"Near Death Experience"

About: Queen Mary's Hospital

On one occasion I was an Inpatient on Rose Ward in November last years for a period of less than 12 hours before moving to my normal ward, Lavender. I suffer with severe Bi-polar Affective Disorder, along with other diagnoses and have Chronic history of Suicide Attempts. I had come straight from ward 136 at around 3am in the morning, with no staff members seeming interested in helping me find my way to my room and failing to talk to me at all. After a long night, I attempted to hang myself, suspended, in my bedroom on the ward at around 12pm. I fell unconscious and only woke up in St Georges Recuss. I was only found because my Keyworker came to bring me clothes and so the staff apparently came to get me and found my hanging at just before 1.30pm. Having been on the ward such a short period of time, supposedly I was on 15 minute checks, however, I was left hanging for almost an hour and a half. At St Georges I was told be medical professionals I was lucky to be alive, and it was a miracle that I hadn't been paralysed or resulted in serious physical health complications. A safeguarding case was brought up and I have just found out today that it has been closed with no further investigation. I was honestly shocked. I almost died. That could be anyone. This level of care is by no means acceptable. Either the staff were not doing their job properly, or they left me. If it wasn't for my Keyworker (from the community) coming to bring me clothes, how long would it have been until I was found? I can't explain the anger I know feel towards the NHS Mental Health System. Not just because it was my life, but for the closure of the case. I find this absurd. I am not happy at all with the little that was done to follow up from this serious incident. I have had no involvement in what was done, no one has asked me about what I think/feel about the situation, and I just feel like the NHS are sweeping problems like this under the carpet. I have been involved with the NHS Mental Health team from the age of 12, and an Inpatient at various different units all over London and I know this happens far too often. I have a close friend who committed suicide on an NHS Mental Health Ward last June, who was found too late. Checks were not properly completed and a young girls life has gone. I survived. So if I don't speak out, who will? I will be taking further action with this matter.

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Responses

Response from Victoria Gregory, Patient Experience Manager, South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust

picture of Victoria Gregory

Dear Clarissa,

Thank you for your post my name is Victoria and Iā€™m the Patient Experience Manger at the Trust.

First of all I would like to thank you for sharing your experiences with us and apologise for the three month delay in responding to your concerns. I am sorry we have not responded sooner ā€“ your posting has only just reached us due technical issues with Patient Opinion. They will be writing their own posting about it.

I would also like to apologise for the distressing experiences you have described and I hope you are now on your way to recovery.

I would like to reassure you that the Trust takes all such incidents very seriously and, if you are the person I have in mind, following the events you described an internal investigation was carried out to look at what could have been done differently in your case. If you would like a copy of the internal investigation you please come forward and identify yourself ā€“ if you are you are the right person I have in mind and you would like to come and speak to someone at the Trust to go through the investigation report then please contact me at complaintsmanager@swlstg-tr.nhs.uk and I will facilitate this for you.

Best wishes

Victoria.

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Response from Queen Mary's Hospital

Thank you for your review which was also posted on Patient Opinion and we responded. First of all I would like to thank you for sharing your experiences with us and apologise for the delay in replying on NHS Choices. I would also like to apologise for the distressing experiences you have described and I hope you are now on your way to recovery. I would like to reassure you that the Trust takes all such incidents very seriously and, if you are the person I have in mind, following the events you described an internal investigation was carried out to look at what could have been done differently in your case. If you would like a copy of the internal investigation you please come forward and identify yourself ā€“ if you are you are the right person I have in mind and you would like to come and speak to someone at the Trust to go through the investigation report then please contact me at complaintsmanager@swlstg-tr.nhs.uk and we will facilitate this for you.

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