"My experience of ward 2 of Queen Margaret Hospital"

About: Queen Margaret Hospital / General Psychiatry

(as the patient),

I have recently watched a TV programme about suicidal, depressed people being refused admission to hospital when a bed was ready for them because when breathalised, they were over the drink drive limit. I was so upset by this programme that I cried all night.

You see, this is what happened to me. I was being withdrawn too quickly from Venlafaxine and was delusional. If you look online you will see people's experience coming off this drug. I'm what is called all over England where I lived for many years, a dual diagnosis patient. This simply means I am an alcoholic as well as having mental health problems.

On the day of my planned admission for alcohol detox and stabilisation of my medicines. At the time I was drinking a litre bottle of vodka a day. I drank 1/4 bottle to help me get showered, dressed and fit to get driven to hospital. I was breathalised by the assessment team and of course failed to satisfy their protocol. I tried to reason with them, I asked if I could stay the four hours it would take to pass the breathaliser, I told them I was a dual diagnosis patient. They didn't know what I meant and I was told they'd never heard of it. I refused to leave the hospital and was eventually arrested. I was psychotic for the first time in my life from coming off that drug and the alcohol on top of it so I was a nuisance at the police station.

The day custody sergeant had expressed concern about my mental state and I believe even phoned the hospital.

Anyway, I was eventually admitted the next day to Ward 2 Queen Margaret Hospital. My feet were black with bruises and I asked if I could have my feet x-rayed. I was refused. I tried to photograph them with a phone and the phone was confiscated. I asked if the medical photographer could photograph them so that they would be in the hands of hospital staff, I was refused.

Whilst on the ward, I feel I was treated with contempt by several of the nurses. There were some lovely ones there. However, but from the top, I feel there was a culture of not really caring about patients.

Many of you will read this thinking I was the author of my own situation but you don't know me. I was a senior manager in the NHS before I became mentally ill. I was a productive member of society from the age of 13.

I felt I had to speak of my experience to give a balanced view.

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