Saturday, 27 December 2014

'New psychiatric unit under way' Fife Herald, 26 December 2014

Just read this article in the Fife Herald, 26 December 2014: 'New psychiatric unit under way':


It says "The design and construction of the new IPCU has been strongly influenced by patients and staff across Fife".  My comment?  Well that's news to me as neither I nor my son were asked for our views on the new build unit.

There is no mention of money although I had read on the architect website that it was to cost £3 million and not the £4.4m as promised previously.  See my blog post about this.  I'm still waiting for a response from NHS Fife senior managers about this although my MSP Roderick Campbell has responded in an Email, saying he notes my request.

I read that Mary Porter, NHS Fife General Manager, says "Improving mental health facilities is a key priority" which I am glad to hear and I hope that this includes Lomond Ward, Stratheden, where the female dormitory beds are overlooked by single rooms which in the past had male patients in them.  Very risky if no nurses around to keep an eye on behaviours.

Ms Porter also talks about ensuring "our patients can receive high quality care in a modern, safe, secure and therapeutic environment".  My response to this comment?  The feedback from all patients and carers will tell us if psychiatric services in Fife are safe, secure and therapeutic.  

Just because NHS Fife senior managers say all is well does not mean that all is well, mental health service wise.  I've learned this to my cost and that of my family, over the years.  I am looking for evidence of good practice and Mental Health Act safeguards that are safe.  

I've been picking up the pieces for nearly 3 years.  On £61/week Carers Allowance with no other support from statutory agencies.  Instead there have been attempts made to lay the blame at my door for system failure and buildings unfit for purpose.  It's disgraceful when you think of the work I've done with Peer Support Fife and before that as a community worker in various settings, in Fife.

[I'll be sending this blog post to NHS Fife mental health managers for some holiday reading and to rattle cages]


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