Brighton and Hove health chiefs are due to express their concern today about the treatment of mentally ill patients in the city.
The issue is flagged up in a report to the board of NHS Brighton and Hove – the primary care trust (PCT) that commissions health services for patients.
The concerns relate to treatment provided by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust which provides specialist mental health, substance misuse and learning disability services.
The report, which can be read here, says that 17 patients died unexpectedly in the community last year, with another dying in January. Five patients absconded. One tried to commit suicide and two incidents of assault were reported.
The report points out that patients were being treated more quickly although Sussex Partnership was still assessing too many patients over the phone instead of face to face.
It cites a patient survey by the Care Quality Commission which found that Sussex Partnership ranked poorly – in the bottom 20 per cent compared with similar trusts – in a number of areas.
The watchdog said that the trust did not make it into the top 20 per cent in any areas.
The trust’s psychiatrists were also ranked in the bottom 20 per cent.
The report says: “This is a longstanding ranking of SPFT by patients where psychiatrists have comparatively poor ratings in other national surveys.”
It goes on to say: “These ratings are of significant concern because research is clear that the quality of the relationship between therapist and patient is the most important factor in recovery.”
NHS Brighton and Hove – the PCT – pays Sussex Partnership more than £40 million for its services in the city.
The PCT board is due to meet at 1pm today at Hove Town Hall.
Sussex Partnership Trust are currently the subject of a police investigation into deaths which have occurred at the Trusts Woodlands Unit (which has now recently been refurbished!) I understand East Coast Strategic Health Authority are carrying out an investigation into the failure to care for Samuel Reid-Wentworth….who was a SPT outpatient and went on to attach Lucy Yates in a local supermarket. The SHA investigation should be being carried out under Dept of Health Service Guidelines(HSG) namely HSG(94)27, which has a provision for this. But it may also be worth noting that local and national suicide indicators have been withdrawn, making one of the access criteria for an investigation “suicide clusters as possible indicators of significant system failure” inaccessible.National Suicide Prevention Strategy has also been withdrawn by DH ….so as nobodys counting is it not happening? How do I know all this….almost 5 years trying to get resolution via the NHS complaints process!!
Am in shock after reading your comments cos as a service user and you may well ask what service???I have suspected as much for a long time, I too am at the beginning of nhs complaints procedure and as I suffer from bipolar severely am wondering how much energy I should dissipate going thru this system or should I cut to chase bypass nhs going directly to top. The harsh reality is thaT service provision is bare to the bones and if you are at risk to yourself and others even if you are under their supposed care your life is at risk greatly cos the service at every level is pants,systems failure is not the word!!!!!!!!
System failure, most definitely… I hope you pick up my comments here and respond, because it’s time the Sussex NHS listened and put things right forf a lot of people. Sussex Partnership NHS Trust have failed me utterly. I took a prescription drug in Sussex in 2005 which went wrong; they bungled the issue, I nearly died, they then tried to cover it up and locked me up out of sight for THREE YEARS when I was not mentally ill, took away my life, forced me to take over 30 drugs experimentally, against my will. Used me as a case study, abused me, tortured me. I came out in late 2008, massively injured by them: complained bitterly in April 2010 to Lisa Rodrigues et al, and some of the nurses about whom I spoke out and complained took vicious reprisals, my husband and I have actually had to flee Britain for our safety. The NHS have refused to even discuss some of the issues and personnel involved in my defective care, won’t handle my complaints about my incompetent CPN (this breaches policy); meanwhile I am now deformed, with intractable pain, huge financial loss, thanks to Sussex Partnership NHS. I was, coincidentally, locked up with Sam Reid-Wentworth and used to talk with him. They let him out – and look what happened – but kept me in, and I was not mentally ill. What kind of competence is there here??? Happy to discuss these issues, we need to work together to combat the lousy Sussex Partnership NHS. I’m Ro Hancock-Child, British concert pianist and composer, supported British music for 30 years but currently in exile, can’t even come home for Christmas.
