"An extremely unpleasant experience"

My mother suffers with advanced dementia, is extremely vulnerable, dependant, blind in one eye, has reduced vision in the other eye, and is doubly incontinent. She was suddenly moved to the mental health unit at St. Charles Hospital from her previous hospital yesterday.

Upon arrival I found the St. Charles Hospital Redwood ward manager and staff not only extremely rude but they also displayed a complete lack of common courtesy, empathy or common sense. I was left simply shell-shocked after several interactions with the manager and staff.

My vulnerable mother was left unattended, in a soiled nappy and shivering when I eventually found her. I changed her and got her as settled as possible. As I was leaving I observed a male patient kissing my mother’s face leading me to have grave concerns regarding the wisdom of low level supervision mixed gender psychiatric wards.

The ward seemed completely disorganised and is in my opinion, based on my observations not fit for purpose.

The manager and staff (with the notable exception of one receptionist) are in dire need of training in the field of basic human interaction skills.

I can honestly say that during my observations (excluding the male patient who I witnessed abusing my mother) most of the patients I saw seemed to behave better and more calmly than the majority of the staff I encountered.

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Responses

Response from St Charles Hospital

What you describe here sounds awful and shouldn’t happen – I am sorry. Thanks for bringing it up; we wouldn’t want any patient or family member to feel this way. The other person you mention is now on one to one observations (a staff member with them all the time).

Can you please give me a call so I can take more details from you? We need to know for other people who might be affected.

Thank you.

Jim O'Donnell

Deputy Director

Kensington & Chelsea Mental Health Services

Tel: 07718 668764

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