"Theft of personal possession, and no-one gives a damn!"

About: South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter is currently on an inpatient ward at the Maudsley

I brought in her 'Tablet' for her as she asked for it. I did warn her to be careful with it, which she was.

Several days ago she asked the staff to lock her room as she had left it charging.

They didn't, and it was stolen!

What is really upsetting, to me as well as to her, is the attitude of the staff. I felt they basically did not give a damn.

As she has texted to me at various times since: They wouldn't listen They seem not to care

The staff have admitted there is 'a known thief’ on the ward, but refused to question them.

In desperation my daughter called the police, and their attitude beggars belief. If this is not 'political correctness' gone totally stark staring mad, then I don't know what is. This is her text to me: They said it would be unfair to accuse a specific person. I said 'so search everyone', but then they said that would offend people" Is this really what policing has come to? Fear of offending thieves?

I found the phone number for PALS, but despite my daughter calling it all afternoon, no one has answered. What sort of patient support is that? ? ?

She then turned to a friend who is the peer support supervisor based at The Maudsley (my daughter works as a peer supporter when she is well enough herself). The supervisor went up to the ward with my daughter, but, (once again in my daughter's words) "They just would not listen to them".

I am shocked at how dismissive and lacking in care and compassion the staff on this ward are. I experienced this when I visited my daughter last Saturday.

No-one can be bothered to answer the bell for admission to the building. I stood waiting for about 20 minutes!

In my experience the patients say anything and get a dismissive yeah yeah and no action.

They can't be bothered to lock patient's rooms when asked, and a number of items seem to have been stolen in the time my daughter was there. As described, nothing is done AT ALL when items are reported stolen.

I refuse to let this matter rest. Having personal possessions stolen is bad enough, but then being treated with utter contempt and lack of humanity is criminal in my book. As to the police response: What a joke! I will be pursuing that as well.

I will be waiting for your immediate reply and expect to hear what you are doing to put this incident right. If it is not resolved satisfactorily I will go as far up the chain as I have to.

I feel that your staff need to learn that the vulnerable people they are supposedly 'caring' for are as deserving as anyone else of respect, humanity and decent consideration. If my daughter's experience is the norm, then they are falling a long way short.

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Response from Lou Hellard, Deputy Director of Clinical Service Delivery - Inpatients and Complex Care, Psychosis CAG, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Anna2212

Thank you for raising these concerns. I am sorry that you have had such a difficult experience of our services.

Service users are encouraged to deposit valuable items in the ward safe or to have them taken home. However in the event that they decide to keep them in their possession and they are then lost or stolen, the usual process would be to contact the police.

As there are so many concerns, it would be useful if you could contact me via email on lou. hellard@slam. nhs. uk or via telephone on 02032282917 where, if I am not available my secretary Fi will be able to take your details so that I can contact you.

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