"An experience! but some things must be dealt with!"

Having stayed at chalkhill for seven weeks I feel my stay was ruined by the rush to get rid of me! sure there were some other things but the ending is what everyone mainly remembers. First I will start with positives (as everyone remembers the ending). The welcome was made pleasant by other patients and night staff. the school system worked well for me despite the fact I was only there for 2 weeks I was impressed by the staff and resources available. The areas around the unit such as the study were great for alone time and a place to work. unfortunately I would love to write more positives but they are overshadowed by the negatives. I felt I was pressured into not enjoying the place (as I was liking it). the fact some patients could easily sneak some stuff in like alcohol. The pressures on my last days.The understaffed days. And as one other reviewer said the staff did verbally abuse me on several occasions and said some very incentive things. I felt I was just supposed to get through it as I wasn't as bad as everyone else I suppose. but I felt there just wasn't enough time for everyone's needs. The fact I felt not understood by staff but more by patients really made me feel like I was never going to get better by adults. One final thing is the request to change to nonsense rule of former patients not being aloud to visit. So what if I some of the friends I made were to be in the unit for another 6 months surely they should get a visit from someone who was close to them. Or even give hope to the patients that when they are discharged they will be happier. plus it would help me as going back home from chalkhill I didn't feel like I fit in or was understood by people my own age not like when I was in chalkhill and seeing these people would make me feel better!

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Response from Chalkhill

Thank you for taking the time to feedback. I am concerned at the experiences that you report in relation to the staff and it would be helpful to know more about this so that if necessary I can investigate and take appropriate action. You can contact me directly or sometimes it’s easier to do this with the support of our Service Experience team who are independent of the service at Chalkhill. The number to contact them on is 01903 843026 or by email service.experience@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk. However if you choose not to contact us the matter will be discussed with the inpatient team and with the wider staff group. I am pleased to hear that you also had some positive experiences whilst an inpatient at Chalkhill. We do try our best to ensure that Young People and their families feel well supported throughout their stay and usually staff from the Urgent Help Service are there to continue that support approaching and post discharge. We all appreciate how important friendships are and encourage Young People to keep in contact with each other beyond Chalkhill. I will discuss our visiting policy with the Young People’s Advocate and nursing team to see if a compromise can be agreed which facilitates ex inpatients visiting whilst still protecting current inpatient Young Peoples rights to privacy and dignity. Paul Mazza Ward Manager Chalkhill Tel: 01444 472670 Email: paul.mazza@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk

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