Cane Hill Hospital

Remembering the history of Cane Hill Hospital

2.1.3 -Alexander Walk

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Alexander Walk served as Chief Superintendent for 23 years, following the death of Dr George Lilly.

Educated in Antwerp, he acheived a medical degree at Bartholemew’s Hospital in London and worked for the London County Council as a locum, prior to being appointed as a permanent medical staff member. Walk worked through the ranks at  Horton Hospital in Epsom going from junior medical officer to Deputy Superintendent, prior to his appointment at Cane Hill.

Alexander WalkIn 1928 he started working as an associate editor for the RMPA, the association responsible for nurse education and training.  He remained an editor for the duration of his career, including filling the role of President in 1960-61. in 1978 his contributions to the association over the past 50 years were celebrated with a dinner.

Walk’s contributions to Cane Hill itself were numerous. He renamed all the wards, giving them names relating to famous local and national figures.  He introduced a badge for the hospital, and researched and recorded the early history of the hospital. He also worked studiously on developing new treatments, such as mosquito treatment. His associations with the various governing bodies meant that he was well informed and connnected: a superbly appropriate person to manage a large mental hospital with in excess of 600 staff.

Walk published 9 books between 1954 and 1978, covering child psychology, humane treatment, the evolution of Mental Hospitals, the history of the RMPA and the work of the Maudsley, the pioneering mental hospital that Cane Hill would work closely with over the years.

In 1962 Walk retired from Cane Hill, aged 61, and continued to hold several positions in mental health related bodies until his death in 1982.

Written by Ali

September 29th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

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