Caroline’s Complaint about H Ward, Somerset Partnership Trust Mental Health Services
My letter of complaint about my experiences of mental health care in UK..
An experience no one should ever be put through but they are every day.. This is the reality of care in the UK mental health services for many ppl.
My name is Caroline Breslin. I am writing to you because I would like to make a formal complaint about my treatment by mental health services. When you reply to me please would you also send a copy of your reply to my advocate:
My complaint is about the ongoing effects of my treatment in H Ward in 2015 and the follow up care given to me in 2016. Before I set out details of my complaint I would first like to give some background about my experience at an earlier time because I see it as all connected. At my first contact with psychiatric services in 2008 Dr gave me a contraindicated drug Amyl Sulphide that was not meant to be taken with citalopram antidepressant. This resulted in me being very heavily sedated to the extent that I was unable to organise leaving house for counselling therapy offered by the service so I was cut off from their services and basically existed in a heavily sedated state until I ended up in a manic state in 2012 or 2013, which I blame on the contraindicated drug given alongside the anti depressant citalopram.and the services allowed me to re-engage with them. I never had mania before or since, apart from once mild flight or fight in 2004 when my dad died and I was mugged and assaulted twice in Dublin; it was a reaction to these traumas. I have problems with dates as I have complex PTSD which was a result of my treatment by police and mental health services. I am currently receiving help privately as I will never trust the statutory psychiatric services ever again.
I was sectioned to H Ward on 15 Oct 2015, and discharged from the section around 15 November 2015. I was offered a very high dose of quietiapine which was much higher than I had been taking previously. I refused this so then was given forced injections – to this day I do not know what drug it was. I was given up to five maybe six intra-muscular injections. I was left with a lump on my right buttock that to this day causes me physical pain and discomfort.
I would like to point out that I was sectioned following police intervention in a domestic dispute. This was as a result of crossed wires. My past experience of police when I lived in Dublin had been very traumatic. My treatment at the hands of the police on this occasion totally terrified me and severely traumatised me and the traumas continued until I disengaged with the psychiatric services in after the summer of 2016. I would like to stress that I did not attack anyone nor behave in an uncontrollable manner in H ward.
While I was detained in H ward I injured my leg which needed treatment, but it was nearly two weeks before I was taken to hospital for an x-ray, despite repeated requests by my flatmate. My leg was severely swollen from the injury which turned out to be a severed achilles tendon, which to this day causes me discomfort and significant pain and difficulty walking any distance. Because of the swelling my footwear did not fit and the ward insisted I wear slippers which they gave me; these were unsuitable as the inside heel was not covered and this caused me pain.
Upon leaving the unit in Nov 2015 I disengaged from mental health services services but then reengaged Feb / March 2016. After a few weeks the injected drugs (I don’t know what they were as I was never told when I asked) started to cause major physical and mental withdrawal symptoms. It was then I agreed to have the mental health services help me. A decision I have come to deeply regret. I was then placed under Dr S. I began treatment with Dr S at the end of January, or February 206. I explained I felt it may be the injections making me feel so mentally and physically ill. I was not listened to. I was ignored and felt bullied and pressurised by Dr S and by my care coordinator and support worker into continuing their line of medication treatment. My flat mate witnessed this bullying and pressurising by those who were meant to be helping me, as I asked her to come with me to some meetings.
Dr S and the team proceeded to pressurise me into taking very high doses of medications namely seroquel, zopiclone, benzodiazapines, and various other medications. When I had side effects from the drugs Dr S diagnosed these as more mental illnesses, and refused to acknowledge how obviously physically sick I was becoming to the point of not being able to eat at all or sleep or to go to the toilet normally as I was severely constipated and was urinating for over 25 mins every time I needed to use toilet. Also I lost the ability to communicate properly with others, my very essence of who I am was destroyed. I was severely dehydrated and my skin turned black and nails started to turn black and have holes in them I was also suffering very bad nerve pain at night that travelled up my legs to the rest of my body, extremely uncomfortable nerve and body pain that I am very convinced was caused by these psychiatric drugs.
by seroquel or the combination of these toxic drugs I was prescribed and found almost impossible to come off or reduce dosage. Also I am very concerned about the unknown not studied long term effects of these drugs on an individual given to them by mental health professionals. One instance relating to these side effects was my skin starting to turn very dark which prompted support worker to say how great it was my tan from summer 2015 had lasted into March or April 2016. My very obvious physical and mental distress was put down to my being extremely mentally ill. No effort was made to even listen to my concerns and my understanding that the many injections I was given during a short time 3 1/2 weeks in H in Oct 2015, was what caused the severe physical and mental effects upon me when those drugs wore off and left my body.
In late December 2015 to early January 2016 I started to experience severe withdrawal effects from the injections they had given me in H ward. However when I complained of adverse effects from the medication it was implied that I was like this because I was very mentally unwell, and that I did not know what was good for me as I was in no fit state to know my own mind. I was not listened to and the team refused to acknowledge or hear my obvious distress and suffering. I believe if I had been listened to and the injections and the withdrawal effects from them researched further into I would not have suffered so much and so cruelly and unnecessarily under Somerset Partnership Trust’s mental health services. Instead I was judged unable to know my own mind and my valid fears and concerns were ignored.
Since my extremely traumatic experiences in H I have refused to engage with the mental health services in……….
I will not let this matter lie as I have suffered very significant harm mentally and physically through no fault of my own. I believe that those who were meant to be helping have in fact damaged me very significantly mentally and physically. I have PTSD which is mainly as a result of my treatment at the hands of so called professionals who behaved, in my opinion, in a very barbaric manner.
The main points of my complaint are that:
· medication I was given has been damaging to my health and well-being.
· I was not given timely care or treatment of a leg injury while on H Ward.
· I was not listened to regarding my views about medication, and I was bullied and pressurised by the treatment team
· I was not given proper information about the medication I was given or its side effects.
When I experienced unpleasant side effects these were not recognised.
I would like there to be a thorough investigation of my complaint and an independent clinical review of the treatment decisions. The indiscriminate use of powerful medication has caused me great damage and I would like this to be acknowledged and for changes to be made so that others do not suffer as I have done.