SECTION 17 Leave


Any patient requiring ‘Section 17’  permission from the Secretary of State for Prisons using Page 17 of the following guidance Section-17-leave-guidance.pdf. Of course a Psychiatric patient does not get to read the whole pdf.  They are only shown Page 17 because to do so would reveal that they are part of the prison justice system viewed as mere criminals.   Below I document the full and ugly truth that patients under the MH Act are not being told:

Suffolk Ward, Chase Farm Hospital Enfield:

Control and power is in the hands of the Responsible Clinician and in Elizabeth’s case this is Dr Matthew Liveras but Dr Liveras did not turn up for the meeting on Tuesday which I took a day off work to attend.    Instead  Dr Joseph Anyaoha attended  along with Psychologist Dr Kajori Mukherjee and Ward Manager Kirk Hopwell.   All admitted she was in the wrong place on the acute ward but how comes she has been stuck acute wards for as long as 13 weeks and why wasn’t she placed somewhere suitable where underlying issues could be addressed?    She was discharged from hospital without having appropriate care with none of the underlying issues addressed.  I had discovered prior to the meeting that somebody had cancelled Elizabeth’s chance of appeal against Section 2 and found out the name from her solicitors who were due to meet her the next day.  I telephoned the MHA Office to speak to the person concerned who I was told by the manager was on leave.  During the week Elizabeth was visited by a Psychiatrist who suggested she should not appeal but surely any patient has the right to appeal under the Mental Health Act? When I phoned the MHA Office the following day I was again told the person who cancelled her solicitors was not there and the manager was on leave.

Section 17 normally grants leave for up to two hours daily but this is discretionary and can be declined leaving a patient as total prisoner – there are vulnerable patients being held all over this Country right now in institutions for over 8 years, some of whom have learning disabilities.  They are treated like criminals.   The longer someone is incarcerated it results in the vulnerable patient displaying emotions which can lead to longer detention and doctors justifying the right to give medication forcibly under Section 3, some of this medication is unsuitable for the condition of the patient and their physical health is overlooked and their rights completely stripped.   The MHA is not there to protect the vulnerable patient as I have revealed as this can be manipulated by the professionals and under private sector hospitals owned by Corporations there is a lot of profit being made by keeping patients incarcerated long term.

I have seen Elizabeth’s face covered in bruises at the Royal Bethlem Hospital Fitzmary II Ward. – a lead nurse (AC) said “I’m happy with that” but would not explain further.   This is all denied by the bulk of the team – she could have been beaten, she could have hit her head in despair on the walls.   Hardly any visitors to this ward where she was referred by Professor Murray for a drug free period of assessment.   Immediately pressure was put on her to agree to take Clozapine which was against her wishes.  Suddenly she was sectioned and her leave cut whereas she had been going out with me all day visiting the surrounding area without any problem.   Suddenly Elizabeth was not well – I would get the most distressing calls that she did not know which tablets to take.   They had put her on maximum levels of Olanzapine mixed with Quetiapine.     Then they introduced Metformine with Clozapine contraindicated drugs as they had discovered something plhysically wrong but they tried to make out this was for weight loss.  However I proved otherwise by having Endocrinology tests done myself privately.

Stigmatising Trauma Victims:

Many under MH care are victims of abuse of violence/sexual abuse themselves but are not getting the right care.   Instead they are being treated like prisoners/criminals.   You dont have to commit any crime to be held under Section.  A Section is the ultimate means of control and punishment – not care.  There are some who have learning disabilities treated this way and others who are suicidal.  Elizabeth suffers from PTSD and is a victim of crime and has have anger issues understandably as instead of care she has received punishment and enormous quantities of drugs.   No amount of drugs can cure abuse victims trauma – they need therapy not drugs and if the “crime” happened whilst under their “care” then I believe they should receive the correct treatment such as psychotherapy or EMDR and not drugs.   Everyone is dumped together on such wards and to some these wards known as “place of safety” can be a terrifying experience.    Elizabeth has suffered extreme violence since being on Suffolk Ward.   She was   constantly hit around the head by another patient, forcibly dragged into the seclusion room and injected by several members of nursing staff, her new slippers split.   This is allowed to go on under the law.    I have heard screaming coming from the seclusion room in Suffolk Ward which is used frequently for long periods of time so I have heard.    The only criteria for release is if someone’s behaviour is seen to be “good” – only then will they get leave so they are kept like prisoners and punished.   That punishment can lead to a life sentence of drugging to enormous extent and not being able to see their families, not being able to have leave, being sent hundreds of miles away from home as Elizabeth was to Wales in order to try and sever contact with a family member who happens to be the Nearest Relative.  |Millions of pounds of taxpayers money is being wasted through wrong care, over-drugging, long term incarceration and the legal process of tribunals.   Some patients can become weakened by the large quantities of drugs and some lose capacity and are under control of never ending “punishment” not care.   If a patient is cooped up like a prisoner, denied the basic rights of contact with their families, put on enormous quantities of mind altering drugs whilst under Section then it is no wonder that they can react which only serves to strengthen the position of arguments by a team of professionals that their incarceration be extended and this is punishment to all – this is not care.

