"I felt like I wasn't treated well"

About: St Bernard's Hospital / Horizon Ward

(as a carer),

My son has been an inpatient this year and is now diagnosed bipolar. I have found it overwhelmingly stressful being his carer.

I was invited to a ward round meeting some weeks ago and I was told that the meeting would begin without me but that I would be called in after a few minutes.

I understand that there were about 8 people in the meeting. It started half an hour late and went on for an hour. I was told intermittently during this time that I would be asked in soon. The meeting ended and a nurse came out to tell me that the meeting was over.

The nurse asked me to leave the ward.

Doctors were still sitting in the meeting room. I had missed another appointment while I stood in the corridor outside the meeting and no one offered me any explanation.

I felt very shocked and upset. I felt I had been treated very badly.

I stopped eating and could not sleep. I became suicidal after a few days and ended up being sectioned in the same hospital as my son.

I still do not understand why I was treated so badly although I have had an apology from senior staff who were surprised to hear my story.

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Response from Jacek Dankowski, Ward Manager, West London Mental Health NHS Trust

I am very sorry to hear that and that you had to come over this bad experience which was very distressing for you. We are working in the best interest of the patient and we are listening to the patients and their nearest ones experience. We are treating seriously our patients and their carers’ views and experience and we try to improve the level of care we provide.

It is definitely lesson for us that we have to take into account in order to improve your family care in the future. I would be happy to talk to you about it further on the phone or meet in person.

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