertive Outreach (AO) is a model of care which has proved effective for people with a serious mental illness.    The service aims to develop meaningful engagement with a diverse service user group in order to improve the quality of life of people with a history of severe persistent mental illness.

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) = The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) helps children and young people who have been referred by another healthcare professional.  Referrals are made if it’s thought the child or young person has emotional and/or behavioural difficulties at a level which requires specialist support.

  • The Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team = The Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team endeavours to provide a rapid assessment for those people who are experiencing a mental health crisis of such severity that without the intervention of the team, a hospital admission would be required. Following the assessment, if felt appropriate, intensive home treatment can be initiated for a short period of time, prior to being passed back to the GP or referred to other secondary services.

  • Forensic Mental Health Services =  Forensic services provide a community and inpatient service to adult men and women who pose a risk of harm to others in the context of their mental disorder. They should promote and demonstrate safe, sound and supportive practice based on comprehensive clinical and social risk assessment and management whilst promoting protection of the public. Whenever possible service users’ mental health needs should be met by local services and only accepted by Forensic services if the complexity and / or severity of their therapeutic needs and risk necessitate this.

  • Occupational Therapy Team = Occupational therapists work collaboratively with patients and an assessment will determine how a person’s mental health impacts on their ability to do what is important to them.

  • Psychological Therapies = specialist psychological therapy services provide a range of psychological interventions for adult service users from the age of 16 upwards. They usually form part of Adult Services Division and accept referrals from both primary and secondary care. They should offer specialist level Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapy and Dynamic Psychotherapy as well as a service providing Therapy Service for People with a Personality Disorder (TSPPD).  Working closely with the Adult and Families, Young people and Children’s Division catering for those service users with complex difficulties who either require more intensive or specialised treatments.

  • Safeguarding = Safeguarding is the term used to describe child protection, adult protection (especially vulnerable adults), and domestic violence. Trusts work closely with partner agencies to support the most vulnerable groups of children and adults within society from abuse and neglect,  and have positive links with the local Safeguarding Children’s Board, Adult Protection Board, NHS Domestic Violence Group, Police and Social Care.

The above terms are common and universally  understood by professionals in the UK but very often they are not fully explained to either service users or their families. For more in depth information your own NHS Trust will have leaflets and further advice on their web sites. If you are not able to access the Internet go along to a local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) centre and ask for advice.

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Whittingham Hospital update



Whittingham Hospital was a psychiatric hospital in the parish of Whittingham, near Preston, Lancashire, England. The hospital opened in 1873 as the Fourth Lancashire County Asylum and grew to be the largest mental hospital in Britain, and pioneered the use of electroencephalograms (EEGs). It closed in 1995.

The National Asylum Workers’ Union organised a strike of 429 employees at the hospital in 1918. In 1923, the name “Whittingham Asylum” was dropped in favour of “Whittingham Mental Hospital”, a change later reinforced in law by the Mental Treatment Act 1930. In 1929, the Hospital Commissioners noted that an “open door” principle was practised on a number of wards, and the 1930 Act later resulted in the admission of the first voluntary patients. By 1939, the number of patients was 3533, with a staff of 548, making it the largest mental hospital in Great Britain.In 1948, the hospital became part of the newly formed National Health Service and was renamed “Whittingham Hospital”. In the same year it acquired Ribchester Hospital, originally a workhouse. 

The hospital closed in 1995 and the site subsequently became known as “Guild Park”. In 1999, Guild Lodge was opened on the edge of Guild Park, providing secure mental healthcare services to a small number of patients, followed the next year by purpose-built rehabilitation cottages.

According to reports in May 2019 up to 750 houses are set to be built on the 120-acre site of the former Whittingham Asylum near Preston under proposals put forward by Homes England. Working with planner Barton Willmore and CampbellReith, Homes England has drawn up an outline planning application for the site, which will see the former hospital and surrounding land transformed into a housing-led development.

In total, Homes England is proposing up to 750 houses, while around six acres is being set aside to facilitate the relocation of the Whittingham & Goosnargh Sports & Social Club.Another 3.7-acre plot will be safeguarded for the delivery of a primary school, while existing buildings on the site, including the grade two-listed St John’s Church, will be converted to residential use.

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County Hospital Torfaen Wales



The County Hospital (Welsh: Ysbyty’r Sir) is a community hospital in GRIFFITHSTOWN in the county borough of TORFAEN WALES It is often referred to locally as Panteg Hospital. It is managed by the Aneurin Bevan Health Board. The hospital has its origins in the Pontypool Union Workhouse and Infirmary established in 1837. A new infirmary was built to the north of the workhouse in 1895. It subsequently became known as Panteg County Hospital.  As it was built on Coedygric Road, Griffithstown, it isn’t surprising that it became known as Coedygric Institute.

It became Panteg Hospital after World War II and had one of the best maternity sections in Wales. Immediately below the hospital is Coed-y-Gric Farm which is one of the oldest buildings in Wales.

The County Hospital

Coed-y-Gric Rd 

NP4 5YA Griffithstown 

Torfaen Wales

The Community Mental Health Teams are responsible for the care and treatment of adults living in the community who experience severe and long term mental health problems.The Community Mental Health Teams are made up of Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists and Social Workers.There are two Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) based at the Talygarn Unit, County Hospital, Pontypool, which cover the South and North of the Borough, for people aged 18 to 65. There is an Older Persons Mental Health Team (OPMHT) based at Ty Siriol, County Hospital, Pontypool, for people over the age of 65.

Talygarn provides mental health services for residents of the Torfaen borough. The service comprises of an inpatient ward, which provides 22 beds for adults aged 16 to 65 who are suffering from an acute mental illness, and a Day Hospital which provides a service for 25 adults. The Day Hospital offers a range therapies and interventions for people suffering from an acute mental illness, provided by both nurses and occupational therapists.
Talygarn provides the out of hour’s assessment unit for Aneurin Bevan
University Health Board. This operates between the hours of:
2400=0700 Monday to Thursday
2400 onFriday=0700 Monday
This means that individuals who require a mental health assessment
between the hours stated above attend Talygarn ward to see the on call
doctor. This process can often lead to an individual requiring an
admission. If the individual has been admitted but resides in another
postal area they will be transferred to the relevant ward in the morning following their admission.

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Early makings of psychology 2

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1879 WILHELM WUNDT founds the first laboratory of experimental psychology in Leipzig Germany


1885 HERMANN EBBINGHAUS details his experiments learning nonsense syllables in his book MEMORY

1887 G STANLEY HALL publishes the first edition of the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY

1889 PIERRE JANET suggests that hysteria involves dissociation and splitting of the personality

1890 WILLIAM JAMES the father of psychology publishes PRINCIPLES of PSYCHOLOGY

1895 ALFRED BINET opens the first laboratory of PSYCHODIAGNOSIS

These were the early foundations laid for the next generation of psychologists,  at the turn of the century, to develop a truly objective study of mind and behaviour, and to apply their own new theories to the treatment of mental disorders.

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