It is dishonest to deprive the patient of seeing the full pdf document on Section 17 Leave so I have put the link up for all to see – it is clear that MH patients on the whole are  viewed as offenders and not “patients” but criminals yet if they are victims themselves anything that happens to a MH patient is ignored –  I would call this abuse.


A MH patient is not receiving correct “care but being held a prisoner under the power of the Secretary of State who gives consent to section 17 leave.   I feel very sad at reading this document in full.


Anti-stigma campaigns do not reveal the full ugly truth that the system itself is Stigma and biased and crime to patients themselves is just brushed aside by the Police who cannot be bothered to look into things properly.  The legal system is also unfair – if the patient is treated badly by professionals under care or even dies there is no accountability as in the case of Thomas Rawnsley.

ONE SIDED JUSTICE – A System Open to Abuse.

The system is open to abuse giving huge power to Responsible Clinicians – there is no accountability and if something bad happens to the patient this is covered up.

Throughout four months of wonderful care by private professionals that we appointed in desperation Elizabeth came home quite well and they discovered possible learning/developmental disability (this had also been discovered in the files going back to 2008 but dismissed team who stuck with “paranoid Schizophrenia”).  No wonder all these years my daughter has gone downhill and declined and prescribed drugs that should never have been given when all along she had PTSD and it was known what happened to her.  Now psychologist Dr Kajori Mukherjee has had to admit diagnosis to be in question as I have kept brilliant records which show difference of opinion by professionals throughout.   What a waste of public money when over the past 13 weeks Elizabeth has been on various acute wards not receiving the correct care and this too was admitted at the meeting on Tuesday.  Now there is a scheme being paid for in addition to the acute ward.

Total disregard for health and safety and what risk assessment was undertaken by placing her in a scheme in the community that was ill-equipped to deal with her emotional distress and did not even have water or toilet facilities up and running when she moved in?   Instead of leaving her to settle  there seemed to be a structured programme and when Elizabeth felt tired she did not want to join in and overheard conversations like “she is not doing very well” discussed by staff who repeated the manager’s comments after only one week and knowing she was on a month’s trial.    It seems only one person bonded with Elizabeth who was a support worker. As Dr Bob Johnson would say “truth, trust and consent”  and this is applicable as they have a no tolerance policy so the slightest hint of distress or reaction by Elizabeth would result in staff threatening to call police and that threat in itself can be triggering.    Staff were mainly support workers plus a newly graduated psychologist –  they accepted at this scheme but all about her but she should have been sent somewhere quiet and peaceful to recover from her ordeal of acute wards of 13 weeks.    On these acute wards she was traumatised further by being beaten up constantly around the head by another patient and forcibly dragged into the seclusion room to be injected which from what I heard is frequently done and seclusion room used constantly to keep patients in for long periods of time.  This brutal treatment of MH patients is considered to be “care” and is allowed by law to go on in institutions throughout the UK.

Elizabeth has been allowed to withdraw from all psychiatric drugs now after 100 days but doctors are still trying to push drugs at her even though she cannot metabolise them and they never worked.   Highly dangerous mood stabilisers have been offered to her by a psychiatrist on Suffolk Ward not commended for PTSD.  Elizabeth seems to have incurred injury as when you ask her something  it takes a good ten minutes for her to respond – never before was she like this.  Having said this she has fortunately not lost her capacity and thankfully we as a family have Power of Attorney.   Injury to Elizabeth has been caused by excessive amounts of psychiatric drugs given over 11 years for a condition she does not even have as it says in NICE Guidelines that the drugs are not for PTSD sufferers.

Physical Health Problems:

I have had extensive tests done on Elizabeth and physical health checks. Elizabeth is not feeling well and she is complaining of physical pain. I know from talking to other patients who have withdrawn from these drugs that  it can take years to fully recover from the withdrawal effects but thanks to Dr Joanna Moncrieff and the RADAR Programme the effects of long term drugging are finally being researched.  Doctors frequently ignore the manufacturers instructions of up to say 12 weeks and carry on for years plus BNF levels are exceeded and this is all wrong as they are supposed to do no harm to the patient.   So if Elizabeth is tired and does not feel like coming to meetings or taking part in things she should be respected and left alone and not put under any pressure by a team of professionals as Elizabeth has clearly been injured by these drugs.

