"I don't feel my daughter is well cared for, or safe, under the care of mental health services"

About: Inpatient mental health care (Lewisham) Inpatient mental health care (Southwark)

(as a relative),

My daughter has been sick for years. We originally lived in St Albans, and when she fell pregnant she became very ill and blacked out late into her pregnancy, at which point she was admitted to a Mother and Baby unit. Her husband left her, and once discharged from the unit she came to live with us in London.

She fell ill again, and was taken to the Maudsley. The second time, she was admitted voluntarily. During the time she was admitted, there was a serious incident for which we instigated a formal complaint.

She was discharged and moved to live close to us – she seemed ok for a while but then her father died so I retired to look after her. She found herself with a new Doctor, and a Psychiatrist from SLAM who changed her meds to an anti-psychotic. This didn’t soothe her. I spoke to the CPN about the medication not working but they said I was just fussing. A couple of days later, my daughter set fire to her own hair.

I stayed with her for a week but she was very unwell and soon after the Out of Hours Doctor sent her to Ruskin Ward at Guys Hospital. I had an operation myself and was really worried about who would care for my daughter as I recovered. We were promised community care but the day after I was admitted to hospital, her brother went to visit her and found her slumped over the table, she had overdosed.

She was rushed to Kings Hospital, who then moved her back to the Maudsley and eventually back to Ruskin Ward. As you can imagine, considering the earlier incident, we didn’t feel this was appropriate at all but there seemed no choice.

She was discharged home, and her CPN saw her on the Friday but didn’t actually do anything as far as I am aware. On the Sunday, they rung me to say she ‘wasn’t well’ and I was worried. I went round to see her and called an ambulance. She had set fire to papers in her flat the police had arrived but she wouldn’t open the door. She was rushed to Kings and put on oxygen, and then moved back to Guys. The police charged her and made her go to court.

I don’t feel the high response housing team have really done anything to help my daughter or I. They found her a home, but she was so unhappy there. There were two men there and my daughter did not get on with them, it didn’t help her. She also only had one meal a day.

She was moved to the Ladywell Unit in Lewisham, but she tried to kill herself and no one told me and they moved her back to the Maudsley. I had a meeting with my daughter and her Doctor and I was sent an email suggesting that we rent a house in the area for my daughter to live in. We have no money, this isn’t an option for us so she was discharged home to us.

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Responses

Response from Patrick Gillespie, Service Director, Psychosis Clinical Academic Group, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Dear worried mother,

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns about the care and treatment of your daughter. I am really sorry that they have had a poor experience within our service and we are concerned about the issues that you have raised.

We would add that the circumstances for your family member appear complex and this is in no way trying to diminish our responsibilities in relation to her care, but it does mean that communication with you and all the other agencies involved is really important. So it would be helpful if we can start to talk about issues there have been and how we can move forward.

In order that we can address these important issues we would like to meet with you and I would be grateful if you could either contact me on the following number: 0203 228 6590 or via email: Patrick.Gillespie@slam.nhs.uk

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Patrick

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