Film ID:
YFA 1219



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This is a film made under the direction of Dr J A R Bickford, the Physician Superintendent of De La Pole Hospital, Willerby, to show good practice in the care of long term psychiatric patients. Using illustrations from the work of the Hospital, the film advances a policy of rehabilitation of patients through activity and becoming part of the wider society.  Dr J A R Bickford provides a commentary, and there is continual background music provided by Prokoviev’s Classical Symphony and at the end Handel’s Water Music.

Made at De La Pole Hospital, Willerby, under the direction of Dr J A R Bickford, Physician Superintendant, assisted by Walter R Jibson R.M.N.
Photographed and Produced by N K Green

A generous grant from the Joseph Rowntree Village Trust enabled this film to be made.  Thanks are due also to the medical and nursing staff of De La Pole Hospital and to Hull ‘B’ Group Hospital Management Committee.

The film begins with nurses arriving for work at the hospital.  Here, the narrator explains the monotonous nature of their work.  They put on their white coats and go off to their duties.  These duties are shown and include helping to get the patients up, bathed, dressed, and helping to feed them as well.  The job of the nurse is explained in rehabilitation.  The nurses take time to encourage the patients to do as much for themselves as possible, and care is taken with even the simplest of tasks such as making their own beds.  In time this method of nursing produces positive results and patients are seen taking a much more active role in their lives.

The patients are shown having breakfast.  A nurse helps a patient to make her bed.  A woman patient is encouraged to do some cleaning, while a man is helped by a black male nurse.  Two male patients have a go at darts, while others are shown getting around using wooden Zimmer frames or wheelchairs.  Patients are next shown in a woodworking class.  A semi-paralysed man is helped to pay a visit home.  A group of patients go out on rowing boats on a park boating lake, possibly Ferens Boating Lake, East Park in Hull.  The narration explains that they are encouraged to be where there are members of the public.

Then a group of patients go horse riding around some stables, and do some exercises on horseback.  They then board a coach to go to a race meeting, where they get paid to help clear up the litter at the end of the day.  We see a tic-tac man, part of a horse race and then the patients clearing up the litter with pointed sticks, after which they are given some fruit juice.

Next a group go out sledging in the snow, as a break in the hospital routine.  This is followed by a group of male patients working in a normal workplace, helping to load sacks onto a lorry, and then unloading timber from railway wagons as a steam locomotive passes through a station.  Afterwards they get a mug of tea.  They then unload boxes, made from the same timber, from a conveyor belt onto a lorry.  Back at the hospital male and female patients are groomed together by the nurses.  A female patient lays a table for dinner.  The narration explains that they are encouraged to raise their standards to increase the chances of their being accepted by their families.

One on of the wards, there are old frail female patients.  The commentary states these patients need to be treated outside of bed, and as such, they can be seen sitting in a room.  Some women patients have a go at bar skittles and other games.  A nurse manicures one of the female patients.  Outside, patients have a game of drafts at a large sized board, and there are other games being played, such as skittles and bowls.

Back indoors patients have a game of musical chairs, and other indoor games, and there is more dancing.  After this, they are served tea and have a game of blind man’s bluff.  The narrator states the advantages of all these practices for both patients and the nursing staff.

Finally, then they go for a ramble along a country lane, through fields in the Dales, going over stiles and crossing a railway line, before stopping for some lunch.  After this they make their way up a steep incline.  The narration states that the obstacles on the walk - climbing over a stile, crossing a stream, and a long hill climb – are symbolic of the struggles some of these patients face in life, but with help and encouragement they can achieve many goals and live a rewarding life.

The End