On the Borderline of Life – Guest Post by Mike. Part 2


Mike, D (17 on the right) and older sister.

A short while ago I shared part 1 of Mike’s story about his battle to help his daughter ‘D’ with her mental health problems, here is the next instalment…

It is now April 2012, and the fight for ‘D’ is no longer with probation, the courts or even solicitors.

After a brief period of thinking everything will be good now for ‘D’ because she is diagnosed with BPD and in the mental health care system, ‘D’ is at last going to get help and after almost 3 years I can relax and enjoy ‘D’s recovery and progress HOW WRONG I WAS…

D’s violence continued but now towards staff in a low to medium secure unit. D was then transferred to a medium to high secure unit but she just got worse and more violent, this hospital is private and the NHS pay about £500 per night, £3500 per week for her to be there.  This hospital was inspected by the Care Quality Commission in November 2011 and their report into this hospital was in my opinion frightening…

Excerpts from the report:

  • bedrooms are locked through the day
  • starting from tonight we have to go to bed at 11pm
  • you get more privileges in prison
  • one service user stated they do not feel safe
  • on one unit service users could not get a cold drink
  • one person said “Its alright sometimes but at about 6-7pm goes into the restaurant because people get bored because there is nothing to do”
  • the new unit had been open since June 2011, the ward manager explained that none of the staff or managers had previous experience of medium secure units.
  • two service users said that a staff member shouted at them sometimes
  • all four staff the CQC spoke to said they struggled to get through a shift safely and felt unsafe

These are just little excerpts from the CQC inspection report from the ward where D is now in their so-called ‘care’.

From June 2011 to April 2012, 10 months, D has been involved in over 100 incidents of violence of self-harm.

The CQC is a regulator for mental health hospitals but it appears toothless.

I worry more about D now than I ever did when she was in prison, how can this be right?

I am at my wits end, but no matter how I feel I will fight for D and other patients/service users safety and care.

In part 3 I will tell of incidents with wire and batteries, and how D escaped through the same door 5 times on the so-called secure unit. i will at some point reveal the hospital ward…

Mike.

Thanks to Mike for this post, I look forward to sharing Part 3.

Have you had experience of secure mental health units? What was it like for you?

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6 comments on “On the Borderline of Life – Guest Post by Mike. Part 2

  1. Thank you Mike for sharing your experience!

    I’ve never experienced any hospitalization. I made hospital visits but I always got to go home and it was never more than sitting in a psychologists office.

    My Dad designs plumbing for a consulting engineer firm in Toronto. They have helped design psychiatric facilities including Canada’s Centre for Addictions and Mental Health (CAMH). His insider knowledge on the design of patient rooms and other rooms and the facility I think is what kept me from going into them. He would tell me that he had to design special toilets for the washrooms so service users wouldn’t be able to drown themselves. It made him very upset.

    • very wise your dad,everything is custom design and supposed to enhance safety but sometimes the hospital get it totally wrong and thanks for the comment

      • I’ve heard to many horror stories from close friends about hospitals. I’m heading to one right now actually to talk about mental health stigma. Hopefully something good can come from it!.

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