I have just received this post and noted your comments.If I was thinking of going through the NHS Complaints process again, I wouldn’t! It is set up not to resolve complaints but to deny them, especially the most serious ones. Its difficult to start anywhere except the Trust as you has to exhaust the Trusts complaints process first…..before it exhausts you presumably!
I just chose to explore the NHS complaints process after my son and family were let down (aka Failed!)If you want to “start at the top” then you are looking at Parliament (they make the system, they create national policy! they publish official guidance!) even though National Suicide Prevention Strategy has been “reinstated”, without local and national suicide indicators being reinstated too, Strategy will become inactive. How do you respond to something you have not audited and have no firm data on? The best way to get the care you need is to insist on a CPA (Care Programme Approach). It seems all service users should have a regular or enhanced CPA……but the majority dont!Also check out the Dept of Health Guidance/Standards on Bi Polar disorder treatment.
Hope this helps
May be worth trawling through this: http://www.cqc.org.uk/mentalhealthactannualreport2009-10/downloadthereport.cfm At least you will see whats meant to happen!
Thanks for your response, I suspected as much, and having finite energy resources I have to give serious consideration to how I use my precious supply.
For the moment have left case in hands of solicitor but am as ever throughly discussted at how little value this country as a whole places on the value of the life of someone with mental illness. Funnily enough when this incident took place I had both cpa and a cpn, but to say my
team had become complacent in my care is an understatement, I fancy tackling Simon Kirby and current minister allocated mental health, need to do something as soon I will be on my own and very reliant on service when my daughter leaves home. thankyou for your kind suggestions
I will follow them thru, happy christmas to you and your family Nicki
I fully understand your need to conserve supplies and its the main reason why the NHS complaints process exhausts you before you can exhaust it!At least you had a CPA and complacency comes when management (at every level) is acting with impunity. It is really very simple. A person dies or is damaged because of negligence in the NHS and there has to be a proper investigation. If there isn’t, regulators and Governing bodies such as CQC, PHSO, and ultimately Government need to ensure that there is. A proper investigation in such circumstances is a Human Right – it shouldn’t be up for debate or question. Admitting to failures isn’t enough – families need to know the how and the why. The fact that the Ombudsman places no value on a families right and need to know the truth – is the biggest problem with the process at the moment.
I have lodged a formal complaint re PHSO process with the Public Administration Select Committee (who allegedly scrutinize her work!) and if you want to do so you can on firstname.lastname@example.org the Clerks name is Clive Porro.
Also the Health Select Committee are holding an Inquiry into Complaints and Litigation and are seeking submissions but I think the time limit is almost up…. noon today? http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/health-committee/inquiries/complaints-and-litigation/ There is a list of what they want answered and I have used it to just answer and email back!
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Christmas too…..and a more honest 2011!
The treatment my husband received from the UK’s National Health Service was awful beyond belief. He walked to the ambulance with a severe gastric problem. A few days later I found bruises on his body. They said he had fallen off a hoist!! He was not shaven, not dressed and plugged into a catheter in full view of everyone. He was terrified and confused.
They said he had dementia and must go into a secure nursing home (lunatic asylum) at our expense £610 per week! The matron, staff and visitors said he did not have dementia but depression. We could not afford it so I brought him home. By then he was raving. He was prescribed 17 pills a day – no wonder his gastric problems got worse.
I got him into different hospital where he was properly assessed and they recommended electric shock treatment. Then he was transferred to another hospital 50 miles away but the doctor would not give ECT because my husband would not agree. It was his condition that he said “no, no, no” all the time. Then he broke his femur while there and it passed unnoticed for 5 days. He gave up the will to live and eventually died of an infection – they said it was pneumonia but he had a strange rash and sores all over his body.
Mary Parker, you have had a terrible experience, and it sounds as if the NHS have completely failed both you and your husband. You give evidence here of NHS neglect, lack of supervision, lack of appropriate care, incompetence with diagnosis, and possible harm. Also 17 pills a day – this is lunacy on the part of the NHS. I have unfortunately seen all of this from the inside, in Sussex …
Please will you help us by telling us what you think was the cause of your husband’s original severe gastric problem, for which you seem to have called an ambulance ?
