Today myself and another family member visited Elizabeth on Suffolk Ward, Chase Farm Hospital Enfield for a meeting where we hoped to meet new RC Dr Matthew Liveras.

I have  concerns with Elizabeth being on this acute ward as she is not getting the right care for PTSD (SHOULD BE EMDR OR PSYCHOTHERAPY). When she was discharged none of the underlying issues were dealt with and it costs a lot to keep her on an acute ward when it is not helping her.  I wonder how much the scheme plus hospital is costing but I already know that acute wards on average cost at least £900 per night.

Suffolk Ward seems to have quietened down since last time but this is no place for Elizabeth to get well and Dr Joseph Anyaoh had to admit this himself it was not the right place for her.  To be cooped up on the ward when it is nice weather outside is not good at all.    It has been two weeks now and Elizabeth has not been allowed out and we hoped she would be in order that she could accompany us to the café in hospital grounds but this was not allowed as the new Responsible Clinician, Dr Matthew Liveras did not bother to come to the meeting.  Present at the meeting was new Psychiatrist Dr Joseph Anyaoha, Psychologist Dr Muckherjee and ward manager Kirk Hopwell.

I am not happy as tomorrow is the last date for appeal against Section 2.  I as Nearest Relative had specially informed Elizabeth about this that she had fourteen days to appeal.   Unknown to Elizabeth she has now been deprived of this chance of appeal as someone by the name of Mia from Suffolk Ward had telephoned Elizabeth’s solicitors (unknown to her or any of us) and now the solicitors are not coming as they had wrongly assumed after being told by Mia that Elizabeth no longer wanted to go ahead.  This is not true! The response I got from the ward  was “are they on our list?”.   So what if they are not –  it is even better in my opinion if these solicitors were not on the hospital’s list.   As Nearest Relative I wanted this section released and for Elizabeth to be allowed out to get plenty of fresh air. Even whilst at Edgware she was allowed out in the grounds but now she is  not being treated well in my opinion.   Elizabeth told me that she was visited by a psychiatrist on the ward recently who tried to persuade her to not go ahead with the appeal – this is all very wrong I am sure you will agree.

I could feel awkward response when I brought up the subject of the appeal as I expect they all knew that her appeal was prevented from going ahead.   Elizabeth had not cancelled the appointment herself- it was not her wish to do so.    If she had changed her mind in the presence of the solicitor then this would have been fair.   This is an example where the system is not fit for purpose as it is easy for professionals to interfere.  On other occasions, solicitors appointed by hospitals have done nothing and never bothered to visit her – “lack of representation” –  money from public funds at tribunal level is very profitable for solicitors as tribunals can be long and drawn out.   If you attend a higher court/Court of Protection there is no legal aid funding and if you as a carer need legal support then you have to pay privately for this.

Today on this lovely sunny day we hoped Elizabeth could accompany us to the café in the grounds but although those present at the meeting did not object to this,  other staff refused.  This reminded me of her imprisonment at the Bethlem (Bedlem).    Just because Dr Liveras  did not bother to come along to the meeting I was disappointed and saddened by what happened.

The only good thing was that Dr Muckherjee (Psychologist) did not do what most professionals have tried to do and that is not budge on the diagnosis of “paranoid Schizophrenia”  – suddenly “chronic treatment resistant” has been dropped but I doubt whether Elizabeth has been given her care plan even.  Dr Muckherjee did not deny that she had learning disability and complex PTSD.    It is crystal clear that Elizabeth has been misdiagnosed and for many years has had the wrong treatment – enormous amounts of mind altering drugs without thought for her physical health.   I have told them all that every test should be done on her physical health, including the latest research on antibodies by Professor Belinda Lennox that I previously requested.  It was agreed by most that the acute ward was the wrong place but I am extremely unhappy that Elizabeth has been deprived chance of appeal.   The discussion then turned to medication and to these doctors they all think this is the right course of action but according to NICE Guidelines “DO NOT USE ANTIPSYCHOTIC MEDICATION FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF CORE SYMPTOMS OF AUTISM IN ADULTS.”   IT ALSO SAYS “DISCONTINUE IF THERE IS NO INDICATION OF A CLINICALLY IMPORTANT RESPONSE AT SIX WEEKS” – so why on earth don’t doctors abide by the manufacturers instructions that quite often says no more than 12 weeks but this can go on for years and years and no help is given to come off the drugs.  In addition it does not say that for the condition of complex PTSD under NICE Guidelines that antipsychotics should be given.    When someone has suffered extensive abuse under care itself such as Elizabeth they are bound to suffer from trauma which requires specialised care like EMDR AND PSYCHOTHERAPY and I do not see this condition as “illness”.  This cannot be “cured” by any amount of drugs. Drugs cannot erase the suffering that a trauma victim has experienced.   No drugs were forced upon Elizabeth when professionals took her away for four months wonderful care. For once she had proper care.  I am therefore upset she is being treated like a prisoner in favour of sending her somewhere where they have beautiful grounds like the The Retreat in York so that they can properly help her with underlying issues during a one year programme.

