"Cavendish unit Leigh infirmary- serious concerns"

About: Leigh Infirmary Mh Oupatients Clinic / Women's Mental Health Unit

(as the patient),

I was admitted to the cavendish unit via the recovery team as a voluntary patient due to a drop in mood after a significant attempt to end my life in December.

I hoped the ward would provide a safe place for my medication to be increased till my sucidal thoughts reduced and I could be supported back in the community. Unfortunately the ward is in my opinion in crisis, the physical condition of the ward is terrible it is aged, holes in the walls, cigerette burns in every bathroom. Each shift is understaffed with the occurrence of two staff nurses supported by bank staff or care workers (4) to 25 women a regular occurrence. At night there are 4 staff available.

During the two weeks I remained on the ward I witnessed an extremely violent fight, which the staff did not physically intervene   there was blood and hair left in the dinning area that patients cleaned up due to lack of staff (it was a night shift). I spoke to staff after a patient became intimidating and aggressive on 3 occasions to request help, the other patient assaulted me and I was moved into another room, the following day.  They remained on the ward and I felt increasingly unsafe due to this. I had property lost that was given to the staff office for safe keeping and property stolen from my bed area by other patients.

Smoking within the ward dorms/ bathrooms and activity room is extremely common despite complaints and a lot of patients have lighters despite them being disallowed on the ward.

When requesting PRN medication I had brought in with me and received in the consecutive days prior I was told it wasn't wrote up and would need to be done so by a doctor. When this was done the medication was found to now be missing from the medication cabinet/ trolley and another ordered.

I discharged myself due to no longer feeling safe in the environment and will be complaining to Pals and the care commission upon discharge my medication was not prepared or sent to me for another 24 hours despite being told it will be ready for the afternoon. I cannot stress how bad I felt this unit is for anyone in crisis or struggling it really should be closed whilst investigated.

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Response from Katherine Earlam, PALS Officer, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust

I am very sorry to hear that you had such a difficult and distressing experience on the ward.

I see that you plan to send a formal complaint our Patient Advice and Liaison Service and I absolutely understand and support your right to do so.

Just to make you aware that complaints about services in Wigan are usually directed to me for investigation and as a part of that process I would always contact the complainant and offer to arrange a meeting in order to fully understand their concerns.

Please feel free to contact my secretary on the number provided below if you would like to meet up. The complaint will still go through the Trust official complaints process but we may be able to respond sooner if we can meet up in the next week or so.


Cheryl Forrest, Matron for Urgent Response Services, Wigan.

01942 264622

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