Please also tell us the particular NHS Trust who handled your husband in the first instance ?
You have my empathy and great concern, and if you have suffered a wrong such as this, then I urge you to very strongly complain to the NHS, if you have not already done so. Every extra voice lends weight to our campaign for change.
Kindest wishes, Ro Hancock-Child, concert pianist
Difficult to say the cause of his gastric problem. Ken did eat too much. He was on pills for high cholestral, gout, blood pressure and diabetes. One morning I found him sitting on the side of his bed, confused – there was a large area of dark sludge on his bed. I phoned his GP who called an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance Ken carried our German Shepherd dog out to my car as she had hind leg problems and was due to visit the vet. (Ken was certainly not disabled)
The Princess Royal Hospital is in the Mid Sussex NHS Trust.
I did complain to ICAS who were sympathetic and helpful saying I had good cause to complain. Finding that the house insurance covered for legal protection I put the matter into the hands of the Halifax who passed it to their solicitors Lyons Davidson. They took three years to go through the records and then three weeks before the end of the time allowed said they did not think there was more than a 51% chance of winning although their medical expert’s report seemed supportive of my complaints. They dropped the case. It was too late for me to seek assistance elsewhere.
I am putting full details on a blog on WordPress called mentalhealthfailings.
I hope our complaints help to shake up the NHS
The watchdog said that the trust did not make it into the top 20 per cent in any areas.
It seems nobody is joining the dots. I was advised in the renal clinic at Sussex Kidney Unit to have therapy for ‘behavioural problems’, although I did not agree I had such problems, I agreed to see a psychiatrist. I declined medication but later had to take valium as after a second long and stressful assessment by a psychiatic nurse, nobody contacted me. I told this person, I did not wish to have behavioural therapy, but therapy to examine my existential concerns after medical blunders in my care over 22 years in my renal care. The attitude in the medical profession is diabolical everywhere you go. If I agreed that I was disturbed and had behavioural problems, my care would probably not have been cut-off, but because I objected to being labelled in this way I feel I have been punished, for raising questions about my care! Nobody has any teeth to investigate mental and physical health in the nhs it seems!! And we have to resort to medication to silence our symptoms. Is anyone listening out there, or is patient view dead?
The poor service provided by the NHS resulted in my husband being diagnosed as having dementia and locked up in a loony bin. When later when we got him tested we found he had depression not dementia. Electric shock therapy was recommended but the doctor at the Conquest Hospital at Hastings refused to administer it and continued with pills. He broke his femur while there but this was not noticed for 5 days! My husband refused to get out of bed, became covered in a rash and and died.
The poor service provided by the NHS resulted in my husband being diagnosed as having dementia and locked up in a secure unit. When later we got him tested we found he had depression not dementia. Electric shock therapy was recommended but the doctor at the Conquest Hospital at Hastings refused to administer it and continued with pills. He broke his femur while there but this was not noticed for 5 days! My husband refused to get out of bed, became covered in a rash and and died.
Mary Parker please will you post here a link to your Word Press Blog, I haven’t been able to find it and would very much like to read. More & more mental health service failings are being exposed as people are gaining the confidence to speak out, and this can only be a good thing. Thankyou. Ro Hancock-Chld See http://www.rohanckchild.com
… previous message scrambled my name and website!! try again – Ro Hancock-Child, concert pianist, currently still battling with Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for compensation for horrible injury caused by NHS incompetence. Happy to correspond with anyone who’s also been injured like me, and feels isolated and powerless. Perseverance is the key.
My name is Tom and I am a patient at the Sussex Partnership and they have treated me like a dog. I have suffered considerably at their hands and now I feel really distressed about my situation. They make wrong right and they are never wrong about anything. They constantly justify themselves, playing with grey areas and exploring the perception of things. They deceitfully manipulate situations. I have asked anyone and everyone to help me but the so called advocates are part of the culture. The system has no way of bringing health professionals to account. They have ruined my life; I am at the end of myself.
