THE HUNTERCOMBE HOSPITAL ROEHAMPTON

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.

The future:

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.

Home:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 comments
  1. David said:

    Hello, I was committed to Huntercombe under section 2, two years ago. On being delivered into the premises from a cage in the back of an Ambulance after being driven their wildly through the night at speeds of over 90 miles an hour, this was in itself terrifying. I was met by a strange menagerie of twenty plus Huntercomeb employees, their only concern was not to explain to me what was going on and the process of how I was to be admitted, they simply wanted to force me onto the floor as quickly as possible and inject me with anti-psychotic drugs. I even explained to the staff before they did this that I was in no way a danger to them and they were not to be scared of me. This made no difference and my personal rights were completely ignored. I woke up the next day severely drugged and unable to speak, apparently this was unusual for a patient, as I was expected to sleep for at least three days after being forceable drugged. The staff at Huntercombe were basically thugs and man handled anyone who didn’t immediately follow their strict and harsh regimes. Their basic modus operandi was to use four 6’2 feet plus staff members to forceable inject anyone who dared to ask questions about the quality of their care. We were allowed cigarette breaks a few times a day, I don’t smoke but took them anyway to get out of the overheated building. I was stationed there in a PQ ward 90 miles from home because there was no facilities more locally available to take me. It was basically how I would imagine its like being in prison. with harsh staff, very limited facilities available and a strict set of codes with punishments metered out if you posed a challenge to the system. No psychiatric care or counselling was offered. No rehabilitation or physical recreation was offered. The whole process of psychiatric help was simply feeding the patients with lots of stodgy carbs four times a day and keeping everyone well drugged up to the eyeballs, as well as using fear and intimidation to keep everyone inline. Any sort of complaints or emotional disagreements would be met with being forcibly injected. I was disgusted with the whole place and quite frankly was extremely relieved to of left there after the 28 day section had ended. I was never interviewed or psychiatrically evaluated at any point in the whole process, and only when I was being discharged. The level of care was extremely poor and I cannot criticise enough the whole experience which has left me extremely traumatised.

    • I am saddened to read your comments but from what Elizabeth told me it was a very strict regime. You either took the drugs or else you were forcibly injected. She was so drugged up she could hardly speak and she could hardly see. When I went to visit I was shocked by her appearance and she had to lie down in the short space of time I was there. This place is prison and I did not like the fact there was smoking going on in the garden outside. Elizabeth did say that the level of therapy was better than local wards and the food was ok but she never got any fresh air or chance to see local area. No leave outside the ward with family which has been going on quite a while now. They took her camera phone away and I never got it back and it was quite a journey for me to go and visit. The one thing they did do was assess her for aspergers but the local team do not seem to recognise this. That was the only thing I was happy with because travelling there and back took up so much of my time and I had no time to myself at weekends. Elizabeth is now back on the local ward and back on the drugs having been previously drug free. It must have cost my local area about £13000pw. This kind of prison-type environment is not the right environment to get well.

    • david said:

      Why?

  2. David said:

    I am very sorry to hear of your experiences of visiting Elizabeth at Huntercombe. I still feel that if I hadn’t spent the year going to the gym getting fit beforehand that I would of probably not of physically coped with being so roughed up in Huntercombe and would probably died of a heart attack or from the drugs. They care very little for peoples personal dignity in there and its just a good cash cow to the organisation that owns it. I have lyme disease which probably triggered my psychotic episode, I do think that lots of people with different psychological conditions have undiagnosed lyme disease. Aspergers is very difficult for people and it makes them very vulnerable and they need to be handled with dignity and respect. I hope Elizabeth makes a recovery or at leat feels better soon.

    • I quite agree. I have seen Elizabeth drugged up like this before under the care of Enfield mental health but all this money being spent ly Local authorities such as London Borough of Enfield makes me wonder why on earth can’t they provide anything decent locally. They make out they have no money but there is a lot of money in the local area and there are some very good charitable organisations in Enfield who are being told there is no money and there must be loads of money as they are providing cygnet, Huntercombe, Cambian, they have an abundance of money to take people like me to court time and time again. They need to spend money on things like Enfield carers centre, Enfield disibility action, Enfield MH users groups and provide activities in the area such as music therapy , art therapy, psychotherapy, outings, support workers and peer support. I am going to go along to another scrutiny meeting and I would urge all the charitable groups that do good work to come along with me as I was the only one who attended last time in the whole of the London Borough of Enfield . Getting back to Huntercombe – I am ringing them next week as I think it is only fair I that they pay for a new camera phone as they appear to have lost it. I will b presenting The Four Seasons Grouo with my bill. Now you have got me thinking about Lyme disease – it would b a good thing for Elizabeth to tested and for a few other things too. I shall make a list as with so many other diagnoses everything needs to be properly assessed in my opinion

      • David said:

        Hello, Good luck with your endeavours taking on these mental health providers. I am pretty certain that these mental health Companies are skimming off huge sums of money and its being funnelled off by Corporate executive board members who are probably in Government. The level of care is really below par. Lyme disease is another example of the medical NHS experts not providing the necessary treatment or diagnosis that is so vitally needed. Recent research is now pointing out its vitally important that a lot of mental health issues are caused by the immune system being out of kilter. I know from personal experience that taking probiotics such as Sauerkraut and Kefir can help rebalance the immune system and calm inflammation in the gut vagus nerves to brain connection, which is the cause of mental health issues.

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