swinton hospital in 1977

The hospital and school  in 1925                                And in 1977 with a large new day unit and OT department

Main Source: Swinton Hospital Open Day 27th June 1981 Souvenir Programme to mark the International Year of the Disabled People

Compiled by Rob Kay, Unit Administrator, Learning Disabilities Unit, 1984-87

- all information and anecdotes welcome -

Published by Salford Area Health Authority (Teaching)


In 1913 the building was erected to accommodate 150 children resident in the Crumpsall Workhouse who were awaiting admission to the Swinton Industrial School. The building, which cost 15,000 to erect, was opened in 1914 and had a separate block for boys and girls. An early photograph shows a wall in the playground connecting the main building with the school, presumably to prevent the two sexes from mixing.
There is actually no written explanation of the purpose of this receiving home but it is understood it was used to isolate the children for medical clearance, thus avoiding the spreading of infection amongst the 700 pupils in the Industrial School opposite.
Following the end of the war in 1918 the Industrial School was noticeably declining, presumably owing to the reduction of extreme poverty. There was, therefore, little surprise when the Board of Guardians closed the school in 1925.
Although the exact date when the Swinton Home became a Mental Deficiency Hospital is not known the records indicate that this occurred sometime in 1927. During the period 1929 to 1945 the administration of the hospital passed to the Manchester Corporation and on vesting day, 5th July 1948, this became part of the National Health Service.
The Hospital has 107 beds and provides for all degrees of physical and mentally handicapped patients, the average daily bed occupancy is approximately 94. The Local Education Authority have a school in the hospital grounds and approximately 65 patients attend during normal school hours for education. Because of the difficulty in finding alternative accommodation for the patients when they reach the adult age, if has been necessary for them to stay at the hospital, and consequently a high percentage of the patients are now over the age of 16. As a consequence the hospital title was reduced in 1980 to Swinton Hospital dropping the reference to children.
There is not a large turnover in the staff at the hospital. A large number of the nursing staff are employed on a part time basis, especially the night nurses.
In 1977 the hospital was provided with a Training Unit providing service for in patients and out-patients.
The Patients Dining Room has recently been upgraded to provide modern cheerful facilities.
It is intended to build a 30 place Children's Unit within the hospital grounds and work is scheduled to commence in the autumn.
It is also proposed to re-develop the main hospital in 1984/85 to provide local based services to conform to the changing needs identified for mental handicap people.


