MESSAGE TO THE RT HON THERESA MAY PRIME MINISTER

I’m so sorry I missed the opportunity to speak to you Tuesday but by writing I can go into much more depth than I could in just a short phone call.

I’ve received literature about Brexit.  I don’t see any mention therein of mental health but there is mention of:

Strong economy paying for a strong NHS;

safer streets with crime down by a third

welfare capped to reward work. 

You promise in your standard letter “strong leadership, economic security, more affordable housing and good school place for every child – strong economy for a strong NHS”

I will now tie in the above points mentioned in your campaign leaflet.

I would like to know what has actually happened to the NHS in the Health and Social Care Act?   All money seems to be up for grabs with no accountability.  I find this very disturbing. What are your views on this?

I am seeing the system to be one consisting of forms, roles, bureaucracy procedures, risk assessment geared to maximum profit in respect of inpatient care.  Do you think this should be changed with greater emphasis on care itself?

I see abuse towards those deemed “incapable” under MCA – how many vulnerable people are currently incarcerated in “prison-like” institutions costing as much as £12500 per week to the taxpayer?   Isn’t this wrong and abusive?  Isn’t this costing a fortune to the taxpayer whilst other services suffer?

What about the tribunal system –  this can be dragged out for years whilst private hospital institutions do everything to hang on to patients who deteriorate under their care as they are drugged highly.  There is widespread abuse going on. It is profitable for  private institutions and for solicitors when tribunals fail and under these institutions a vulnerable person can be prescribed ridiculous quantities of concomitantly prescribed mind altering drugs without any accountability.  The MCA is open to abuse particularly in a non-public hospital.  What do you think of this?   How can this situation be changed?

Community care programmes are all about making max profit – some are under the control of commercial bodies – a loaded system that eats billions to benefit not about care but profit.  What are your views on this?

As far as I see it the whole system needs change as in the case of those with so called “learning disabilities” this term should not be misrepresented and lowered to obtain MCA incapacity.  Unfortunately this is going on resulting in total control for life.

Residential care under Commissioner’s control – its all about compliance and drugging – don’t you think this is true?  Real care costs such as specialised therapy and this is what I am currently requesting as I have proven by providing “real” care myself that it works effectively.     For four months Elizabeth received the most wonderful care and if everyone was to receive a personal budget I would be inclined to keep this care ongoing as their approach was correct and worked out at a fraction of the price of say Cygnet or Cambian.   There needs to be a full investigation into this don’t you think?

I have observed that once you are declared “mentally ill” physical health problems are ignored.  This needs to be changed as the long term consequences can result in greater expense if physical health is ignored.   The very basics only are carried out under mental health –  weight/blood pressure.   How can this be improved?

The current system allows abuse and neglect and when things go wrong and professionals are unaccountable – as a result there is more than one Winterbourne.  The most weak and vulnerable people are put at risk by a system that allows unaccountability/protection but how can anyone learn from mistakes when there are no measures put in place to ensure accountability resulting in the same procedures allowed to be carried on instead of changes made?

In the COP there is no support for families unless you can afford to pay huge sums for it in terms of legal representation.     In our case the drug Clozapine was declined by my local area of Enfield but this case of “Deprival of Medication – Community Care” was replaced by attempts of certain professionals to Deprive Liberty, force return to care my daughter who had no food at the weekend at a care home in Northampton where a CTO was being arranged.   This is abuse and Professional bodies rally round to protect those involved but to deprive medication to force return is not only abusive but can be life threatening when I did offer to go and pick it up.    There is no accountability.

I know of others apart from Elizabeth who have suffered under care so badly they are traumatised and suffer from PTSD.    What can be done about all of this?   What about adopting a system of open dialogue available to all who want it?

A Trust/Council will investigate themselves and they all stick together to protect one another and I do not think this is right.

The CQC have limited powers.   This needs changing.

The PHSO want to speak directly to the person concerned and even when there is clear abuse and neglect by professionals they wish to hear from that person more than once in phone calls to ensure it is what they really want when really that investigation should go ahead.

We have been subject to safeguarding and a vulnerable person (my daughter) used by certain professionals under social care (who know nothing about my family) to encourage/put pressure on that vulnerable person to tick boxes alleging all kinds of abuse. Never are these professionals included in this abuse as they are above the law.  I had to report all of this to the Police myself.   I am assuming that this would have led to gagging if I had not obtained the minutes of the most shocking content and Elizabeth was put under pressure and up against 9 professionals without any advocate as they did not want to pay for Disability Action.   This in itself is abuse –  what can be done about this as all of this is a waste of time and public money as they should have been discussing what could be provided as Elizabeth had nothing to do – this could have gone on direct payments as we requested and in all the time Elizabeth was at home absolutely nothing was provided – no assistance whatsoever.

I believe that the system needs to be more open and transparent – after all this is taxpayer’s money.    You could do this by making Open Dialogue compulsory to all councils and Trusts.  This would save a lot of money as people like myself would have no complaints.

