"Being Sectioned under the mental health act"

About: Whitchurch Hospital (Cardiff)

(as the patient),

I have lived with bi polar for the past 17 years. I have not responded to standard treatments but I have learnt to self manage my mood swings and adjust my medication accordingly and therefore stayed out of hospital.

I did have excellent support from a prescribing pharmacist but when she went on maternity leave no cover was put in place.

4 months later at a weekend I knew I was becoming manic really quickly. I contacted out hours Gp service and was given wrong advice over the phone so I asked for an appointment. it was difficult for me to communicate with the doctor and had only been allocated 5 minutes with them. I managed to get the GP to phone the crisis team and told the nurse that I was asking for help now so that I did not get sectioned in a few days time.

The nurse told me that if I wanted something to help me sleep I needed to go to A and E and wait for the duty psychiatrist. THis was not what I was asking for and I handed the phone back to the doctor. The doctor then insisted that a psychiatristt come and see me. I did my best to explain to the junior psychiatrist. I was seen in a room without a computer and was therefore not able to access any records. I was not asked any questions and it appeared that no notes were taken. This psychiatrist seemed annoyed that I had given so much information and went to phone the senior and come back with a careplan. The psychiatrist came back and told me to make a very small increase in my medication. I could have decided this myself but knew I needed a more dramatic increase which is why I had sought help. I told the psychiatrist this but was told there was nothing to be done and I should contact my team who knew me on Monday.

I explained that they did not know me, that I had only met my consultant once and had been told if I continued to do so well I would be discharged. I did not know how to find my home. I told the doctor this but they just became annoyed. I also told the doctor I could not remember the drug advice just given to me. I was trying to convey just how ill I was as I knew that if I did not get help right then I would end up sectioned and this is what happened 6 days later.

Despite attending a planned out patient appointment on the following Tuesday during which I said I as very ill and needed to increase my mediation as quickly as possible, the only response I received was being told that they didn't think they could help me to everything I said. Arrangements were then made for an assessment 2 days later by which time I was even worse and I ended up being sectioned.

Once sectioned I told a doctor that I needed to increase my medication as quickly as was safely possible. Why was only able to have this discussion responded to once I was sectioned? Why was I not listened too and helped 2 days before? my consultant did not talk to me during the assessment and it became apparent during the first ward round that the consultant had not actually listened to me either. I had an excellent advocate while I was on the ward which was a life saver as some of the nurses were bullies and a lot were disinterested. There was very little interaction between staff and patients with staff withdrawing to the office and not letting us go in. I ended up in intensive care.

once the section was lifted my consultant seemed to lose interest again. My mental state deteriorating during my last 10 days in hospital but no staff seemed to realise even thought the night before I was sent home I had such difficulty finding my way back to the ward that the police and my Dad were out looking for me for 6 hours.

Despite this I was not reviewed by a doctor and the nurse simply put me in a taxi with my belongings. They did not inform my parents and there was no careplan in place. I had not been offered the crisis team and so went home completely psychotic, hearing voices, thinking the TV was talking to me and hallucinating with no one in mental health aware of the true situation.

it has taken me 5 months to recover fully and now I have been told that the CHMT cannot meet my needs although they agree I have a severe illness and on going needs also they see no need for a careplan and are happy to discharge me.

I am only being assessed by another team as my Gp requested it. This is a ludicrous situation. I have also complained formally to the health service and received no response so far. I have flagged up issues with my AM and she has a response but she is not satisfied either.

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