"Attitude to mental health patients appauling"

About: King George Hospital

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People with mental health would be treated better if they were a dog sent to the vets than they are sometimes at KGH, which is shocking considering there is both an adult and adolescent psychiatric hospital within 1/4 mile who regularly need there help. My daughter is severly depressed and stopped drinking (and eating). She was on a ward in the psychiatric hospital next door. She had drunk nothing for 3 days, and had a nurse with her 24 hours a day on the ward, with the staff regularly encouraging her to drink without success. She has several symptoms such as almost no urination (and the last time very dark), shrivellled lips, abdominal and back pain. Her consultatnt decided to send her to KGH A&E next door for rehydration. This took a lot of organisation as she needed 2 nurses with her. On arrival she was kept waiting for 4 hours. The Doctor who saw her was very rude and said she was not dehydrated. I phoned from work and told him in no uncertain terms she had not drunk for 3 days and he barked at me "are you calling me a liar?!", which I did not say. I asked what he would do if it was his daughter and said I did not want her to collapse or die. He begrudgingly gave her some intravenous fluids. She was put on a trolley in majors without any identification etc,. It was unacceptable that he did not trust the professional judgement of the consultant and staff from Goodmayes hospital. Also he was rude to my daughters friends who went with her to support as I was at work. When they asked his name a security guard told them they should not put in a complaint about him because he is a senior doctor. I would have expected him all the more to show a good example of care. When will the staff in this A&E receive better training on mental health issues and not treat psychiatric patients as subhumans who might as well be left to die!

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Responses

Response from King George Hospital

I am very concerned to hear about your daughter’s experience. We work very closely with the staff of Goodmayes (North East London Foundation Trust) to care for patients with mental health needs. From what you’ve told us, we fell far short of the standards of care we should have offered your daughter when they referred her to the A&E and in working with our partners to give her the best care. I was also shocked that someone suggested you should not put in a complaint. We actively encourage patient feedback, which is vital in helping us to identify where we need to improve. Please could you contact me through the PALS team so I can look into what happened with your daughter’s care and make sure this does not happen again. You can contact me through the PALS team on on 01708 435454 or email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk Dr Mike Gill Medical Director

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