"Mental health treatment"

About: John Radcliffe Hospital / Accident and emergency

I was taken to the JR for a mental health assessment.

I was told by the paramedics that there was a specialist nurse waiting to carry out this assessment.

This was not the case.

I arrived at about 1.00am.

I was put in an area of chairs and at no point did anybody tell me that I wasn't 'allowed' to leave.

After waiting a while I decided to leave - the taxi arrived and at this point I was approached by 3 burly security guards who all but dragged me out of the cab.

I returned to the ED and was plonked in a chair again - still not understanding if I had been put on a section or not.

The department was incredibly busy - 1 nurse being run ragged while security personnel were leaning on counters and occasionally chasing a patient down a corridor.

There was no confidentiality.

I overheard a nurse talking about the patient sat next to me and why she was not allowed to go to the toilet on her own.

This lady was not deaf or stupid, she was in crisis and treated with very little respect and no confidentiality.

Eventually I became distressed and was offered a cubicle so that I could 'get my head down' while waiting for the mystery person who was coming to see me.

I was eventually seen at about 4.30/5am and after talking to this Doctor was informed that I would have to wait again and see a senior colleague of theirs.

I was moved to the EAU at approx 10.45 having been in A&E for 9.5 hours.

I waited another hour to see a Consultant and was then discharged home in my pyjamas, no shoes, no money, no phone.

I was exhausted, hungry, smelly and very stressed.

The nursing staff were kind to me but I felt for my fellow patient who was treated with disdain and impatience.

It was a dreadful experience overall.

The stigma surrounding mental health is alive and well unfortunately.

I would be more than willing to help improve understanding in whatever form that would be helpful.

I'm pretty sure if I had broken my leg my service would have been loads better!

Story from NHS Choices

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