I have documented how Elizabeth was transferred at short notice from the Bethlem (Beckenham) to Cambian in Wales and how I was so pleased about this at first. I had read about what I thought was fabulous care and facilities. Sure enough my daughter has described the facilities and food far better than what is on offer under the NHS locally, however, there have been some disturbing things that have occurred. I was obviously shocked to hear from my solicitors that a further attempt was being made to get rid of me as the Nearest Relative and this would explain the reason I was excluded from Day 1 by the team. I have only ever listened to my daughter who is not a risk to the public and have spoken up for her as I felt she was being ignored and right now she is quite rightly unhappy at being held on a section that could go on for up to 9 years. Apparently, Cambian keep patients there for a long time – as long as 3 years. so I heard but we as a family feel she has been there now over a year and further time spent at the Bethlem and locally. I as a mother and Nearest Relative had the right firstly to call a Manager’s Hearing but of course this never took place as the file was refused to my solicitors. Now the Tribunal complete with independent doctor is due to take place soon. It has been very hard to get all of this in place as I felt that capacity was being played upon by the team -Elizabeth would never just pick up a phone and ring her solicitors for example. Then to my shock and horror I discovered by accident that the entire team were going to the Tribunal except for myself, my solicitors and the independent doctor and it is lucky I got to hear about it. At last we have a date for the Tribunal but I understand that the Consultant Psychiatrist has been to see my daughter alone asking her if she really wanted me to be the Nearest Relative and I think that this is very very wrong. I have also got to hear today that at the CPA meeting apparently the team are not pleased that my daughter was brought over to me. I feel very threatened by the team’s reaction towards me as a mother. There are so many of them and I have been warned that it is very hard to get someone off a section and that I am up against a lot of power. I know only too well that I have been subject to bullying like I have never experienced before in the way of exclusion. When you think how happy I was for my daughter to go to Cambian and then to my shock and horror I find out that all these things are being plotted behind my back and it is not a figment of my imagination. I have proof in writing how the team tried to distance me from my daughter. I have proof of the reason why they wish to get rid of me as the mother. A team should work with you as a family whether they like you or not. A team should not assume or guess in any way.
I believe the team are hiding behind the excuse that I as a mother will try and influence my daughter to stop taking the drugs. They are using this as an excuse when in fact it is much more personal than this. I have already said that I am not qualified to take her off the drugs and even if I am not happy I would not convey my opinion to my daughter as I know she could be severely affected with her health if she was to stop taking these drugs unless she had professional help and I am not a professional. I am disappointed that the team should focus heir personal dislike on me as a mother to try to get rid of me and it has been very upsetting to be targeted like this. For instance we live a long distance away and it takes a good day to drive down from Wales and this is not taken into account – just an extra night would be nice to spend with my daughter but this has been flatly refused and as a result it is now not just me upset with the care given. I am now waiting for consent for leave coming up but have had no response despite two emails. The team say it is at my wish my daughter was sent to Cambian as I wanted this – well yes I did as I had read so many good things about it but I did not bargain for this kind of treatment/control – even at local level I have never encountered anything like this. At the Bethlem there was also very strict control but I understand they did not want visitors or attention.p>
My summing up of care under the private sector is as follows:
Better facilities so I am told “its like a four star hotel, Mum”.
More to do – cookery and outings not available on the NHS.
The location – peaceful and quiet.
The food – good – a far cry from what is on offer under the nhs.
The environment – extremely strict – get up early during the week and have chores to do – focus on personal hygiene – various groups to attend.
The environment according to my daughter is not always good. It is not a good environment according to Elizabeth to be surrounded by other seriously ill people. The worst thing is the relationship towards family has been affected by the attitude of the team ie lack of communication/exclusion. from Day I.
Not once have I been invited to a meeting.
I was given a slot for supervised calls supposedly at my daughter’s request at a time when surely the team knew I could not ring. Elizabeth told her sister this was not at her wish.
Elizabeth said it is very strict and you have to go along with the team and that she “has her reputation to think about” – I gather from this they make her feel bad if she was to refuse to do what they ordered.
Elizabeth is 26 but not even allowed out to go to the corner shop alone and has now been there for over a year. It is wrong that a team should try and influence Elizabeth but things have happened – ie her solicitor changed which she would never have done herself – the tribunal got dragged out as they kept saying she had not given proper instructions to her solicitor. Now the latest the questioning of my daughter as to whether she wants me as the Nearest Relative and this is overstepping the mark professionally surely.
Now apparently the team are not happy that my daughter was brought over to see me.
For a while the care worked better under Cambian when another doctor took over briefly and this doctor was very good – he communicated with me and that is the main problem with the team at Cambian. There is lack of communication and lack of inclusion. I feel their dislike of me is personal as the consultant psychiatrist said “I have heard all about your past behaviour”. I was denied leave, I was denied access by phone and all the time Elizabeth was phoning me.
It is not Cambian and the facilities/outings/food but the way the team have responded towards me as a mother. I was overjoyed when she was given a place but am now not happy – The CEO Mr Asaria has not got back to me. He was supposed to get back to me after a couple of days and never bothered. I feel the CEO does not care otherwise he would have telephoned or written by now. It is harmful to to try and sever contact with the mother(in my case) just because a team does not like you with the excuse that I would advise/influence or try and stop her taking the drugs. That is the issue the team hide behind It would be far better if they were open and honest and direct. There would be no complaints on my part however it is good to see that not all psychiatrists are bad. I have just bought a new book called De-Medicalising misery which is edited by Mark Rapley, Joanna Moncrieff and Jacqui Dillon. I am delighted with this book. Elizabeth texted me today and she sounded calm and positive. There is no reason to keep her locked behind closed doors for many more years to come. This is an infringement of human rights. I feel concerned at the fact that once the Tribunal is out of the way and should Elizabeth stay where she is that I will be very vulnerable without the backing of my solicitors. So far, I have twice requested leave from Cambian but received no answer and I have booked a farm house cottage for my forthcoming visit when the Tribunal will take place.
I am well aware that the Tribunal will focus on elements of risk and safety but it is off-putting when a team have reacted this way towards you with disregard towards the person in care. It is not my daughter’s wish to be caught in the middle of a dispute with the team and myself based on unfounded beliefs surrounding the drugs. It is wrong of them to adopt bullying tactics. All I can hope for is that Elizabeth will be released from section and transferred elsewhere under a team who will work with me and the family. Elizabeth mentioned she liked Devon. She has talked of wanting her own home and I would be prepared to buy her a home of her own but so far social services have not responded to me on the possibility of this an what support could be provided. I feel 3 years is too long to keep Elizabeth in hospital and feel that it has been nearly 2 years if you combine the stay locally and the Bethlem in total. There is no way that I or the rest of the family want to see her decline under a similar type scheme locally as before that didn’t work out. All I want as a mother is for my daughter to be happy and go forward (not backwards) with her life. All I want to know is that she is safe and being looked after – she will need a lot of support as she has once again been in hospital a long time. It is supposed to be very difficult to get someone released from section and this is terrible and costing the public a lot of money when most people are of no risk to the public.