"Rights of patient and carer "
Posted by baz61 (as ),
My relative who has dementia was forced into hospital under a Short Term Detention Certificate. For 5 days I was denied access to her, following two incidents in which staff reprimanded me on the ward. (In both cases I was doing the same as other visitors who were not reprimanded, and when I asked to see rules or procedures stating that I was doing wrong I was told very unhelpfully to look on the NHS website.)
After 5 days, during which there was a Professional Concerns Meeting, I was allowed access again but far less than official visiting times which apply for everyone else. My visits are also fully supervised by 3 or 4 nurses. The hospital refuses to give any explanation, other than one which is, to me, obviously bogus, ie they said my relative gets agitated when I visit. However it seems that she is far more "agitated" (shouting, screaming) when the nurses take her to the toilet.
The compulsory detention arose because I had legally withdrawn her from hospital against medical advice. She had been into hospital for an operation and recovered strength but was not walking. Physiotherapy had been stopped because, due to my relative's dementia, she had not made progress. I had offered to help, but this was rejected, even after she had spontaneously walked more than 5m with my assistance and encouragement. The Discharge Planning Team refused even to consider the possibility of her being discharged into my care, even if I arranged suitable accommodation for her. They also said that their plan was that she should never be allowed to walk again, because of the risk of another fall.
Exasperated, I removed her earlier this month against medical advice. I had the legal right to do this because I am also her Welfare Guardian, and I did so after careful consideration of the options and the Principles of Guardianship. She spent one week at home before the Team, spitefully in my opinion, issued a Detention Certificate, compelling her return to hospital. (I am challenging this, but it takes time - a few weeks. ) During the 1 week she spent at home her mobility improved enormously. From not walking at all in hospital, she walked holding my hand and climbed up and down stairs. Several health and care workers visited to offer services or equipment, and none expressed any concern. My relative was happier and healthier, and she moved safely around the house under my full-time supervision (as before her admission).
Perhaps the Discharge Planning Team genuinely believe they are doing the best for my relative. But they have ignored completely the Principles of Intervention (=Principles of Guardianship) contained in the Mental Health Acts - such as seeking the least restrictive option (they considered no other options), considering her views (to stay at home) and those of her carer (myself). and encouraging her to retain existing skills (walking) and promoting her independence.