No Justice for MH Patient Victims – One Sided Punishment:

In 2010 something really serious happened to Elizabeth documented in files to a certain extent and recorded on CCTV camera yet Police just brushed this aside.    Police cannot be bothered when someone is on huge amounts of drugs as they see it that the likelihood of conviction in court is slim.  There was a resident neighbour at the scheme bringing lots of friends late at night whilst staff slept.  They’ve never been questioned and Police say they could not find the CCTV camera yet there was CCTV footage according to my files.  The resident successfully appealed against eviction and remained a neighbour and Elizabeth would react out of fear to get back in hospital.  she once grabbed the wheel of my car “I don’t want to go back there and suffer abuse by lots of men”.  All they did was move her up a floor but she was absolutely terrified to be there.

Police Interviewing of Rape/Abuse Victims:

I don’t think Police should interview victims themselves.    I think they should be interviewed by specialist counsellors from Rape Crisis or similar.   There has been more than one instance where Elizabeth has been interviewed by police men and I think this is totally wrong.  On each occasion the Police have just closed cases but in this case going back to 2010 I have made a fuss about it and will not let it drop.  I’m not going to bother with the complaints procedure by the Police as it is a waste of time but I do want their whole procedures reviewed and insisted on this going right to the top.   Interviewing of victims should not be done by them and a victim should automatically be given counselling and referred to special programmes that deal with trauma so they get correct treatment rather prescription of huge amounts of drugs which only add to their trauma.    I hope that Cressida Dick will take a look at this case sympathetically and consider a complete review of how Police deal with such victims of crime.  I feel if matters had been dealt with more sensitively then lizabeth would have received the correct care and counselling that she so desperately needed and could have recovered by now.   No amount of drugs can help ictims of such terrible crime and abuse so why carry on with the wrong treatment of drugging- why is this allowed by Doctors who are supposed to do no harm?

I would like Elizabeth to go somewhere like The Retreat in beautiful grounds where they can properly work on her trauma.   There is a year long programme called Acorn.  I would like her to receive the correct therapy.

Or I would like Elizabeth to be sent on a residential course for anger management offering treatment such as EMDR for PTSD for a set number of weeks – there are courses arranged through the British Association of Anger Management.   I do not want her sent to a private prison like hospital for an assessment that could go on for the next ten years.

I think it is dreadful that mental health patients are treated so badly as criminals under the Justice System when they are victims themselves.   This is one sided justice and if professionals were able to manage Elizabeth during four months away abroad this shows up the care on offer in the UK which is totally wrong.

If you are going to place someone in the community then ensure that they are going to get the correct treatment not just dump them in a scheme that offers nothing in terms of the psychological help they truly need to come to terms with the terrible abuse that they themselves have suffered under care in Elizabeth’s case.












1 comment
  1. Mental patients are in a worse position than prisons.

    They can be held, and forcefully medicated without consent or crime .

    They have no visitation rights, or rights to an advocate or lawyer, independent of the system they are locked up in.

    They can be forcefully restrained and injected at any time.

    Police can be called to use, as they are being tsar guns in the wards to control.

    More are dying in mental hospitals than prisons, with no even internal investigation let alone independent external.

    Prisoners by statue, are entitled to an independent investigation into their deaths and a right to a jury in the Coroners Court, if held under DOLs MCA this entitlement has now been removed.

    Prisoners have HMS Inspectors of Prisons Rights.

    Approximately 60% and increasing prisons are now public, whereas all new mental health beds are in the private sector.

    A prisoner makes £36,000 a year for his prison owner whereas a mental patient on a secure ward earns 12,500 per week and a minimum on any ward of £900 per day.

    A mental sector whose overriding duty, is to make more and more profit from retaining, and obtaining new patients and pharma kick backs.

    The government policies/law are ensuring maximum profit for this privatised mental health industry who are unchecked and can hide even the number of deaths of healthy patients behind the closed walls of ‘commercial confidentiality’.

    More and more are being feed into these hospitals via police, social services and government campaigns.

    And there is no escape for mental patients, except to be used as continuing cash cows for the mental and pharma industries, with no rights or safeguards.

    All players in the industry IMHA , RC, nurses, lawyers etc are effectively paid and controlled by the system or hospital.

    And there is no measure of outcomes for mental patients’ hugely expensive/ extortionate ‘treatment’.

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