Today I heard by through some solicitors Elizabeth was appointing that she is being transferred somewhere else from Suffolk Ward. Noone had bothered to tell me from the ward so I telephoned Suffolk ward and spoke to Karina who said she could not tell me where Elizabeth was being transferred. I then wrote to the Chief Executive Maria Kane, Gina Hall – PA to Mary Sexton, I informed close friends and family and asked if others could find out information. According to Karina Elizabeth did not want me to know yet it was Elizabeth herself who contacted me to tell me so this does not appear to be correct. Elizabeth told me she had now been transferred to Huntercombe Hospital and that two of her friends from Suffolk ward were also there. I had not visited Elizabeth whilst at Suffolk Ward as we were away and I wanted Elizabeth to sort things out for herself and not be reliant upon me. I had accumulated a massive parking fine at Chase Farm Hospital of £200 as I was rushing around taking things to her and collecting things and I have to say that I am grateful Gemini for not enforcing this fine as I had realised and returned to the car park to pay.
I’d never heard of Hunterscombe Hospital before but have been to Roehampton to attend the wonderful conference called “More Harm Than Good” a while back with Elizabeth. I decided to visit at the end of the day after getting the call from Elizabeth but was not sure where the Hunterscombe hospital was situated and so got a taxi there. It is very awkward for me to get to in terms of journey. It is a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit for patients in crisis but Elizabeth was not happy in the scheme and needed to go somewhere peaceful, quiet in a natural environment not another locked ward. Elizabeth has been in such wards through Cygnet, Cambian and the Bethlem. They have not benefitted her at all and did not properly assess her despite the huge amount of money spent by the local area.
The Huntercombe Hospital leaflet states:
“we operate in largely the same way as other NHS hospitals. Patients say for short periods of time between 2 – 3 weeks. Under “Our Care” – “We support change through a multi disciplinary team approach provided by Drs, nursing staff, occupational therapists, psychological therapists and other support staff. MEDICATION IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE TREATMENT PROCESS PARTICULARLY IN TERMS OF REDUCING SYMPTOMS AND DISTRESS. They have a therapy garden, gym, art room and OT kitchen off the ward.
There are social workers who support patients with their welfare needs. Liaison with care coordinator from individual’s home team. I absolutely despair as Elizabeth did not appear to get on with her care coordinator and after all the safeguarding we feel very upset about the things that have been said and encouraged by her and others recorded in minutes (which I have) behind our backs.
I left some money for Elizabeth today. I brought her drinks and two healthy sandwiches.
Because of visiting hours and only one visiting room it says in the leaflet that all visits must be prearranged and booked in with ward so this is restricting in itself. They were accommodating to me be fair tonight as I had in fact just turned up not knowing these facts and had spent a lot of money on a taxi just to drop in some money and drinks and to let Elizabeth know that I cared but she looked extremely traumatised.
Just like Cygnet and Cambian you have to leave things in lockers like phones – fair enough camera phones are not allowed on the ward.
Visiting hours are between 16.30 – 17.30 and 18.30 – 19.30 Mon-Fri
Weekends and Bank Holidays – 14.00-17.30 and 18.30-19.30. I arrived not long before 19.30 today – hardly worth me going but Elizabeth looked very sad and I could not stay long due to visiting hours restrictions.
Elizabeth is on a ward called Upper Richmond Ward.
“It is our duty and legal responsibility to consult with patients before any information about them is shared with carers”
When I asked if Elizabeth had her mobile phone I was told that staff needed to check her possessions first and why could I not phone through the office. So I told them that it was her right to have her phone and that I only wanted to speak to Elizabeth via her mobile not the office and am paying for a contract on her phone in any case. So the member of staff told me she would have her phone tomorrow.
“Sometimes patients in our care have specific long term needs we can only begin to address with them during their time with us.” Well those long term needs certainly cannot be addressed on yet another similar locked facility as previous environments have failed to even assess properly and this is all costing ENFIELD BARNET AND HARINGEY MH TRUST AN ABSOLUTE FORTUNE. Why don’t you have local facilities under the NHS?
