"Access to computers on secure units"
About: Arnold Lodge Regional Secure Unit Arnold Lodge Regional Secure Unit LE5 0LE
Posted by Address140 (as ),
I am currently studying (part-time as in-patient) for an undergraduate degree with Open University. I’ve opted for an open degree which gives me more choice regarding topic options. I am in my fourth year (equivalent of year 2 for conventional universities) and have been in psychiatric hospital for that period of time.
Here at Arnold Lodge, the hospital policy prevents me from owning and utilising my laptop to help me with my studies. The Open University purchased the laptop for me after identifying how useful it would be for me with my mental disability/illness.
As the ward has a PC and there are computers in the education department, they justify its confiscation by saying that equipment is available in the hospital (that they provide) and that will meet my needs. There are many restrictions on usage and what programmes/software I can install on the hospital IT equipment as I am not the administrator of the computers. These restrictions are a serious limitations on my abilities that I miss as I was allowed my laptop in my previous hospitals.
I have raised the issue at the patients forum numerous times with it being referred to the policies committee who have not got back to me. I have formally complained to the hospital manager who reassures me that I will get an answer/reply to my request from policies committee.
They said that any Open University software could be installed on ward computer but three months on and I am still waiting for the software to be installed. I find this lack of resource a major handicap with my studies. There are other Open University students here and they all face the same problem as me as the policy is unit wide.
Please print my story on the web. I look forward to hearing back from you.