My Daughter Elizabeth is coming home at the weekend and I am very happy. Unfortunately since being at Cambian for a year the visit will be very short. She will be driven down to spend Saturday with the rest of the family as far as I know and then they will bring her to me in the evening for just a few hours but it will be late and Elizabeth will be tired. I remember the last visit. I picked up Elizabeth from hospital in Wales, myself and my younger daughter spent the day in Wales before coming come which took several hours by car. Then the rest of the family wanted to see her and she spent no quality time at home whatsoever and I was shocked at how quickly staff arrived to pick her up bright and early the next morning.
When someone lives so far away it would surely be more humane to allow a two night visit but I remember the last time this was flatly refused – I wanted to take her to Bluestone National Park on the suggestion of staff there but when I pointed out that it would take several hours to drive there after spending most of the day driving it seemed so unfair that the team would not allow 1 extra night.
I personally think that such allowance is at the discretion of a team and in particular the psychiatrist. A psychiatrist can say what they like and make out someone is unwell when that person could benefit from a slightly longer stay and I believe this is very cruel as it deprives Elizabeth of spending time with the family but no leave was granted whilst at the Bethlem so if you look at how long Elizabeth has been under this so called “care” she should surely be entitled to more than just 1 night bearing in mind the length of travelling and journey involved which leaves no time to spend at home and how unfair it is to play on the “law” by such control. It has been unfair the way I have been treated and my daughter and the minimum allowance of leave given but I expect the real reason for this is that they do not want to unsettle someone who is perfectly safe with the family but may not wish to return to hospital back under their “care”. No matter how nice things are compared with the care experienced at local level there is such a rigid control and strictness/exclusion and discouragement of family contact that I have ever seen before but then if a catalogue of nasty things have been said behind my back by the previous team the new psychiatrist takes such comments on board and it has been most damaging to the whole family the catalogue of events that followed and assumptions on the part of a team under a doctor who have never even met me personally.
I am grateful I will see her for a short time and of course the Tribunal is now arranged but I cannot discuss this openly.
My only comment on Tribunals is that the courts dealing with this should be OPEN, not closed. This is after all public money and the public have a right to know what is going on under this secretive and controlled system.