Many vulnerable/disabled people are not getting justice in a system where abuse is rife. A previous solicitor said to me once “you are up against a lot of power and I can now see what he means. Certain organisations set up to investigate and protect vulnerable people are not doing so – the CQC for instance are not interested in individual cases, and have limited powers. This is a system that allows abuse to the weak and vulnerable ie, disabled, mental health patients and the elderly. It is difficult to get legal backing in court unless you have plenty of money to pay for it and that rules out the disabled, elderly, mental health patients. it is virtually impossible to get justice in the case of clinical injury – if someone has been trapped in the system for say three years a solicitor will dismiss any claim for clinical injury if you suddenly discover things in the files. This is wrong as how would you know about it when the team make it impossible to see the files and as I have discovered there is plenty to hide and cover up.
There are many tragic cases where young people are imprisoned for many years in shocking institutions worse than a prison where drugs are given enormous quantities of mind altering chemicals, sometimes concomitantly prescribed and no-one seems to care – doctors who are supposed to do no harm are causing harm by prescribing in this way. You do not get to read this about these cases in the papers but it is a fact that this abuse is going all over the UK.. Some of these young people are placed in care homes and other institutions hundreds of miles from home, making it difficult for relatives to visit and relatives are given no help in these situations. The young people incarcerated in this way are often deprived of leave and drugged up. Security is so tight that parents cannot spend time alone without being watched. This is disgusting treatment when a patient is treated like a criminal and “written off” – how can anyone get better in some of these institutions. How wrong these professionals are with their comments – I am proof that having Elizabeth home has been the best thing of all even though we have no help or support. I think that should come from Central Government as some Councils are wasting a lot of money with court cases and sending people to institutions long term instead of giving some extra money to the patient in the form of direct payments – these to be spent on activities and integration into society. Direct payments worked well with my father who had Alzheimers but nothing is given to Elizabeth and I have to pay for taking her out, providing carers as drugs need collecting, blood tests need doing, activities include personal trainer twice a week. When a parent complains the team can impose visiting restrictions or even ban contact like they did with me on more than one occasion. They can go ever further by getting rid of you for their own convenience if you happen to the Nearest Relative. They will say all sorts of things behind your back that you are putting the patient at risk and in my case it is all about the chemical Clozapine that social services themselves pushed and when Elizabeth refused she was sent to a hospital that has links to the Institute of Psychiatry where they favour Clozapine. This drug is affecting my daughter tremendously – she has gained huge weight and a leading professor says that is probably because it is too high a dosage and he knows all about the drugs unlike certain team members.
There are some very tragic cases I am in touch with where a mother or relative really cares and is in despair over seeing the decline of their son/daughter/relative but nothing is being done about it. The Government must be aware of this situation and should personally visit without notice to these institutions and contact the relatives to assist as these young people who are trapped and imprisoned are suffering with their physical health as a result of the shocking treatment. It is very difficult to get someone off a section as the team will say that person is too unwell for instance like the consultant psychiatrist did at Cambian before she left suddenly and they can deprive leave in this way too. So the team were looking at sending Elizabeth to an establishment recommended by “professional” who thought this was the best option yet states that she does not know the family. How can this woman recommend anything in that case? This is a hospital more like prison or should I say worse than prison that I have read about where no phones are allowed and no doubt contact severely restricted. Some patients end up being imprisoned for life and I know of some cases and they have decent caring families too – the public are unaware of cases like this where patients are placed in such units at huge cost to the taxpayer yet they have not killed or done anything seriously wrong in many cases. You would think someone placed in an establishment like this had killed someone but I believe such patients are sent to institutions like this when NHS care fails dismally and the reason being that patients are being drugged to the hilt – no tests done to see if they can metabolise the drugs and I have all the evidence in the files to prove what is going on in the name of “care”.. A mother who I am in touch with recently told me her son had been refused leave with the excuse that he is too unwell to have any leave. The same was said about Elizabeth not being allowed to come home from Cambian at Xmas but I would argue that the care provided is making patients unwell and at first when Elizabeth came home she was so reserved she hardly spoke to anyone and now we are seeing such an improvement. These institutions are horrific places and I have been inside some to visit. Patients are drugged enormously and kept without phones and cut off from the outside world. It is all about control and there is money to be made of course, huge money and this could be better spent in other areas with more help in the community – the involvement of former patients where possible in peer support and inclusion of families like in Tornio, Finland where they have Open Dialogue. Parents are understandably in despair and visiting rights are very strict – some patients have no leave at all. When a parent dares to complain and criticise the level of drugs for instance the entire team stick together. To lock someone away and drug them at huge levels for many years is against human rights especially when these people are not guilty of any serious incidents like you would expect – they do not deserve to be in such places, where they have no rights and treated like an object rather than a patient. To