It is really dragging on now the time/date for the Tribunal to be arranged and I have been on the telephone to my solicitors today who are still waiting to hear from the Welsh Tribunals Office who have not responded to them.
I feel sorry for my daughter that she has no news and is still stuck in hospital on section that can in effect take 9 years to overturn and I know of people still under section for more than this length of time. The longer someone is in hospital, the more dependant that person becomes on the team and the more institutionalised they become -the harder it is for them to cope in the community. There should be different types of therapeutic communities set up to help someone rather than just put that person back into the community where they are vulnerable for instance and likely to suffer further abuse. Not everyone took drugs in the first instance, some were abused and these vulnerable people might benefit from care away from the local area where they can establish friendship and be supported properly rather than in a scheme where there is supposed to be 24 hr care and an individual flat – this kind of scheme is good for some but not for others who have been in a hospital for years. The support given is not adequate that allows a patient to live off junk food and not be supported appropriately. A therapeutic community could provide a nutritionist, a doctor, nursing staff, can include peer support from suitable former patients and involve ordinary people from the community as well as student psychologists/nurses and the care should be holistic by way of choice. If someone is happy to take the drugs and they work as Dr Walsh says they may be undermethylated but others may feel differently and Root and Branch have the right idea. I may contact them tomorrow to see how they are getting on with their project as this kind of thing would be ideal for my daughter. I do not feel that coming back to a noisy City is the right option for Elizabeth right now. I as a mother do not want her to go downhill again but neither do I wish for her to be controlled in such a way that a team tries to turn her against me as a mother. Even if a team does not like you it is wrong for them to influence or deny contact or say things that are not nice and my daughter may well have been successful at her Tribunal if the team had not intervened and persuaded her to replace her very good local solicitors with a Welsh Firm.
So far things have been dragged out and this has been going on since before the end of last year. I found out on appointing my solicitors that a further attempt was being made to replace me as Nearest Relative. This means my daughter is being pitched between myself and her father – this is extremely damaging to my daughter and you can judge by this comment the effect it has on her “I will call the police on them, Mum, you are still my Mum” Anyway, I have been waiting to hear from my solicitors the date for the Tribunal for 2 weeks now it has been decided roughly a date that is convenient to the independent doctor, myself and the rest of the family together with my solicitor. We shall all be going to Wales for the Tribunal and I cannot believe that the Welsh Tribunal Office has not responded to my solicitors. So I decided to ring them myself to see what was going on. The person I spoke to refused to give me the name of the person dealing with matters saying that this person was off from work. I complained that things were dragging on and that there were errors which led to further delays which was not good enough. I referred to a mistake in which the Tribunal was lodged as one being brought by my daughter and not me – this then had to be re-arranged. The team tried to drag things out further by saying that my daughter had not consented to see the independent doctor but it was common knowledge that she wanted to be off the section and after all she is no risk to the public. My younger daughter is witness to all of this and spoke to her sister and got signed consent – after all it is her right to have a fair trial and if she is not happy being on a section then neither am I as Nearest Relative. So, then only recently and most shockingly everyone except for me, my solicitors and the independent doctor would have turned up at the tribunal which had been arranged – this is ludicrous what is going on – when I found out by accident I turned up at the hospital and asked what time and you should have seen their faces. To think everyone but me knew – there is a complete lack of communication between the team and social services. It is a good job I found out and then staff did not seem to be aware of my rights – I was told I could not cancel this date. So I turned around and said I would immediately cancel and this I did through my solicitors who were equally shocked at this being arranged. With these mistakes being made on hearing that my solicitors were still waiting for a reply from this office I decided to ring them today. I telephoned and got no information whatsoever but said to the team that I wanted to have that date next week otherwise I would be referring matters to The Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP. This is a matter for the Department of Health to look into and there is no decent complaints procedure – every time I have complained the complaint has been closed without any satisfactory answers so this is why I am going right to the top. I have told the Welsh Tribunals office that public money is being wasted here and the public had a right to know about it and I am more than happy to let the public know what is really going on. So, I shall make sure that I telephone the Welsh Tribunals Office on Monday for that date and if a date is not forthcoming in that week then I wish the world to know about it.