Re: “My name is Tom and I am a patient at the Sussex Partnership and they have treated me like a dog. I have suffered considerably at their hands and now I feel really distressed about my situation. They make wrong right and they are never wrong about anything. They constantly justify themselves, playing with grey areas and exploring the perception of things. They deceitfully manipulate situations. I have asked anyone and everyone to help me but the so called advocates are part of the culture. The system has no way of bringing health professionals to account. They have ruined my life; I am at the end of myself”.
I am so sorry to hear of your terrible experience. You are right and the system often lets us down. But don’t let them win by ruining what is left of yourself. If you can try and salvage what is left and find meaning in your life. That is what I tell myself to do, so I hope you won’t be offended with my response to you. 🙂
Survana, thank you for your message and I am not offended by anything you have said. I am shocked by the similaritues between your situation and mine. It is really sinister the way they infer mental health problems on those who complain. This is simply becuase we reufuse to accept their self indulgent view of matters. However, I can’t escape the fact that they have ruined my life. The Sussex Partnership are responsible for the worse years of my life. I feel desperately sad eveyday. I am shocked by the ombudsman, pals, mind and the police. The Health Ombudsamn is a disgrace. Thank you for your words of encoutagement, I will try to find meaning in my life. Thank you.
I am so happy to hear this. I truly believe that we should do our best to make our voice heard, but also at the same time not let these things ruin us. Life is too precious for anybody to rob you of the opportunity to make something of yourself, whatever that may be, in a small way. I myself have spent years in a prison like state.
Survana, thank you for your encouragement and I am sorry to hear about how you have been treated. You are absolutely right nobody is joining up the dots. Life is precious but as a Christian I believe we are living for an eternal prize. I hope you don’t mind but I would like to quote a bit of scripture:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
A wonderful quotation, Tom, and I’m glad that your Christianity is a source of strength to you. Bravo for your positive attitude. A Norwegian saying on the same lines is ‘Don’t look at the ground beneath your feet, but keep your eyes always fixed on the horizon’ – this greatly inspires me. And never lose heart. I’ve managed to pick up the pieces of my own life which was destroyed by the Sussex Partnership NHS, it’s taken me some time and some very hard work but I am now far, far stronger and absolutely fearless. If you can USE your bad experiences in any way, Tom, then do so, for this is the way to dissolve them and move forward. There will always be evil people in the world, but we ourselves can choose to live in the light. Ro Hancock-Child
Dr Ro, thank you for your encouragement and your Norwegian saying. ‘There will always be evil people in the world, but we ourselves can choose to live in the light.’ Absolutely, I like this statement. If you are curious for another bit of scripture, try: Isaiah 53 A number of years ago I was at the end of myself and I found Isaiah 53. When I finished reading I just sat there stunned. Isaiah 53 is a description of Jesus about 500 years before he was born.
The Sussex Partnership have been like a heavy hand on my life and I am shocked by the way they have treated me. You are right, I need to dissolve them from my life.
Visualising “dissolving bad experiences” feels very powerful indeed. Tom take comfort in the Bible. You already sound a lot more positive.
I’m sorry I did not get back to you sooner. I have spent the summer catching up on five years of neglected house, garden, fences etc. I have just tried to contact you via your email but my computer would not co-operate. If you would like the full horrible story of my fight with the NHS and the subsequent insurance company let-down, do please reply
Sorry to hear of your terrible experience. As you can see many of us identify with the pain and misery of fight with the NHS. I so much hope that you don’t let it stop you from finding nice things to do for yourself as it will pull you further and further down I fear, as i fear for myself!
