In 1949 Alexander Walk was appointed at Chief Superintendent of Cane Hill, following George Lilly’s retirement.
He introduced several changes, including renaming the wards after people of local and national importance, and introducing a badge for the hospital, to be awarded to staff that qualified from the nurses training school.
Following the formation of the NHS in 1948, the General Nursing Council produced a syllabus for mental health nursing that was closely aligned with that of general nursing. Prior to this the Royal Medico-Psychological Association was the primary body for nurse training, and although there was a small overlap, the RMPA ceased training in 1951. Alexander Walk librarian at the RMPA, becoming president between 1960-61.
Cane Hill’s badge
The Top Left section is derived from the London County Council badge, who were responsible for the hospital from 1889 to 1948
The Top Right section is a segment of the logo of the RMPA, the college and administrative body for Mental Nurse Training
The Bottom Left section represents the Surrey Downs, which Cane Hill looked out over.
The Bottom Right section is the Southwark cross, Southwark being the most prominent London Borough that Cane Hill served.
The Latin at the bottom of the badge reads “Aversos Compono Animos”, which loosly translates as “Bringing Relief to Troubled minds”
Originals are now very rare – one sold on Ebay 2009 for £107. In 2007 a batch of replicas was produced and distributed, and a further batch was produced in 2009, of which one is pictured above.