CATALOGUE OF EVENTS LEADING TO DELAY/CANCELLATION OF TRIBUNAL.
The Bethlem Royal Hospital – Elizabeth’s Tribunal and chance to get off Section 2.
Huge amount of Seroquel withdrawal mixed with Olanzapine leading to adverse behaviour and to Section 2.
By end of Section 2 Elizabeth stabilised on the Olanzapine and her Tribunal about to take place and I heard about it.
Hospital’s recommended solicitor “do you really want to go through with this – you do not have to if you do not want to” – Elizabeth was overheard saying she hated meetings. Tribunal called off. Staff/Solicitor surrounded Elizabeth in hallway away from me as they could see I was upset. Elizabeth’s chance ruined for release was considering having her home.
End of May harassment by Enfield’s legal team re: Section 3. Two days of phone calls/threats to displace me as Nearest Relative. Details of court hearing received by email whilst at work. Enfield Social Worker cited “This application is based on unreasonable objection to the making of a Section 3 authorising detention in hospital for treatment. The hearing is listed for Directions and for consideration of making an interim order. I understand that you may not now be objecting to the Section 3. This may mean we do not need the hearing on Friday morning. Please confirm your position with ……………………. as soon as possible.
Was therefore bullied into having to go along with this or else face displacement as Nearest Relative. Did not think I had a chance on my own in court without a solicitor present.
“ENFIELD COUNCIL IS COMMITTED TO SERVING THE WHOLE BOROUGH FAIRLY, DELIVERING EXCELLENT SERVICES AND BUILDING STRONG COMMUNITIES!” (far from true!)
So the Section 3 put into place and Elizabeth remained at Bethlem where they switched the Olanzapine to Clozapine but only told her about a drug beginning with the letter “M” which I later found out was Metformine 500mg and Clozapine 300mg – around the time I found out I got banned from visiting. No longer was I allowed to take Elizabeth out all day from the prison like environment of the ward. Given just 1 hour supervised/escorted visits meaning that Elizabeth was left as a prisoner on the ward for most of the time.
Group of cruelly treated former patients got in touch with me and staged a protest outside the Bethlem. Elizabeth moved to Cambian, Wales, within a day leaving no time for family to say goodbye.
At Cambian – Elizabeth’s Tribunal
After failure by hospital’s recommended solicitor, Elizabeth had appointed a new firm and given consent that I as Nearest Relative should be given some information. So I knew the date the Tribunal was set to take place but not the full details.
Cambian excluded me and invited her father. This had been arranged a month prior that her father attend but I was not given details and neither was her solicitors. Her solicitors a local firm got in touch with Cambian only to find out that they had been displaced. The Tribunal subsequently failed.
What really happened:
I asked Elizabeth and found out that two people had approached her – she did not want to say whom but at a guess it could have been either the consultant psychiatrist or Manager or even Advocates IMHA who were now involved. The question put to Elizabeth was something like this: “Would it not be better for you to have a Welsh Firm of solicitors” – I asked this question of my daughter as she said she had so many letters from Welsh firms of solicitors. When I commented that it was no wonder the Tribunal had failed – she did not seem clear as to what a Tribunal was and was puzzled by all the letters from the Welsh firms. There are times when Elizabeth has just taken the drugs that it is impossible for her to think straight and of course she feels she has to go along with the team’s suggestions – I think she is afraid not to.
As the Nearest Relative I can call a Hospital Manager’s Hearing – by this time I had solicitors involved.
Email from Cambian dated 27 September 2012
“Following your conversation with our Hospital Manager ……………………….regarding the date of the Manager’s Hearing I regret to inform you that the only date available is the 19th of October 2012 at 10.30 am due to the commitments of the other professionals.” The hospital knew that I could not make this date.
I then went out of my way to arrange to come on the 19th to fit in with the team and here is my email to the team at Cambian:
Email from me to Cambian – dated 14th October 2012
“I am very pleased to inform you I have managed to rearrange my date off work to fit in with your meeting on the 19th October at 10.30 am. I will be coming with Elizabeth’s sister. In the meantime I would like to know what the proposed Agenda is and who is attending this meeting. My solicitors will not be present but I am copying them in for their information. No doubt they will be interested to hear of the Agenda for the meeting. I am looking forward to meeting everyone for the first time ever and hopefully something positive will come out of this situation. You can rest assured that I will be sitting quietly at the meeting and my younger daughter will be doing most of the speaking etc…………………………….