A small scheme in the community would not have the  facility or expertise.   Elizabeth also has not benefitted from prison like institutions such as Cygnet and Cambian.  She came out suffering from agoraphobia.   The longer she is held at this acute ward the more difficult it will be to rehabilitate her but I continue to fight for decent care in the UK as there are few facilities where they really specialist in the condition of PTSD and this requires specialist funding.   Again you need consent –  it does not matter if you have power of attorney as far as healthcare is concerned this apparently counts for nothing yet I did a survey the other day and in the survey I was asked if I had experienced any difficulties in using the Power of Attorney so I responded “yes” in respect of healthcare.  but I got the impression that I would have the power to make appointments etc so all this getting consent is what is played upon to protect and not to benefit Elizabeth who has granted permission not just to me to help with certain things.  When Elizabeth came home from Australia she was making all her own appointments and dealing with everything herself.  It is wrong when vulnerable person does not have an advocate at appointments/meetings.   The safeguarding is the most disturbing thing of all as anything can be said and twisted behind your back whilst nine professionals sit around the table.

It would like everyone to hear what is mentioned under Safeguarding minutes as though coming from Elizabeth who is alleged to say “clozapine was found to be helpful“.   THIS IS NOT TRUE AT ALL – SO I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHO WROTE THOSE COMMENTS THEN TEAM? When I showed this to Elizabeth she denied saying those comments and I would like to confirm that …… ELIZABETH DOES NOT WANT TO GO BACK ON THAT TALC AND ASPARTAME CHEMICAL CALLED CLOZAPINE AS SHE HAD A SERIOUS REACTION ON THIS DRUG.   YOU MIGHT AS WELL ALSO KNOW THAT ELIZABETH DOES NOT WANT ECT EITHER AS THIS WILL DESTROY HER HAPPY MEMORIES OF THE DECENT CARE THAT WE PROVIDED. 

It is difficult to get the CQC or PHSO involved in investigations even if you have proof  someone’s life has been put at risk twice.  It seems like cost considerations play a huge part but when they do not take action this can lead to abuse and serious cover ups.  Someone could die as a result of lack of accountability.   What if the vulnerable person is put under pressure by team not to proceed.   This is all wrong in my opinion.    The system is rife with bullying.

At the end of the meeting we requested if Elizabeth could come out with us for just a short walk to the café but when staff noticed her coming out with us they stopped this and she was forced to remain on the ward on this beautiful sunny day.   We sent Elizabeth round the world to get well and to enjoy her freedom as the care system in the UK is completely rotten and rife with abuse.

Suffolk Ward may not be THE most restrictive MH ward it is disturbing what goes on – there are far worse, some of where you are not even allowed your possessions like Cygnet –   MH patients are treated like objects and stripped of their rights and I am very upset by the fact so many of have suffered extensive abuse themselves and then they get treated in an abusive manner under the system of care in the UK.     Their basic rights should be fairness under the MHA but this is being abused.

I explained to the meeting that Elizabeth does not need  any more drugs which she cant even metabolise.  At the most the odd lorazepam could be acceptable but not too many.  They do not understand about withdrawal neither are they experts in physical health problems which I have proven Elizabeth has such as endocrinal disorders and how this makes someone feel.  The drugs are not recommended for PTSD under NICE Guidelines to PTSD sufferers.   Elizabeth has given consent to her family to help in any way they can.   I could not care less if the team turned to anyone of those listed to help regarding consent as long as she is treated fairly.

It is important to challenge things like this when a vulnerable person is prevented under the MHA against the appeal of section and does not even know that the visit by her solicitor has been cancelled by Mia.

The complaints system should be changed so there is accountability.

It is hard to sit through these meetings and feel happy when you look back at so many past years of extreme over-drugging on the local wards by various psychiatrists (not one of those doctors questioning the diagnosis when there are several in the files)  they don’t seem to care what harm they are causing to the patient.    When you ask Elizabeth a question she now takes a long time now to respond and cannot process too much information. She has been injured by her treatment.   She needs a quiet and relaxing environment not one where another team in the community expect her to immediately  join in all activities and attend yet more meetings after the shocking experience of safeguarding.   If they were to provide the music therapy, the art therapy the aromatherapy that would be great as advertised in the brochure of the scheme.

The good parts of the scheme are location/nice house/nice support worker.   It is so essential that Elizabeth has familiar support workers but if they cannot understand her then they cannot deal with her distress positively which is no good.

If she is to be placed back there again then they need to leave her alone for quite some time without pressurising and alternative such as The Retreat applied for rather than returning back to Suffolk Ward like a revolving door case.

Elizabeth gets very tired.  She cannot do too much right now as she is recovering from many years of being drugged to the hilt.  She needs plenty of rest and diet is very important too.

