Tuesday, 22 October 2013

"a warehouse waiting for the medication to kick in" according to a psychiatric staff nurse

The psychiatric staff nurse who hit my son on the chest (my son has asthma and has had 3 collapsed lungs) used to describe the ward he worked in as "a warehouse waiting for the medication to kick in".  He would make comments to female patients about their appearance or that they had "nice eyes".  He was overheard saying to a female nurse that he "liked a woman with swagger".  I can name this female staff nurse.

This ward in the psychiatric hospital just up the road from where I live is mixed gender with male and female dorms.  The female dorms are overlooked by single rooms that sometimes have male patients in them.  The psychiatric nursing staff in this ward were often are in the staff room writing notes when I visited in Feb/Mar 2012.

On one occasion, as I waited in the area outside the staff room, a male patient, who was waiting to go to court on an assault charge, walked right down the corridor and into the end female dorm.  There were no nurses around.  This male patient had rosary beads around his neck and was crossing himself as he walked.  I knew him quite well as he'd spoken to me at different times.  He was concerned about going to prison again.

I heard a woman in the dorm shout out and then an older woman about my age but small came walking up the ward.  I think she walked with a stick.  I asked her if everything was OK.  She looked at me and said nothing.  I later learnt that this woman took her own life four days after being discharged at the end of March, as I recognised her photo in the newspapers.  She was a mother and grandmother like me.  

There were still no nurses about at this point.  Eventually the male patient came back up the ward then a female staff nurse appeared.  I told her what happened and I also wrote about this in complaints at the time by Email to NHS Fife.  I got no response, as usual, and don't know if anything was done about it and whether male patients are still free to go into female dorms at will.  Or if male patients are in single rooms overlooking the female dorm.  Male patients who might have criminal records.

The psychiatric nurse who assaulted my son tried to get my son to sign a form to say that he was aggressive.  However my son wouldn't sign it, because he wasn't aggressive.  When my son went back into this ward from the IPCU they had put my son on the nursing team led by this nurse who had hit him.  

I got his nursing team changed to another team and got my son moved, from the dorm and a bed opposite the male patient who was waiting to go to court on an assault charge, to the other male dorm which was quieter.  I asked the female charge nurse to do this and she did so immediately.  This woman lives in the village where I live.

I have plenty more stories to tell of what happened to my son in the psychiatric hospital up the road.  I have to tell the stories because the complaints went nowhere.  I wrote many complaints in Emails over the two months he was an inpatient and can refer back to them if necessary.  However it's unlikely that I'll need to as what happened over that two months is still fresh in my memory.


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