Tuesday, 20 August 2013

therapies and Stratheden - an oxymoron?

Oxymoron: a rhetorical device or figure of speech in which contradictory or opposite words or concepts are combined for effect eg “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly” 

I remember back in 2010 meeting with heads of psychological and occupational therapies at NHS Fife, to discuss the lack of such therapies when my son was a patient in the Lomond acute ward that summer.  In fact patients were prone to walking up and down the wards, or even round in circles, for therapeutic exercise.  Patio activity could be picking up the cigarette butts.

These meetings seemed to be a waste of time, looking back, as they didn't bring about any changes in the wards.  This was obvious in Feb/Mar 2012 when my son again found himself an inpatient of Lomond then the IPCU.  Read more of this in my blogs written at the time on Mad in America January to September 2012 and later that year in Chrys Muirhead Associates.

The voices of patients, service users and carers in Fife are not as important as the opinions of staff working in Stratheden and NHS Fife mental health services.  I call it staff-centred rather than person-centred treatment.  Keeping people in jobs and doing what they like with public monies.  I think they get away with it because the customers are deemed to be mentally illWithout capacity

I'm not sure what it will take for managers at Stratheden to make real changes in psychiatric services so that patients and their carers receive the benefits.  I want to see a choice of therapies on offer in the wards at Stratheden.  Not just drug therapy.  For some of us drugs are not therapeutic, in fact they make us depressed, anxious, lack confidence and have far less quality of life.

I say to the clinical managers and their allied health professionals that they should listen to their customers, the patients, service users and carers.  We are the ones with lived experience, who have survived, come through it, out the other end.  Without us you wouldn't have a job.  So give us the respect that's due.