"Five Years at The Priory, Ticehurst"
About: Priory Hospital Ticehurst Priory Hospital Ticehurst TN5 7HU
Posted by Julia Hope
I spent five years at The Priory, Ticehurst. From 2010-2015. Knowing through experience what many other hospitals; both NHS and Private, put their Patients through, I would highly recommend The Priory, Ticehurst given the choice when making any comparison to the poor service within Mental Health Services across the Uk.
On arrival in 2010, I was overwhelmed by the beautiful surroundings both inside and out. The personal Client centred care that was given by Staff of every level, and the pure quality of care I received was second to none!
Diagnosed with Complex PTSD, BPD and Depression, I was spoken with as a human being for the first time in years! I was enrolled in Occupational Therapy, and Trauma Focused Therapues, including EMDR, DBT, Art Therapy and Exercise. I began to improve significantly and
I moved from the main building into TLU (Transitional Living Unit) during 2012, and my life became something worth fighting for.
Sadly, vast changes were made by Government, NHS Funding Boards and falling on to the Priory management team caused an atmosphere of fear amongst staff that should they speak the truth (commonly known as whistle blowing) their jobs would swiftly become untenable. This poor management of valuable long serving caring staff impacted throughout the entire hospital including us as Patients.
It is in my opinion, extremely important to look after your current loyal Staff before hiring more or replacing them with Bank Staff... Who not only did not know the day to day running of the hospital, it causes permanent staff extra pressure and extra work, meaning a lot less time to 'care' for Patients. The knock on impact made life almost unbearable during 2014 and as a result I became less stable. This slowed down therapy and ultimately I was given 7 days notice by my Funders to leave and live in Society. A scary thought after 7 ½ years in hospitals!! The few remaining trustworthy staff did all they could to help me in this transition.
The care in the community team promised much yet again and my instability placed me on the Acute Ward within the walls of Ticehurst Priory. This was an experience I would never wish on my worst enemy. Permanent long serving staff were run off their feet, staff were left for entire shifts sat on 1:1 observations and Patients were denied essentials, and told off like naughty children. The attitude of temporary along with a very few other permanent staff on this Acute ward only; particularly a Psychiatrist, and the Ward Manager at the time, was disgusting! I wouldn't expect Prisoners to be treated like that, never mind human beings with illnesses!
Overall, I would recommend the excellent Therapy Centre, and TLU.