Hello Mary, yes of course I am interested to hear your own story about how your family has been harmed by the NHS. You are certainly not alone, and there is some comfort in knowing this. You can write to me direct on email@example.com and I will always reply. It’s often very helpful to write things down, because this can be a good way to get them out of your system. I’m glad to hear that you have been doing repairs and putting things right in your environment : it may be hard work at the moment, but you’ll feel so much better when it’s all done. Suvarna is very wise in suggesting that you try to find lots of nice things to do. You mention gardening, and this is a wonderfully healing pursuit. When I came home after 3 years in hospital in Sussex, I had lost everything, even my ability to hand-write. I decided to build myself a little garden from scratch, as a sanctuary in which I could sit, and work, and see if I could get better. I had such fun making it, and choosing what went into it, and to my surprise and great pleasure my garden won 2 awards in the Bognor in Bloom competition this year (thankyou Bognor !), which is a fantastic feeling. If I can do it, so can you ! Please write to me Mary, it would be good to talk. Kind wishes, Ro
I feel quite tearful reading Dr Ro Hancock-Chid’s account above. The intruders can take way the gift of life, don’t let them win! Do some good things for yourself, something you have always wanted to do. I get relief from painting and writing. I want to travel and see the world before it’s too late.
It is of concern that these dreadful problems with the NHS regarding mentally ill people continues. There seems to be no redress.
When I discovered that we had legal protection through our house insurance with the Halifax, I decided to make a claim against the Sussex Partnership Trust for wrongly identifying my husband’s depression as dementia, locking him away in a secure unite at our expense, refusing to give ECT when it was recommended, allowing him to break his femur and not recognising it for 5 days, allowing him to become covered in a rash and eventually dieing of pneumonia while in their supposed care.
The Halifax’s solicitors – Lyons Davidson – took three years to obtain his hospital records and send them for expert opinion. The consequent report seemed to me to strongly suggest that the NHS was less than competent. Yet, just three weeks before the end of the three years allowed by the Court to proceed with the claim for negligence, Lyons Davidson wrote to inform me that they were not going to proceed because they considered there was less than a 51% chance of winning. By then, it was too late for me to obtain alternative legal assistance.
My experience has taught me that the legal profession is as shabby as the NHS mental health care.
Hello Mary, thankyou for sharing this – you’re courageous.
It sounds as if that firm of lawyers treated you callously, strung you along for ages and then let you down at the last minute; but in the meantime, putting it very bluntly, they probably made a fair bit of money out of your dear husband’s death – and that’s a horrid thought.
You’re not alone. If you ask around, almost everyone has a true story of being harmed by lawyers, and/or by the NHS. Here are just a few examples from my own experience:
1. I got badly hurt by Sussex Partnership NHS, as you know. A Sussex lawyer said he would fight my case for compensation against the NHS, ‘no win, no fee’.. he then took £4500 from me, ‘to obtain some expert reports'(which didn’t materialise), he tried to charge me £700 to take down one single A4 page of dictation, then he wanted to involve a barrister… it turned out that the barrister was his girlfriend, his business was going bust and he was trying to use me to bolster his own dwindling funds. I’m brave and I fought him and I got all my money back – but the horrible thing is that he tried.
2. Another Sussex lawyer proposed to charge me £4 per MINUTE, just to ‘think about’ my case – and he would not tell me how long he proposed to take !
This is wrong. Nobody should try to take advantage of another person’s injury or loss. I know from personal experience that the high-powered London solicitors who defend compensation claims made against the NHS earn themselves a lot of money in ‘looking into’ these claims; as in your own case they can, and (deliberately) do, take years just to collect material, and they’re sitting pretty and earning all the time, while those who have been grossly injured, like you and me, get nothing. It’s foul.
Set against this is the lawyer who gave me a 10-page written opinion on the strength of my own case, for free. I salute you, Sir, I appreciate this. A breath of fresh air in an otherwise polluted legal system.
Keep going, Mary, keep yourself strong. I care deeply about what happened to you, and so do many others.
I suppose if all of us who have been cheated by lawyers speak up loud enough, the media will take note and then lawyers will follow politicians and bankers into the pit of disgrace.
These stories of legal let-downs reminds me of the Charles Dickens’ story “Bleak House”.