Whilst I would like to see her settle down in the community I believe that the underlying issues are best dealt with (not in a prison environment) but at The Retreat which has a unique way of dealing with care and specialised programme and no one is pushing mind altering drugs in that particular hospital like most places as the drugs do not work in Elizabeth’s case and this is why she has had so many adverse reactions ON the drugs and because she has PTSD reaction can be triggered by events and this needs specialised attention but not in a private “prison” style hospital.   I would also be happy if she was referred to the London Homeopathic Hospital as there they would pay special attention to diet and physical health.  This is the right environment in my opinion.

  1. You have exposed so well, the illegality and abuse of our present mental health industry, worth billions if we add on pharma our third largest industry.

    And boosting our economy at the expense of the deficit and the mentally/behaviourally disordered.

    No wonder mental health is Cameron and May’s flag ship policies.

    But is it improving our mental health ? Which is now, whatever they want it to be.

    The diagnosis given as the doctors, are owned by the service producers, the most lucrative possible, as with your daughter.

    All is subverted to life long profit making, with the diagnosed destined not to be cured, as they are the consumer, making as much profit as possible for the service providers.

    And the consumer is made very much a captive, as you describe, by those paid to misrepresent and lie .

    New regulations, now mean that only certain on a government list lawyers, can represent a patient at a mental health tribunal.

    Even Ian Brady’s solicitor after 20 years representing him was not allowed last year to represent him because of this rule.

    This whole system has no checks.

    And no independent representation and no rights for the many encaged against their will and forcefully medicated.

    Who as you say checks the outcomes ? That the diagnosis is correct.

    That the medication works and is recommended.

    That the £900 pounds a day of public money is well spent .

    No one.

    Even when healthy mentally ill patents die, we do not even get definitive numbers of their deaths, let alone an inquiry and a reason and these deaths are increasing.

    These are the latest CQC reports which evidence the horror.

    I feel for you, and the many patients and families something must be done about this huge scandal, which is getting much much worse , particularly as more ‘mental’ consumers are harvested by campaigns and all is now private, beyond public scrutiny.

    Thank you for letting the world know what is going on. No one else appears to be doing so as non can break ranks.

    Best Wishes Finola

    • It is the right thing to do and I hope a full investigation is made by cqc as Elizabeth did not cancel her solicitors.

  2. Charlie Wood said:

    Thank you for telling this story Fiona i hope things improve for you and Elizabeth. I recently met Dr Liveras in the awful place that is Chase Farm Hospital and he certainly wasn’t the best of doctors. Whenever you’re not happy with the hospital i advise you contact PALS Patient and Liaison Service who seem to be helpful.

    • That is a familiar name. I am sure Elizabeth has had this doctor. I am glad you had success with PALS. What do you think would improve Chase Farm. I personally think that there needs to be better facilities and there is huge money in the local area as if they are spending a fortune on Huntercombe etc this money could be spent on the local wards to improve things.

  3. Millie said:

    Suffolk Ward has no idea how to treat mental illness.
    Staff are rude.
    Staff are racist.
    The ward smells revolting.
    The patients aren’t given fresh air some days.
    The patients are ignored.
    The drug charts are mixed up.
    The patients are given other patients medication by mistake.
    The ward has violent patients and the noise level is unbelievable at times.
    It is seriously understaffed.
    It is the most unpleasant place to be detained.

    I am so sorry to hear what you and Elizabeth went through there.

    • sbev2013 said:

      Thank you very much my daughter was deprived of her liberty on this ward wrongly and there is much abuse of the MHA – unfortunately there are even worse places as Enfield pay an absolute fortune on private sector “prisons” where patients can be held for many years on end. We have had experience of several.

  4. John Taylor said:

    Well done for speaking up.
    I was on Dorset ward for 3 months this year and came out worse than when I went in.
    The suffering I had to endure was unconscionable I was left in my room to suffer hour after hour completely ignored by the staff.
    I begged to see a doctor several times and was denied.
    At times my treatment was inhumanly cruel.
    John Enfield North London

    • sbev2013 said:

      I am very sorry to hear you had a shocking time. Locked wards and forced treatment is not the way forward. Elizabeth was drug free and what did they do – they sent her to Huntercombe and I am waiting to hear Huntercombe about the camera phone – I cannot take any excuses – at the Bethlem or hell on earth as Elizabeth renamed it I was extremely unhappy that the oils I ordered from America went missing. Getting back to Enfield they sent Elizabeth to Cygnet beckton, Trent ward and Roehampton – well without open dialogue there will never be quality and consultant psychiatrists who refuse to look at other diagnoses from other experts and then an art therapist assumes the worst about me! It is disgusting what is going on and I have acquired vast records. Elizabeth is here now – what do you think …..the food was not good and when Elizabeth ripped the menu one of the lead nurses threatened her with chemicals. I would recommend you attending the AGM – I shall come again hopefully with Elizabeth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: