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 -
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
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
Following the end of the war in 1918 the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING UNIT
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
The Catering Department at the
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.
COMMUNITY MENTAL HANDICAP TEAM
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 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
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.
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
on a long term basis.
Many of the staff have additional training to equip them to teach children with
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
and also has co-operation with Psychiatrists from the Child and Adolescent Unit
at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and also from
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
Nearby hospitals provide specialist services for Physical Disorders when
Dental care is provided by the Dental Department at
and the University Department of Audiology provide all necessary help in that
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
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
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
All hot water and heating services are fed from 2 Eden Boilers using 35 sec
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
Generator 40 KV A -
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.
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