This meeting never took place – my solicitors advised an adjournment as Cambian had refused the file to them. Cambian are desperate I do not see the files but prior to Cambian whilst at the Bethlem, Elizabeth had given written consent on more than one occasion for the family to know certain details regarding the care but now the team were saying the opposite. It is as though they have got something to hide – I am not bothered if my daughter has said things against me as I can fully see what is going on and I know that this is possible when surrounded by members of the team who do not like you but I am only interested to look at the drugs given and that is all. I have seen what they have written behind my back and to anyone else this would be termed as defamation of character but because this is a team of professionals they can do what they like and call you an abusive mother who hit her child, aggressive, unstable, overbearing – they can say what they like and just get away with it.
So with this meeting adjourned because of the refusal of the file to my solicitors quite a few months elapsed since that date. Then the court got things wrong and thought the Tribunal was for my daughter not on my part – the Tribunal was cancelled and this was just before Xmas.
Xmas we were all deprived of seeing Elizabeth but had a brief visit flanked by staff escorted only in my case and that did not apply to the rest of the family.
All the months since December have been about trying to arrange the Tribunal which I as Nearest Relative can bring about. I cannot believe how long this has taken.
The psychiatrist was replaced briefly by another who was covering the post. After a struggle I managed to get consent for the private tests to be done by Peter Bennett of Rehealth at the Bio Lab to be passed on to Dr Walsh of the Walsh Institute. The team tried to drag this out but then Elizabeth had said OK to these tests and they duly went ahead. Then the team tried to play on the fact that Elizabeth had not given consent to seeing the independent doctor who my solicitors were hoping to appoint. This dragged things out even further until her sister went down to visit alone. Elizabeth said she had no objection to seeing the independent doctor and at long last after all this time things could go forward now that consent had been received from Elizabeth.
It was only last week that the Independent doctor for the Tribunal went to Wales to see my daughter and I was determined that after all this time that Elizabeth would get a fair trial.
It was whilst visiting that I discovered that the entire team were aware of the fact that the Tribunal which was My Tribunal had been arranged for the following Monday -neither myself, my solicitors or the independent doctor had been informed but the entire team knew about it. If I had not phoned social services none of this would have come out. I had tried to contact them so many times and no one got back to me – the social worker did not know my phone number – how many times had I phoned in the past! Then I found out there were 2 social workers for my daughter and surprise was expressed by one of them that I did not know this and that there had always been 2 social workers. There was the last time and that is because I did not get on with the social worker who I heard tried to push Clozapine at my daughter as though she was a doctor!. perhaps that is why 2 social workers were allocated but I had no idea that still there was 2 social workers and the other one did not even know my number.
I took a couple of days off so that I along with a family friend could support Elizabeth – to be honest I was afraid that the team would make out she did not want to see this doctor and then the doctor’s time would be wasted as I already knew from the rest of the family that the team hoped to keep Elizabeth for at least 18 months. So, I arranged to take Elizabeth off the ward to stay in a nearby hotel with us. The next day the independent doctor arrived who I had never met. I waited alone in the reception of Cambian but then the team wanted to know where Elizabeth was – the doctor was due to arrive at any time and I did not want her surrounded by this team persuading her not to go ahead with the planned visit. I was quite right to do this as the day before my visit the consultant psychiatrist had gone to see Elizabeth alone without an advocate or solicitor present and said “do you really want your mother to be the nearest relative” – I would not be surprised if Elizabeth had been threatened into saying “no” however because of my strong concerns about what I see as manipulation of my daughter and the dragging out of the tribunal I had listened to Elizabeth confessing all this witnessed by my friend and I asked her if she would not mind repeating this on a tape recorder and this she did! So, the nurses suddenly became anxious as to the whereabouts of Elizabeth who had just eaten, had been taken out to see a lovely castle museum – she was not hungry or anything but had not taken her drug! I knew this drug was due to be taken exactly at the time of the visit by the independent doctor but felt it was inappropriate as otherwise Elizabeth would not have been in a fit state to see him. I knew if I took her back to the ward that the team would have probably administered this drug leaving her incapable of seeing the doctor.
Anyway the two nurses spoke of the Section 17 leave coming to an end that she had to be returned immediately to the ward. I told them that the consultant psychiatrist had agreed an extra night and therefore what was the problem? The team then said it was lunch time. I told them that Elizabeth had eaten – a large breakfast and a snack at the castle café. Still the team were not happy and they insisted she be brought back at that very minute. I was by this time standing in the hallway looking out anxiously for the independent doctor. The two nurses brushed past me and marched directly to the car opposite where Elizabeth was quite happy and content to remain waiting for the doctor’s arrival.