think this is going on in the UK today. Only a few cases come to public attention such as Winterbourne but there are many many more cases that are not even heard of. To those people who assume that these young people have done something terrible to end up in these institutions in the first place, you are very wrong to assume the worst, judging by the cases I am in touch with. I know only too well how lucky I am to have managed to overturn the Section 3 – there needs to be proper assessments on physical health before prescribing these dangerous drugs and no tests are currently available to see if someone can metabolize the drug. This is allowed to go on in the UK which is supposed to be a civilised country and I am fed up with hearing how short the NHS is of money when they waste so much on enormous quantities of drugs for mental health patients that do not work as some are treatment resistant ie non or poor metabolisers causing more harm than good. They also waste enormous sums on private sector placements hundreds of miles away from home and family that offer pretty much the same care of huge amounts of drugs but in a better setting. However, when patients are sent miles away from home they are more vulnerable and stricter control is evident. These hospitals are simply a dumping ground for those where care has failed. Judging by the files Elizabeth was regarded as case of no hope and given enormous quantities of drugs which I can now see from the files. Management personnel of these hospitals are in no hurry to see a patient leave and, if drugged up enough, the patient becomes so weakened that they are unable to request a tribunal, or deal with solicitors and they can remain stuck in the system for years or forever detained with the excuse given by certain professionals that the person is too ill or risk to themselves or others and that is far from true in some cases. Elizabeth was becoming weakened in this way and felt stressed by the meetings with staff and refused to attend at times – this is how someone can end up stuck in the system under never ending control. These young people are the forgotten people of the UK and there are some who wish to leave hospital but they are stuck and I know some who have caring parents who are very upset. I hope to highlight such cases and produce a “front page” newspaper template and pass it round to their parents so they can write an account of the abuse going on to their sons and daughters. I wish to start this off by highlighting my daughter’s shocking treatment featuring my true story “Get Her Back We Are Paying For That” – this is an example of how power held by professionals can result in abuse. I am not the only case where drugs have been deprived in a bid to force return that person to care but if you deprive someone of a drug like Clozapine for several days, then that person can become seriously ill, can relapse then immediately the law can go against you and in favour of professionals who had only one concern to return my daughter to care. It is highly dangerous to deprive drugs causing a steep withdrawal in this way and I would not attempt this myself.
Positions of Power:
When you complain to Central Government you get nowhere and you get a standard letter referring you to the PHSO for instance or CQC. The Organisations supposed to help such as PHSO or CQC do not have enough powers. The PHSO (formerly Healthcare Commission) has upheld my complaint partially in the past. I have to say though that the team were worried about a visit from the PHSO which I read about in the files but if anyone looks at the contents of these files they would get a very wrong impression when they read nasty comments. Even past family history is incorrect. Your name is like mud in the files when a team gangs up against you and if any organisation such as PHSO or CQC get involved and go by the files then it is no wonder no fair outcome is arrived at. Everyone is protecting themselves. There is a culture of bullying as I have seen and I reckon when you are labelled a “special” case this could go beyond social services as to take someone to court time and time again requires a lot of money. This is how the system is – aimed at the protection of professionals at the expense of weak and vulnerable/disabled/elderly people. This Government allows this to happen. Here is some extracts from a letter going back to 2013 from the Dept of Health: “The Government’s ambitious approach to tackling drug use is set out in our 2010 Drug Strategy, Reducing demand, Restricting Supply, Building Recovery: supporting people to live a drug free life. http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk. WHAT ABOUT THE DRUGS PUSHED AT PATIENTS BY CONSULTANT PSYCHIATRIST AND OTHER NONE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS? “I also note your concerns about the prescription of medicines in mental healthcare settings. An integrated approach is fundamental to the provision of high quality care to people with conditions such as depression, schizophrenia or dementia and treatment should take into account patients’ individual needs and preferences. Medicines have their place in the treatment of mental health conditions. For many this will be the most effective and appropriate treatment option. However there are alternatives available such as counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy. It is important that medicines are only prescribed to people with mental health conditions when necessary and are not used when non-pharmacological approaches can be equally effective. Patients should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their doctors. Good communication between practitioners and patients is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based information tailored to the patient’s needs. If the patient agrees, families and carers should have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about treatment and care. Families and carers should also be given the information and support they need.” In four years since that letter was written and signed by Norman Lamb the quality of care is far from high and I do not see improvement especially with integrated care where non medical professionals have control and power over treatment so it would seem as in Elizabeth’s case and the treatment is mainly drugs and parents are not included, patients coerced into distancing themselves when a team do not like to be challenged. Finally the letter ends by advising you contact the Ombudsman and then a judicial review after the Ombudsman’s final decision and suggests legal advice is obtained via law centre or Citizens Advice Bureau or contact a lawyer.