The public need to be able to view Council/Trust’s tenders for work and contracts as well as what the public accounts committee is doing.   The information needs to be easily accessible.

Mental Health Care:

A huge chunk of MH care has now been privatised but our experience of private sector care has been awful.   Elizabeth has come out worse and I believe this money should be spent on improving the NHS instead.  If someone has been abused under their “care” then they should provide the necessary treatment and facility for trauma immediately.  It only takes 10 days to get funding in place and in Elizabeth’s case there is no excuse to delay all of this.  I am sure there are many similar cases as with the right approach Elizabeth could be helped as I have proven.  So there should be more personal budgets readily available as I found good care abroad that worked and if their approach was evident in the UK’s mainstream care then the wards would not be overflowing like they are.   Correct approach could save a lot of money to the NHS which involves correct training and so could proper testing to see if someone can metabolise the drugs before drugs are prescribed.   Elizabeth will be writing more about her wonderful care shortly.

The NHS needs huge improvements to be made under mental health care with regard to facilities and care provided  so much money is being wasted.  The private sector care funded by the local area did not work.   A place like a prison is not the kind of environment to get well in is it?

There should be specialised facilities for PTSD and Police approach.

Police need to delegate questioning of someone who has been the victim of rape/abuse to other more specialised organisations who know how to go about things correctly and have better skills to deal with someone who for example has a learning disability or Aspergers.   They should not be quick to ignore or sweep things under the carpet.  Any suspected rape/abuse cases should instantly be referred to proper counselling and their a label such as “schizophrenia” for instance may be completely wrong which should be reviewed in the circumstances.   Specialist treatment such as EMDR and psychotherapy should be readily available.

Strong Economy paying for strong NHS –  vast sums of money are being wasted under current MH care and this needs urgent review and by such huge spending under private sector this is weakening the NHS.

safer streets with crime down by a third:

Enfield needs more Police Officers to tackle a spate of recent knife attacks.    However I would stress that placing people from MH hospitals from acute wards into the community without them having access to ongoing psychotherapy and treatments for PTSD is very wrong.     If less money was being spent amounting to over £12K per week on private sector wards then there would be more funding for the community care and treatment that is much needed.   Every area should have good facilities for treating PTSD and assessing patients properly.   No amount of psychiatric drugs can help someone who themselves have been  victim of terrible abuse and then there are patients who cannot metabolise these drugs and are labelled “treatment resistant”.  A waste of money to keep giving them drugs in the circumstances.   That does not stop a psychiatrist trying to prescribe another form of drugs such as “mood stabilisers” off label and this can itself trigger psychosis.    There needs to be greater monitoring of what is going on under psychiatry and what patients are being prescribed.  Tests like I had done for Elizabeth ie P450 liver enzyme should be given as a matter of course and if physical health was monitored properly by way of Endocrinology tests then this would also ensure the accurate treatment as the patient may have a physical health condition rather than mental health condition. Improvements need to be made urgently and care given on an individual basis as everyone’s needs differ.

welfare capped to reward work. 

Mental health conditions might mean that someone cannot work and this is not because they are lazy in any way – I have documented for instance the huge quantities of drugs Elizabeth has been prescribed under Enfield MH in the past.   Such huge levels of drugs are questionable as what are doctors doing prescribing such high levels? – they must surely know that this will cause injury, could harm the patient?   When someone like Elizabeth who cant metabolise the drugs and suffers from adverse reaction this is a dangerous situation and so how can that person work?   What is not understood is the long term effects of these drugs and I am pleased that East London NHS Trust are looking into this via the RADAR project.  This needs to be extended to all acute wards as there are terrible side effects from these drugs which are disabling to the extent that a person cannot function and there is not one single facility for a person to withdraw off the drugs safely when there is doubt about the diagnosis.  What can be done about this unsatisfactory matter?   Even when someone comes off these mind altering drugs it can take years to feel well again physically and Elizabeth has complained of physical pain and tiredness.  There is ignorance from doctors who thing that someone should recover after a few weeks –  it can take years.    For someone genuinely affected with MH conditions to have their welfare capped this can be quite devastating and make that person suffer more.  Many people have suffered injury as a result of their “treatment”.  There is no accountability for this is there?  It is not just a case of believing someone to be lazy as some people like Elizabeth can be very limited but when Elizabeth came back from Australia we saw a huge improvement.  If only the local area could have provided just a little then that support could have gone a long way.  I am sure Elizabeth has suffered as a result of her “treatment” of enormous quantities of mind altering drugs concomitantly prescribed by doctors who appear not to care less about the physical health of that person.   Well done to East London NHS Trust – Dr Joanna Moncrieff RADAR Programme.  It is good that the long term effects of these drugs are being looked into at last. If there is any doubt though in terms of diagnosis this should be investigated thoroughly and the facility provided to enable safe withdrawal especially in cases of adverse reactions.

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1 comment
  1. Well said.

    There is little, if no detail unless I missed it, on the Health and Social Care Act or how they actually intend to improve mental care other than throw money at it in the Tory manifesto.

    Best Wishes Finola

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