Thank God! I could see what looked like the doctor arriving at that very minute. I rushed outside and said “are your Dr ………………?” you could not imagine my relief as anything could have gone wrong then! At that, my daughter got out of the car calmly and went in to see the independent doctor alone in the small visitors room.
I was waiting in the hallway patiently as Elizabeth wanted to go and get some chocolates for a fellow patient and we did not have time earlier to do this.
It was then I caught a glimpse of the consultant psychiatrist I had never met before – she went in to see the independent doctor alongside my daughter and I carried on waiting outside as it was pouring with rain and I was going to offer the independent doctor a lift to the station. So whilst waiting I put in my request for her to go up the road to get some chocolates before our return home and this was flatly refused due to the Section 17 leave being ended. The staff told me that they would take her and I said no to this as I had promised and I am not one to break a promise. I pointed out that the Section 17 leave had actually been granted for an extra night but then the team said that I had changed my mind which altered this altogether and that I would not be allowed to take her out again that day even though it was the day I was due to go home. I was then asked by a member of staff if I was “stressed” – this is something the team play on. If you so much as express any kind of upset or disagreement then they just jump to conclusions all too often wrong. No, I was happy – happy that my daughter had seen the independent doctor which may not have happened otherwise. Happy that it was worth me taking time off to go down to ensure my daughter got a fair trial. I did mention though that I was upset at everything but who would not have been upset after finding out about the Tribunal arranged behind my back with everyone aware of it – upset does not mean you are stressed!. It must have come as a shock to the team that I did find out about this by chance and my solicitors got straight on to dealing with this matter and rearranging the Tribunal whereas Cambian told me that NO WAY COULD THE TRIBUNAL DATE BE REARRANGED. One member of staff told me that! Well now another date is being set for the Tribunal that I, my solicitors, my younger daughter and the independent doctor can ALL make it! This will now not be until end of July.
July will give the opportunity of her sister attending the Tribunal and the family to get together to talk about what will happen. There is no way I could have attended on the Monday 17th June at 10.00 am – I am shocked at the lack of knowledge by the team that such a date could not be altered by me yet my solicitors told me IT COULD!
I have been told by other mothers that a team can do anything to prevent a tribunal going ahead. The longer someone stays with the hospital the better as money is provided for that person’s stay. Therefore dragging out a section is to the team’s strong advantage as I see it but it is not to the public’s advantage as this is public money that should be accounted for. If a patient is not a risk to the public then it is an infringement of human rights to want to hold on to that patient for years on end, each time with the team sticking together to ensure that the tribunal fails and that the patient can be kept for say 3 years if not more. I read about a landmark case by Kaim Todner Solicitors regarding delaying of tribunals but it is near impossible to get representation for anything other than up to Tribunal level. Who is going to believe a mother or a patient when something goes wrong in terms of a mental health patient. The law is not protecting the most vulnerable people and the dragging out of a tribunal by way of playing on capacity “we have not received her consent yet” this results in more cost to the public. When it is obvious and true that someone is not happy on a section, of no risk to the public this sort of thing should not go on.
My solicitors shall arrange the Tribunal at a date convenient well in advance and I have just notified them of the date.
I hope I do not have to go through all this again but myself and her sister will go down prior to the date arranged so we can be with Elizabeth for this as otherwise ANYTHING could happen.
It is so unfair what is going on and to think I could have to go through this all again soon however if this Tribunal does not go ahead because of interference by the team, I shall want a major enquiry and I think that everyone should be told as this will be a waste of public money.
It is disturbing when you hear things like ” Dr ………………………is on my side”
I was not outspoken and full of praise for this private hospital in the first instance. Other mothers have informed me that they have been quiet yet they have still experienced this kind of treatment when it comes to Tribunals so anyone who thinks it is simply because of my outspokenness/criticism of the “care” that I have been treated this way is very wrong as this would appear to be commonplace when dealing with mental health patients and tribunals.
The whole reason they are against me as Nearest Relative is all to do with the drugs as the team have accused me of telling Elizabeth to stop taking them. They have accused me of encouraging her to stop taking them. This is not true! However I am very glad I had the private test results done which I have passed to the professional doctor for his observation and comment to the court. It is a good thing that I am the nearest relative in the circumstances.