Chief Executive Officers -NHS or Council: They back the staff defending everything, turning a blind eye to serious complaints and like to use words “excellent” or “satisfied that everything is OK. Instead of doing a proper/thorough investigation they appoint say one person – that person then passes on the complaint to the very department whom the complaint is about, instead of investigating themselves eg. “you know the family better” – when someone is appointed to investigate a complaint they should look into matters themselves and it is extremely lazy to do this sort of thing. This same person who was appointed to investigate the complaint of deprival of drugs contradicts herself – she was happy to pass the complaint on to those the complaint was about for them to respond but at the same time was certain that Elizabeth should be sent to a secure type hospital. This same woman could not understand why Elizabeth was so upset at being asked to choose between Mum and Dad and put pressure on to do so by the care home. Not on a section or CTO, I immediately came to the conclusion of what was going on there and that they were planning to section Elizabeth.
Hospital Managers: can delay tribunals/sever or restrict visits – refuse to give files to solicitors for the Manager’s Hearing – why hurry when they are raking in pots of money – taxpayers money. They can also make contact difficult for carers to see their relative – the less contact the better as abuse cannot be reported so easily and that person can end up under their institution for many years – no one can come near and staff all stick together and if something is wrong the family is the last to hear. Not one person telephoned me to let me know that my daughter was severely ill whilst they titrated Clozapine which was against her wishes. I did not get to hear of an incident at first hand where so many staff and patients fell ill with some kind of bug at another hospital.
Psychiatrists – apart from a few such as Dr Johnson, Dr Moncrieff and those involved with ISPS my experience is shocking of psychiatrists and I see them as professionals who do not care about physical health and push drugs at huge quantities without proper assessment on a trial and error basis. One such psychiatrist has made huge mistakes in a court report and I want them altered.
Doctors – GP was helpful and gave a prescription when Elizabeth came home. The only thing the GP could not help me with was my most recent request which I shall document in another blog.
Social workers – well I only have a good experience of social workers in relation to my father’s care – certainly not under mental health where they have used public funding again and again to get rid of me as the Nearest Relative and they have used bullying tactics to try to destroy my family.
Police – have dealt fairly with my daughter though had no powers to intervene when we were being harassed and bullied
I am speaking about MH here – solicitors can stay away from a vulnerable person who is unable to pick up the phone and deal with them. Solicitors can delay tribunals by not responding to one another for instance. Solicitors recommended by hospitals seem very friendly towards the staff and when one said “do you really want to go through with this my daughter backed down” – that was because I got to find out about the Tribunal and took a day off work to attend.
Solicitors acting for the council are ruthless – they bombarded me with call after call in front of work colleagues and sent me legal papers at work stating I was being taken to court the next day – I will add to this later on as I want to share more with you about how they operate.
Solicitors acting for Nearest Relative – well I had to ask them to step in when I heard that the team were all going to the tribunal without me. Going back to when Elizabeth was at Cambian Solicitors refused to pay for the independent Psychiatrists attendance and report. I still managed to overturn the section though as I had acquired substantial research and evidence to present to the Tribunal. I don’t think they wanted the publicity of keeping hold of Elizabeth as they have people for up to three years apparently.
Court of Protection – solicitors acted in the case of deprival of drugs.
The case has ended in a way I do not consider to be fair. Elizabeth has not even had her fares reimbursed. We thought everything would be fairly settled at the next Hearing but there wasn’t to be a next Hearing. An independent Psychiatrist has made a huge mistake and despite my complaint the solicitors refuse to alter it. The report states another Council as Applicant. The solicitors responded to my complaint offering £100 goodwill gesture but this amount would cover her fares by taxi as Elizabeth was not well enough at the time to travel by public transport. I do not accept that to be a fair settlement after what my daughter has been through. The £100 offer has now been withdrawn from this major firm of solicitors who I feel like naming as I suggested that this sum should be for reimbursement of her fares. If they were a caring firm instead of saying “all that needs to be sorted is our expenses then they would have thought of Elizabeth but no doubt they have gained their expenses and even when you hear things like “it is unlikely matters will go to court a second time” – this is not still definite with the word “unlikely” being used. When asked when the date for the next Hearing would be there was little doubt the solicitors did not want us there “it will not be necessary for you to attend” and I said that we would be happy to come. I think that a settlement was reached for them but nothing for Elizabeth. Elizabeth is left with a report that is highly inaccurate and does not even name the correct Council and this is terrible in my opinion. She is now severely disabled and is too afraid to go out alone and suffers from Agoraphobia.
It is not the Judges I have had problems with it is the solicitors as you can see from the above comments. .
It has been over a year now and Elizabeth is doing well at home and slowly regaining her confidence. I have taken her to some wonderful concerts and take her out at the weekends with me but today Elizabeth felt dizzy and unstable whilst walking. It is going out she needs help with and there is no help from the team whatsoever. Not one single incident has happened yet so terrible things are written in the files. This shows you cannot believe the files and their contents. We have just returned from a dental appointment for Elizabeth and a walk besides the River Thames which was very pleasant but Elizabeth was not feeling well to enjoy this.
I will keep you all informed as to how I get on with this dispute with the solicitors and the incorrect report. I will also have some interesting things to share regarding care and treatment very soon especially in relation to these comments from above “It should be supported by evidence-based information tailored to the patient’s needs.
Finally I was glad someone got justice as per below.