I appreciate that Elizabeth needs to be stabilised but changes are stressful and sometimes it just takes a little while to settle down and get used to a place and with therapy on offer then this should be the priority in a case where someone has suffered extensive abuse as Elizabeth has done under care itself. On Suffolk Ward and other previous locked wards amongst volatile patients Elizabeth has suffered further trauma – this is NOT the right environment long term. Already a fortune has been spent over about 15 weeks on acute wards and trying to just place her in the community into a scheme (Simiks Baytree Care) – without the necessary therapy is in itself negligent. Ive already mentioned there was no toilet or running water when she moved in to the scheme. There was a wonderful care support worker to begin with who got on well with Elizabeth and seemed to really understand her and I was full of hope that she would settle down but it was not to be as there was a structured programme she was meant to take part in when all she wanted was peace. It was about targets and meetings/progress and all this was extremely distressing for Elizabeth. They had built a medicine room and Elizabeth was very distressed about this. I did advise her to take some lorazepam when really stressed out but it was obvious that just placing her there was a disaster. I have yet to go and pick up all her possessions and assume that my local area is still paying for the scheme on top of enormous amounts of money for private sector acute locked ward who I hope will address the trauma and not just drug her to the hilt.
Whilst I did not agree with Lorazepam being offered twice daily I did say to Elizabeth that she should take the odd tablet to avoid any negative situations but she did not seem to be happy in that scheme. I also do not think she was eating healthily and this was something we helped her with at home. Also Elizabeth was suffering from a lot of physical pain. She would complain about her back, her shoulder hurting, headaches. She was over 100 days off all psychiatric drugs. They say it can take 5 years to fully recover. It was not my idea for her to suddenly stop taking the Aripiprazole as she was on just 2mg. Elizabeth did not want to take anything but this led to her ending up on the acute wards once again. Now I am worried that at this hospital, Huntercombe, they will forcibly restrain in order to forcibly drug her and she will end up like one of those patients she has been witness to throughout her time on Cygnet Beckton, Edware Trent Ward and Suffolk Ward. I often received really distressed calls from my daughter telling me about what she had seen and heard on the acute wards. It really distressed and traumatised Elizabeth to see the most shocking sights and tonight I feel very sad at the current situation.
Elizabeth’s distress has been seen in her behaviour recently – I believe she has been acting out her pain due to violence encountered on these acute wards. I just wish she could get right away from everything and be in a natural environment like she was last year.
This private hospital (Huntercombe) is owned by FOUR SEASONS HEALTHCARE – I don’t know where their Head Office is based but I will look them up. Tel 01625 417800 – Head Office number.
Dr Shakeel is the Responsible Clinician for Upper Richmond Ward.
The hospital Director is Wiz Magunda
The ward manager is Wellie Mbongwana
Social Work: Sharon Saad Gouda
Talking of social workers although I have had nothing but bad experience locally apart from those involved in my father’s care I travelled home part of the way with a very nice social worker.
Anyone reading files will see that I am written about behind my back in the most nasty manner. It is horrifying what goes on at safeguarding meetings and Elizabeth has always said that she wanted everyone to be included – the whole family. I am pleased that Barnet Enfield and Haringey MH Trust now need to change their procedures as per the outcome of our complaint having seen such minutes. I would not be writing openly if I had abused my daughter and if anything, she has received the most terrible abuse under care itself. This is something that does not seem to be addressed under safeguarding.
The only time I have seen Elizabeth well was when through Hypnotherapy by Susan Hepburn on two occasions and sending her away with private MH professionals who helped her to challenge her fears and rebuild her confidence. We did not recognise her when she came back. Shows what can be done with therapy alone but she was on only a very tiny portion of drugs at the time.