The hospital to-day accommodates a total of 91 long stay patients, and in addition there are a number of beds allocated for short term community patients providing weekend/holiday relief for parents.
Details of the work of the different departments or groups of staff are as follows:
The Administration provides administrative, secretarial and clerical services for all disciplines requiring them in the hospital. Salaries and Wages, Stores, Audit matters. As our patients are mostly long term we manage their personal savings accounts, those who are under the age of 16 receive a weekly allowance from the Area Health Authority - an amount decided by the Consultant and Nursing Officer.
Patients over the age of 16 receive an NICP allowance from DHSS amounting to 5.65 per week. A proportion of these allowances being paid to the patient in the form of weekly pocket money, while the remainder is credited to their own savings accounts to be held in reserve for clothes, holidays and other out of pocket expenses. Patients over the age of 16 pay their holidays and expenses.
The Assessment & Training Unit was opened in 1977 and is an integral part of the services offered to mentally handicapped people and their families who live in the Salford Area Health Authority and Metropolitan City of Salford boundaries. The objective of the Unit is to ensure that the mental, physical, educational and domiciliary limitations of its clients are minimised; and to ensure that all practicable assistance is available to its clientele as circumstances dictate at any particular point in time.
The professional staff available in the Unit are from Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Nursing and there is considerable input from Speech Therapy, Psychology and Social Work.
The Unit endeavours to build up and accumulate professional knowledge and information as to the various facilities and services available for the handicapped.
The Catering Department at the Swinton Hospital employs 12 full and part time Catering Staff and caters for up to 107 residents and over 50 children in the school.
The staff facilities for dining are cramped and a little out of date, but the Catering Staff endeavour to provide a good quality meal to all grades of staff. Special carved buffets are a feature in the dining room. Plans are in hand to upgrade and extend the staff dining room.
The Chaplains of all denominations are available both to patients, and their relatives, and staff of the hospital. They provide comfort and ministry to the patients of the hospital and support to its staff. They are all available on-call as and when their services are required.
The Team was first conceived in 1978 when a social worker in post was joined by a community nurse. We now have two social workers and three community nurses. The Team also involves a psychologist and psychiatrist and has access to a full range of other professionals for advice.
The Team work closely with the Barnardos Salford Project.
Community Nursing
Community nurses offer practical help and advice to parents on the development and management of their mentally handicapped child. This ranges from advice on early learning, to toilet training and social skills. A main input is in the area of difficult behaviour and the nurse will work with others to modify any problem behaviour.
Social Work
Social Workers in the Community Mental Handicap Team are employed by the City of Salford Social Services Department. Their aim is to offer support to families who have a member with a mental handicap and are experiencing either practical or emotional problems. They represent Social Services Department and act as an access point to the Department's services, aids, home help, residential and day care etc.,
The Social Workers also work with residents in the hospital, contacting their families or looking at suitable residential or day care placements.
The role of a Domestic Assistant in a hospital for the mentally handicapped is one that needs a sense of purpose and involvement. They need also to possess a caring attitude towards the patient. Unlike the old days of the 'Hospital Char' as they were once called, the Domestic Assistant of the present day is highly trained in the skills of cleaning science, modern machinery and methods.
They are trained to know when, where, how and why they clean. To-day the Domestic Department is proud to be able to take its place as a very important part of the hospital team to heal the sick and comfort the sorrowing.
Dean Park School situated in the hospital grounds, is provided by Salford Education Department. The School has 65 pupils with an age range of 2Y:z years 18 years. At the present time 37 pupils live at home with their families and travel to School each day, whilst the remaining pupils are residents in Swinton Hospital on a long term basis.
Many of the staff have additional training to equip them to teach children with special needs.
The School has 10 teachers, 7 classroom assistants, school meals staff and school secretary. In addition a Speech Therapist attends the School for three sessions per week and physiotherapy sessions are provided for all children with physical problems. Recently the Department of Education and Science funded a rebuilding and extension programme at the School, which now enjoys a new hall, Home Economics Room, two new classrooms and a resources area.
Though an Area Laundry Service is provided, the Hospital's Linen Store stocks, sorts and distributes to all Wards and Departments the many items of linen, staff uniforms and patients clothing requests on a daily basis.
A Consultant Psychiatrist, specialising in mental handicap, attends the hospital most days and is based in the hospital. Working together with other professionals involved, she provides a service both to the in-patients and their families, and also sees out-patients and their families, either at Swinton Hospital or in their homes, hostels, Training Centres etc.,
She maintains an interest in Dean Park School and also has co-operation with Psychiatrists from the Child and Adolescent Unit at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and also from Prestwich Hospital.
A Paediatric Neurologist also attends regularly, and Consultants from other specialities, particularly from the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital are available for consultation and advice.
Day to day care is provided by a General Medical Practitioner who visits regularly three times a week and is available at all times for emergencies and advice.
Nearby hospitals provide specialist services for Physical Disorders when required.
Dental care is provided by the Dental Department at Hope Hospital and the University Department of Audiology provide all necessary help in that sphere.
A Chiropodist attends the hospital monthly.
In charge of the Hospital is a Nursing Officer responsible to the Senior Nursing Officer at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital. There are six wards, each administered by a Ward Sister or Charge Nurse who are supported by other staff. The main function of the Hospital is to provide a home-like atmosphere for the residents, and to develop the capabilities of each individual so that he or she can live as independent a life as possible.
Residents are encouraged to participate in suitable activities which can be provided in the hospital or in the Community, Le. swimming, horse-riding, discos, Gateway Clubs and the Tuesday Club. Holidays are arranged for all residents.
The Physiotherapist enables the mentally jphysically handicapped child to develop as fully as possible at his own personal rate so he may take his place in a family and society whilst they - the family and society, are helped to understand, accept and actively work towards a realistic goal.
The Physiotherapist chooses and advises on methods of treatment, daily management, design and use of equipment (chairs, calipers etc.,) according to the needs of each individual. Treatment methods generally include movement and stimulation of all five senses for the patient's awareness and control of his surroundings and of himself.
Exercises are designed to facilitate movement to develop and improve posture, balance, body alignment and body image and to prevent secondary deformities. Treatment activities encourage locomotor skills through all developmental stages - rolling, creeping, crawling, walking, running etc., Fine motor skills are encouraged as in reach, grasp and release for manipulative skill.
The Physiotherapist guides and teaches nurses, teachers and parents in design and selection of suitable toys, play materials, situations and specialised equipment or activities to achieve the aim they have helped to define.
There are two Senior Physiotherapists and Two Physiotherapy Helpers at Swinton Hospital. They, together with other team members from health, education and social services working with children and adults individually and in groups encourage them towards as much independence and personal fulfilment as possible.
A Head Porter together with 5 porters provide seven day cover to all wards, Assessment & Training Unit and Departments within the Hospital They distribute food and general supplies throughout the Hospital at the same time moving furniture and equipment, and ensuring that bottled medical gasses are always available when required.
Psychologists have a role both in the hospital and as part of the Community Mental Handicap Team. In post at present is one Senior Clinical Psychologist, and a Basic Grade Psychologist will be appointed in the near future.
Psychologists help to determine strengths and weaknesses of a handicapped person's abilities and, in conjunction with parents, teachers, care assistants and nurses, design appropriate training programmes. These may be 'developmental' in nature for the profoundly handicapped and young children; 'behavioural' for children and adults whose behaviour is difficult to manage; 'social-educational' for adults who are aiming to become more independent from their families, hospitals or hostels.
Teaching and Research
An important aspect of the work of the Psychology Department is the teaching of psychology and principles of the management of handicapped people to hospital, children's home and school staff, as well as to medical, occupational therapy and psychology students.
Current research interest are:-
1. Parental perceptions of handicapped children
2. Evaluation of ward based training programmes
3. The study of children and adults with brain damage following severe head injury
All hot water and heating services are fed from 2 Eden Boilers using 35 sec Redwood Oil.
Electrical services are all fed from one central point with a separate metered supply for the Main Hospital Kitchen. (The Energy Services in the Kitchen are all electric ).
Emergency electrical services:
Generator 50 KV A - which can feed all of the Main Hospital.
Generator 40 KV A - Mobile which feeds the kitchen only.
There is emergency battery lighting installed to cover specific areas.
The grounds cover 8 acres and comprise mainly grassed areas and Rose Beds.


swinton hospital in 1977 

Aerial Photo - 1977

Plan of Swinton Hospital (1981) 

Recent photo of the Partington Lane site now 2006? - Only the OT/IT Unit and school remain