Saturday, 26 July 2014

is the locked seclusion room still being used in the Stratheden IPCU to "manage" the patients?

I don't know, haven't heard.  

It's been nearly 30 months since my son was first locked in the IPCU for hours at a time, broken hand untreated, light switch outside, no toilet, dehydrated, unobserved.  Left there, at risk of life and limb and dehumanising treatment.

I didn't know he had a broken hand until 3 days after it happened, finding out that there had been an injury but not the extent of it, until I saw it with my own eyes on the Saturday.  The senior charge nurse on the phone had said to me on the Thursday, by phone, that her nurses were all about "relationship".  And I believed her.

I didn't know that the night nurses used the seclusion room to "manage" the patients.  It was cultural and had been going on for generations.  I know this because some time after the psychiatric abuse occurred I heard from a man who had been subject to the same treatment 34 years previously.  In the Ward 4/IPCU seclusion room.

I don't know now what is happening, regarding improvements in Stratheden Hospital, because the NHS Fife clinical management are not telling me.  There is no patient or carer feedback about the IPCU that I am aware of.  And Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) senior staff have excluded me from any national patient safety meetings where I might have found out what is going on.  In Stratheden.

The fact that HIS have banned me from patient safety meetings doesn't make sense.  It demonstrates to me that they have something to hide.  It doesn't look good for Scottish Government to be colluding in this.  Trying to keep a mother and unpaid carer from being meaningfully involved in patient safety improvements.  I think it makes them all look silly.

It's too late for damage limitation.  The cat is out of the bag.  The story has been told, is being told, and will keep being told until the powers that be listen, hear and do something about it. 

I live less than a mile away from Stratheden Hospital, just a stone's throw, and often drive by it on the way into our local town Cupar.  It means that what happened to my son in this hospital is never far from my mind.  Also the fact that I've had to pick up the pieces after psychiatric abuse for the last 30 months.  The flashbacks. The detailed story of what was done to my son in the name of psychiatric treatment and "care".

And for my troubles I have received £61/week unpaid carers' allowance and no other support.  24/7 care.  I also support and advocate for another son in a different health board area who has a mental disorder label/diagnosis.  I get no additional monies for this. 

It's not fair.  I've not been treated right.  Despite this I continue to be meaningfully involved in a number of mental health matters from the psychiatric survivor and carer perspective.  I am determined to speak out at any and every opportunity.  To do what I can to bring about improvements in mental health services and psychiatric settings.  I will not be silenced.

I have found that when one door closes another door opens.  Being a grassroots community development worker since 1980 has helped me persist in my activism and campaigning.  I've become a writer to have a voice and it's become like breathing, putting down my thoughts in words.  A real bonus and delight.

And I have allies in the cause.  People who are standing with me in the fight for justice.  I'm not alone and for this I'm grateful.  Here's tae us, wha's like us!

I am expecting change.  I am working for change.  I have faith that it will happen.

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