Anyway it is too early for me to comment as I hope that this hospital Huntercombe offer an assessment into Aspergers which goes right back in the files to 2009 and mentioned by more than one professional who disagree with the label of paranoid schizophrenia treatment resistant. Treatment resistance of course means that someone cannot metabolise the drugs. I also hope they give a proper assessment into complex PTSD as after all Elizabeth suffered extensive abuse whilst at Moti Villa back in 2010. I had extensive P450 liver enzyme tests done on this by world leading experts which proved she is unable to metabolise the drugs. I have to say that even Cygnet Beckton respected the test results and did not forcibly drug my daughter. Local NHS wards also respected Elizabeth’s wish to be medication free but here at Huntercombe Hospital they stipulate medication to be an “important part of treatment” but she has been on practically every drug going and none worked and we have seen serious reactions to more than one drug especially Aripiprazole and Clozapine was really bad too. Elizabeth did not get on with this drug and it caused her heart problems – tachycardia on Clozapine. Metformine was NOT given for weight loss as we were advised but it was discovered she had endocrine problems so I hope this hospital will refer her to an endocrinologist as I have extensive reports on this. PLEASE LOOK AT HER PHYSICAL HEALTH BEFORE YOU DRUG ELIZABETH.
Anyway hopefully it will be allowed by Hunterscombe Hospital that Elizabeth can take part in the research for antibodies/immune system that she already agreed to do. It is really important that her physical health is not ignored in favour of drugging her.
Elizabeth had already contacted solicitors and the researcher so I’ll keep you all informed.
I still cannot rule out a happy future for Elizabeth one day but I do not think that her future is in London or mine forever. I do not feel I have anyone I could turn to healthwise in my local area having read what I have read. Other members of the family have moved out to quieter areas and close to the sea that offer a better quality of life that could benefit Elizabeth rather than the fast pace of London. A natural environment really helped Elizabeth to get well so I will challenge any long stay on locked wards which have proved non-beneficial in the past and extremely damaging to Elizabeth and costly to my local area who are supposed to be short of funds. I hope this Hunterscombe does proper assessments unlike Cygnet. An assessment should not take years on end. I know people trapped on such secure wards for a lifetime and feel that Elizabeth – a victim of abuse under care itself does not deserve to be drugged to the hilt or trapped for many years to come at the expense of the local area of ENFIELD.
I would like to provide a home for Elizabeth of her own one day and would love to see her independent and happy with a dog/animals that are so therapeutic. I would like her to have people of her choice to be support workers not someone writing down every sentence and word and reporting upon it. We have a lovely cat at home which no doubt Elizabeth misses and at the scheme where Elizabeth was placed locally there were no pets allowed. If only the local area had transferred her to somewhere like Camphill Community Trust or care farms. A care farm is somewhere where Elizabeth could get well not on a locked ward. The Retreat also had the most beautiful grounds and offered a suitable long term programme of therapy.
If Elizabeth was given psychotherapy again and art/music therapy I think she could get well but first no pressure should be put on her to take anti-psychotics for complex ptsd as this is not recommended under NICE guidelines.
I do believe the odd lorazepam is not so bad but not huge dosage of mind altering drugs. is so important too. So it would seem that Enfield have transferred more than one patient to Hunterscombe. Environment is so important but locally, questions should be asked why when a school is being built on hospital land along with housing and new hospital – what is being done in investing in mental health care facilities that offer the right kind of care for complex PTSD/learning disability under Enfield Barnet and Haringey MH Trust. I might as well put this question to Joan Ryan MP as if all this money is being spent on private sector locked wards costing as much as £12500 per week – what on earth is going on.
I identified Khiron House or The Retreat who do a year long programme for abuse victims but your views as a carer are just ignored. ELIZABETH WAS ABUSED UNDER YOUR CARE – UNDER THE MOTI VILLA SCHEME IN THE COMMUNITY. When she returned from Australia Elizabeth was telling everyone about it. Therefore her diagnosis should in fact be complex PTSD WHICH NEEDS TRAUMA THERAPY NOT HUGE AMOUNTS OF DRUGS.