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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31 Number 15, July 9, 1968

Change Control Of Mental Hospitals

Change Control Of Mental Hospitals

"I am in favour of mental hospitals coming under hospital boards," said Dr E. T. Hall, Medical Superintendent of Sunnyside Mental Hospital.

"But, there would be considerable amount of tidying up to be done before the changeover.

"Our problems would have to be understood and handled in the right way."

Doctor Hall was addressing a meeting of the Royal Society Victoria University. He spoke about mental health needs, the Welfare State and changes within the Pyschiatric Hospital.

There are 1000 patients at Sunnyside, he said.

The medical staff consists of nine full-time doctors and three part-time.

Ward meetings are held daily at Sunnyside. All wards can also receive visitors each day.

"Mental hospitals have changed considerably but we still have a long way to go," said Dr Hall. "This can only be achieved by team approach and effort and the morale that accompanies it."

Between 60 and 70 student nurses yearly go to Sunnyside.

Nearly two thirds leave before they qualify. This number qualifies equally with that of general nursing.

"Alcoholics come into the hospital," said Dr Hall. "But mental hospitals do not treat alcoholics very well."

Sometimes alcoholics were refused entry to Sunnyside because they tended to treat the hospital as a night shelter, he said.

Very little research work is done at the hospital. What work is done is in the fields of drugs and pyschology.

Doctor Hall has found his four years at Sunnyside Hospital a rewarding experience.

Notable advances at Sunnyside have been aided by a new staff, staff training and introduction of daily visiting, clinical and ward meetings and meetings with Christ-church hospital.