The other people I have been dealing with this week has been Social Services. I am down to 1 social worker now but it would seem there is always the Manager shadowing matters here. I got in touch as I had been speaking to my solicitors about future placements which would ultimately be my daughter’s choice. It is hardly a satisfactory situation for her to be under a hospital even if the facilities are nice – my daughter should not be on a section and they are keeping her as a prisoner because only under a section can my daughter be completely controlled by the team in terms of taking the drugs they prescribe even if the drugs are doing her no good and are detrimental to her health under a hospital the team continue to push these drugs regardless of anything else. What kind of care is this? Having said all of this my daughter is on Clozapine and I am not qualified to take her off the drugs and would not encourage her to stop taking them as she could die as a result. To come off this serious quantity of drugs she would need professional help. There are experts that can help but no facilities – only illicit drugs are worthy of these facilities so a person is told they have to take the drugs for the rest of their lives and when my daughter complained of serious side effects she just got completely ignored despite the leaflets that go with the drugs that say refer to your physician if you experience such symptoms. In a hospital setting the staff want to keep someone drugged up as they are less trouble. The care is completely wrong in the UK that is for sure and I believe that acute wards should not be used for long term or repetitive admissions – at least choice should be given to the patient.
Anyway, here is my recent email to the Department of Health – For the Attention of the Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiries Officer:
“I am afraid I did not receive the reply from Mr Lamb and would be grateful if you could email this to me.
I’m being contacted by no end of other mothers, some whose sons/daughters are on neverending sections on huge dosage of drugs. They are written off like rubbish and there is no way on earth I want my daughter to end up in the system for 26 years. The whole care system, law and especially the manipulation of capacity /confidentiality needs looking at that allows establishments whether it be NHS or private to keep hold of someone for years on end. It should not be allowed that a psychiatrist or social services can manipulate matters trying to get rid of you as Nearest Relative by bullying and harrassment. I have not been treated fairly and neither has my daughter and just because I have complained because so many serious things have happened following the initial incident the team do not like this and have sought to replace me several times. All this is wasting public money. I have done extensive research on the drugs and can find virtually nothing in the UK on offer unlike in Tornio, Finland. I would willingly take my daughter over there for decent care. I have noticed there are some therapeutic communities and feel this is the answer for choice rather than acute wards which can be very distressful for some but they do not go far enough to offer the care I would like with proper assessments by Dr Walsh. He is coming over in November to train up 20 doctors and I would like the Dept of Health to Contact Chy Sawel to see how they can help. I do not accept treatment resistant as a diagnosis. In fact I cannot accept any of the diagnoses and want a proper assessment and have paid for this to be done which shows shocking results. I have gone to lengths to try and provide decent care myself but have been treated like a criminal. You are treated even worse as a patient and I meet with a group of such former patients who have a lot to offer. Still a date for the Tribunal has not been arranged and I would like Chy Sawel set up urgently in order that my daughter can have the correct care and diagnosis.
The above is just a small part of the email I have written and I am awaiting their response with interest. I hope it is not going to be the usual standard kind of response that brings nothing and no hope in anything being addressed properly. I have further described how wrong it is to force drug patients and pin them down – this is terrible – that person could be having terrible side effects and t here are no facilities to properly help that person. All the more reason to have Chy Sawel and Root and Branch set up. I have said that I am so keen to see this happen that I would pay for the advertising myself for the 20 doctors needed by Dr Walsh.
Since writing this email, I have been contacted by yet more mothers who are in despair and it is not just me – all the more reason for the Dept of Health to take seriously my letters/emails and do something about the situation.
Tomorrow I shall be busy catching up on chores and meeting up with a close friend. I was so hoping to have some good news on the date of the tribunal to tell Elizabeth but there is nothing. I am very disappointed.