ABUSE AT BETHLEM ROYAL HOSPITAL

Elizabeth had texted me asking me to bring her pet kitten up to see her and some chinese food. 

However, before visiting, I had to go round to her accommodation and I have been given some time to clear her possessions as she is not going back.  The scheme in itself is a good idea – the flat is self-contained within a large house and situated in a nice area.  However, Elizabeth had spent too long in hospital and I think all along needed more care initially.  I would have liked her in the scheme opposite where I live as I personally knew the team who were very good.  I used to take them running on Sundays with the carers.  I was so impressed with the level of care – If only – if only they had listened.  I begged and begged – I felt she should be living independently, not at home but close by so that I could also help her and I would have got her a membership to a fabulous gym down the road.  I was disappointed when this was refused . I was right in thinking that the scheme she was placed under was wrong for her due to her vulnerability. Police were there one evening and unfortunately this confirmed my belief.   I mentioned a move might be good but there was nothing on offer and there seemed to be a shortage of places. Social Services just moved her up a floor nearer to the office but she was not happy any more –  every time I had her home she did not want to go back again.  She complained of loud thumping music,  of being bothered with knocking on her door in the early evenings,  she was beginning to get paranoid about being on her own and her safety and I think this was the reason why she constantly ended up back in hospital.  She became isolated and unhappy under this scheme.  She once said “noone knocked on her door”.  One whole week I slept on the floor as Elizabeth was afraid – this was when she was downstairs.  She was afraid people knocking on her window and door disturbing her.  I would have been ready to confront the lot of them and managed to find out one or two addresses.  It was because of this I became interested in applying to the police, however I really wanted to be a PCSO with links to the community as I could see how mental health care was failing the most vulnerable of people like my own daughter. 

It was not an option at the time to have her back home to live as she could be very unstable on the drugs.  On 750mg of Seroquel there were good days and bad days.  A bad day you could hardly speak to Elizabeth and she just wanted silence.  On a bad day she could snap quite easily at the slightest thing but the main problem was the scheme and the side effects of the medication she was on which was bothering her greatly only noone took any notice.

Each time she got admitted to hospital the psychiatrist tried to raise the dosage of the drug or give yet another one.  This made it easier for the staff as when they are drugged up they are asleep or incapable of doing anything much. 

So it was quite heartbreaking to have to move some of her possessions out and I have only just been given permission by social services to do that.  It would appear funding has come to an end and they have someone else for this scheme.  I remember in the scheme they had some nice people there.  People assume that everyone is a threat under the mental health – how wrong you could be.  Many are the most vulnerable people and they become isolated and Elizabeth just wanted to be admitted back to hospital for company.  She was lacking in friends but friends do not understand when someone becomes unrecognisable by their behaviour.   I believe I saw today in the Guardian an article on the very medication my daughter was first put on – Cipralix and how harmful this is.  This was the start of her aggression.  She was always mild mannered and polite but on this drug I noticed aggression for the first time ever and of course she had not been given any diagnoses – these were to follow.  She had been through a traumatic experience.  Something had happened to her and she went to her doctor and the doctor gave this terrible terrible drug which has only just been recognised as being harmful.  In fact as Dr Ann Blake Tracy says all of these drugs are very harmful and doctors do not look at their long term effects on the patient.

Anyway whilst round with a friend clearing out her possessions, which I do not know where to put!, the phone rang and it was Elizabeth.  She asked me to bring her things when I visited and was missing the kitten, Fluffy.

 

I was unprepared for what happened next.  It was a nice day and when I arrived at the ward with a friend complete with the cat and the chinese meal she wanted, I rang the bell and was told I could not have Elizabeth out at all.  As far as I know she had not been out for any fresh air at all which is very very bad.  All I wanted to do was to show her the kitten which she requested and let her take it for a very short walk up and down in front of the building.  This was flatly refused.  I was then told to bring up the chinese meal but I had got this for everyone.  I then said to the member of staff that it had been agreed with the ward manager that I could have a room provided but the member of staff said he knew nothing about this and was only going by notes.  They all know I visit at weekends and have a long journey to make and made the effort because Elizabeth wanted me to come.  Yesterday I did not go so I thought that it would be OK to come today but it was not and they would not give me a reason.   I then continued to wait until I got an answer about the room which I insisted was promised to me as they have banned me from going on the ward without any suitable explanation.  I have just found out she has been put on Clozapine and insisted staff tell me as the  last time  I visited Elzabeth had heart problems and  a doctor was called out, as we had gone running together. As nearest relative I wanted to know as I had taken her out running.  I needed to know for future references.  I also wanted to know why they had put her on Metformine – supposedly for diabetes.  Of course the staff member did not like it and I have lost count how many times they have threatened me in calling the police.  They are the ones abusing human rights because they want me off the ward because the other patients are complaining that their human rights are being abused and I think this is what they do not want me to witness and also they do not want the rest of the patients to know about the wonderful information I have supplied and besides some of the patients liked to talk to me.   Mostly patients had no visitors and no-one seemed at all happy on this ward as they are cooped up for most of the time and not being given enough fresh air.and I am most concerned that Elizabeth is stuck on the ward most the time.  So, when finally someone came to the ward to be let in  I still got no answer from the member of staff and I asked his name.  He started to get very very agitated and I I did try and look at his ID card but he was desperate for me not to see this..  This was not done in any aggressive manner.  Anyway he did not like that one bit!  By this time I was in the foyer and sat down waiting to hear whether Elizabeth could come out to see the cat for 5 minutes – they were being so unreasonable and were so panic stricken it was unbelievable.  I was then threatened to be arrested – how many times are they going to involve the police who are busy enough.  I told them that I would be phoning the police myself as I wanted to report this abuse – this abuse in terms of what was going on  that Elizabeth was not being allowed fresh air and to be with me for five minutes despite the Ward Manager’s promise.  If this is how they treat me you can imagine how they must treat the patients and I have proof of that by more than one patient who has written to me.  Anyway I spoke to the police about my grave concerns for my daughter’s wellbeing on that ward. 

So then the nurse who did not want to be identified desperately turned a bit nicer after threatening to physically have me thrown off the ward.  By the time I  had gone downstairs to get the chinese food and the kitten.  I waited and waited and waited outside until finally at long last someone came to the door but without Elizabeth.  There were desperately making excuse after excuse after excuse for me not seeing Elizabeth not even for 1 minute.  I am sure that a prisoner in jail is treated better than these patients.  Elizabeth I am told was not happy by a member of staff and I said “too right – after all I had proof she phoned me to ask me to come and see her and bring her chinese food and to see the cat who she missed.  How very mean and cruel of the management (not nurses as to be fair they are following orders!)  just because none of them like me they are taking out their feelings on me but also punishing my daughter.  How is this going to help her with this kind of behaviour.

I am hoping she will be moved but gave a letter to the  Consultant Psychiatrist to get her off the Clozpine first as I am so shocked at the research papers I have and how dangerous this drug is.

There  is only one way to sort this out and this is by court.

 

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