All the best for 2012 – Battle On!!
Hi Ro what you say is very true. And I agree with the comparison with ‘Bleak House’ Mary Parker. Some of the lawyers are also very unpleasant people. I narrowly escaped paying legal fees as I got suspicious and probed into their behaviour. There was a great temptation to get justice quickly when I was injured by the Renal clinic Dr Kingdon and Dr Jordon, but when I started weighing up things I was no better off at the end of day not taking legal action. As legally we couldn’t be sure if the lawyers were just after the money. Their off-hand treatment did not help. Many of them are driven by greed and career prospects. There is an odd one who is helpful as Mary says and I too have had this experience.
Moreover the medical profession has a strong club culture up to professor level, even those who claim to be patient-focused tend to put up with the corrupt system. I searched high and low for help and got nowhere. Went to Mike weatherley my local mp – nice manner but at the end of day he too strung me along.
There is no easy answer over getting justice in medicine. This is due to it’s dominance in society. It gets away with murder.
I have to receive treatment within this corrupt system and from those I do not trust. They give me the bare essentials. I try and educate myself through medical websites and make the society aware of the corruption in the medical world. That is one thing I can do and others here seem to also be doing that. I often have to pay for my care as cannot get it from GP.
On the posive note, we could form a support group and give strength to each other and try and raise issues in the parliament. Write articles together jointly for the nation to take notice. One thing these cowards are afraid of is group power. As usual I am deeply touched and very sorry to hear sad stories Mary Parker.
Re: I was no better off at the end of day not taking legal action.
There is an error in the above – meant to say
I WAS NO BETTER OFF TAKING LEGAL ACTION.
Apologies for this error, and others. 🙂
Is there not a pressure group those of us who choose to can join? Ideally, such a pressure group would have access to someone with legal knowledge, and also contacts in the media, in the hope that the public profile of these problems can be raised.
Does anyone know if there are higher authorities that can make rulings in such cases? For instance, the World Health Organisation, The EU, The European Court of Human Rights (although officially it is required that members of the public must first jump through all the hoops in their own countries prior to approaching some of these organisations).
However, a pressure group with much evidence would stand a much better chance. Angela Reid-Wentworth
Hello Angela, you’re right, we need a pressure group. Acting together to raise the public profile of the problems created by Sussex Partnership will bring better results than struggling on alone. You could be a very powerful member of such a group. I have many media contacts, and access to legal knowledge. I would suggest that you and I meet in the first instance, and gather together a core of articulate others who have also suffered from SPFT’s mistakes, in order to air grievances, establish what has already been tried, and explore ways of intensifying our efforts. I’m the same age as you, I was placed in the same hospital ward as your son Sam and I used to talk with him. If you’d like to follow this up, please write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will reply. Good wishes, Ro Hancock-Child, concert pianist
Hello Angela, you are right, we need a pressure group. A core of articulate people, who can accumulate evidence of SPFT’s failings, and present a body of compelling evidence to relevant parties. I have media contacts and access to legal knowledge, and would like to be part of such a group. You yourself could be a powerful member of the group. If you’d like to follow up this suggestion, please write to me on email@example.com and I will reply. You probably already know that I was held on the same NHS ward as your son Sam, and I used to talk with him. Good wishes, Ro Hancock-Child, concert pianist
Thank you for replying. Please do just address me informally as Angela. After all, we have the same aims and are on the same ‘side’, as it were. I will e-mail you in just a few minutes. Best wishes.
On the same side, definitely. Allies working together for a common cause have been known to achieve great things, and to bring about much-needed change. Thankyou Angela for replying. Ro
Gary McKinnon is mentally fit for extradition, report says …
Just copy and paste the above into a search engine for this channel 4 report.
I have no words to express my abhorrence of those who have engineered this decision. They must all be thoroughly rotten to the very core of their beings – and that isn’t description enough, is it?
I never knew the above site existed. We thought we and ours had suffered, but it’s unbelievable what this poor man is still being put through, over such a long period.