"From: chrys muirhead <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 23 August 2012 06:59
Subject: complaints - adult protection investigation - MHO team
Cc: Roseanne Fearon <Roseanne.Fearon@fife.gov.uk>, Phyllis Turner <Phyllis.Turner@fife.gov.uk>, Julie Paterson <Julie.Paterson@fife.gov.uk>, Lesley Weir <Lesley.email@example.com>, John Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Mr Moore
I am writing to complain about the adult protection investigation into my son Daniel Muirhead's treatment in Stratheden Hospital in February this year. Undertaken by investigating officers John Smith and Lesley Weir, MHOs, between 27 February and 18 May.
My son and I got a copy of this report yesterday afternoon by Phyllis Turner, Team Leader, at the Cupar office. It was the first time we saw the complete report and realised that I - mother, primary carer and named person for my son - had been under investigation. As a 'cause for concern'. On the say so of PC Michie, who didn't know me or my relationship with my son. Who said on 15 March that I had prevented my son from providing statements about his being assaulted by a nurse in Lomond Ward. Whose comment about me "It also appears that Chrys Muirhead likes to portray a measure of control over anyone she comes into contact with and this is detrimental to her son" was accepted by the MHO team as being accurate. And a reason to investigate me and malign my character.
I contend that this allegation about me, accepted by the MHO team, meant that the investigation into my son's treatment was not carried out effectively. I was the one who raised concerns about my son from the 1 February onwards, in many Emails to Fife Council staff. I was the one who said that he has been assaulted by a nurse in Lomond Ward on 1 February. I visited him regularly in the IPCU and highlighted the human rights abuses in the ward. And yet the MHO team decided to investigate me, on the basis of an 'opinion' of a police officer who hadn't done his duty properly.
I work in mental health as an activist and campaigner, and take part in many national mental health groups, in different disciplines. I also guest lecture at Abertay University on the mental health nursing programme. I am well known to the Fife Council Social Work managers, having been funded by them to run events which their staff have attended. Phyllis Turner and Lesley Weir attended the Mary O'Hagan event I ran in St Andrews in March 2011 where Roseanne Fearon gave the opening address.
I contend that Phyllis Turner, MHO Team Leader, knew me well, my character and commitment, and should not have accepted the false allegation made by PC Michie on my character. That I was causing my son "psychological harm" (phrase used p36). This slanderous allegation diverted the investigation from its proper task which should have been to look into my son's treatment.
I also want to complain that the investigation took more than 3 weeks to begin. Time in which my son's human rights were abused. He was locked in a room in the IPCU with no toilet or water, on more than 3 occasions, overnight, left with his broken hand untreated on the first night. He was denied freedom of expression. I was not allowed to visit by the front door of the ward when other visitors were. I had to go in the back door.
I contend that the MHO Lesley Weir knew the conditions in the ward and my concerns about my son's treatment from the beginning of February. And nothing was done about it by the MHO team until the end of February. By which time my son was about to be transferred to Lomond Ward. I was the only one standing up for the rights of my son, through February, and yet the MHO team decided to investigate me. I ask you who is going to investigate the MHO team? When they are not doing what they should be doing. Standing up for the rights of patients under the mental health act.
As my son's carer I should have been treated with respect by the MHO team. The mental health act is clear about the place of carers. "Principle 7. Respect for carers - Those who provide care to service users on an informal basis should receive respect for their role and experience, receive appropriate information and advice, and have their views and needs taken into account.". I was also my son's Named Person. Which should be a safeguard under the act. I had the right to support my son and protect his interests. Which I was doing rigorously from his going into Lomond on 1 February to his incarceration in the IPCU to when he was discharged on 18 April.
I also want to complain about MHO Lesley Weir and her sharing of personal information about her son who is a psychiatric inpatient in a locked ward at Murray Royal Hospital. She did this at a meeting with my son and I in the Social Work department at Castlehill, around May time. It was very distressing for my son to hear this. It has meant that he is not keen on meeting with Lesley Weir or with any of the MHO team. Because of this he didn't want to go ahead with the direct payments claim. It meant that he and I were further isolated and devoid of support in his recovery. It's not good practice for social workers to share this type of personal detail with clients. It is unprofessional and detrimental to their clients' wellbeing.
I will have more to say on this as I study the adult protection investigation report in detail. I have started a complaint against PC Michie. I am concerned for other carers in Fife and for the support, or lack of support, they may be getting from Fife Council Social Work Service. I am concerned for patients in psychiatric hospitals in Fife and their rights being upheld under the mental health act. I am not confident that the MHO team is doing their job properly. Which is resulting in human rights abuses in psychiatric care. I want this to be investigated.
[Stephen Moore was Director of Social Work, Fife Council]
adult protection investigation - "cause for concern that Mr Muirhead's mother is causing him psychological harm" - respect for carers or character defamation?
We are beginning to work our way through the adult protection investigation report and already note a number of concerns. Inaccuracies and misrepresentation.
In particular the accusation made by John Smith about me causing "psychological harm" to my son, in the report written by him on 18 May.
"There is also cause for concern in relation to Mr Muirhead arising from the manner in which Mrs Muirhead involves herself in Mr Muirhead's affairs which may involve psychological harm", p33,
"cause for concern that Mr Muirhead's mother is causing him psychological harm", p36.
I am assuming that he is the person that coined this phrase? Or it may have been yourself, as I notice that you attended meetings with John Smith and NHS Fife staff. The 'cause for concern' raised by PC Michie on 15 March doesn't mention this phrase.
Firstly I am astonished that Fife Council Social Work Service should attempt to lay the blame for any harm on my shoulders. My son was assaulted in Lomond Ward, restrained, secluded and forcibly treated. Resulting in a broken hand when he was cornered in a room by 3 male psychiatric nurses. All of this happened when I had gone out of the ward to get some clothes for my son. Thinking that he was being 'looked after' by NHS Fife nursing staff.
I was the one who spoke the police about my son being assaulted. An appointment was made for the police to visit him in the IPCU on 7 February but the police didn't turn up. I met with PC Michie on 16 February at 2.50pm at Cupar police station and again the next day after 4pm at Cupar. Both times I spoke about my son being assaulted. Lesley Weir is well aware of this information and there will be police records of my visits.
And I was the one who advocated for my son at clinical meetings, visited him regularly in the IPCU, arranged for a good friend to share the visiting, a pastoral deacon at Cupar Baptist Church. I put up with not being allowed in the front door of the IPCU like all the other visitors. I was discriminated against and disrespected. I was not allowed to take a photo of my son's injuries, his broken hand and bruising. Which everyone in the IPCU witnessed but can't seem to remember.
I ask you - who are the ones causing psychological harm?
I will be sending you a number of Emails about this report which I hope you will print and collate in a file. Unlike NHS Fife who seemed to have a sporadic record of all my complaints Emailed from 1 February onwards. It is important for you and your MHO team to learn from this experience. Of how to work with carers, respect carers and the person they care for. As mentioned in the mental health act and the new mental health strategy.
I was very busy that year raising complaints about NHS Fife, Fife Council Social Workers and Fife Police, while also singlehandedly supporting my son after Nurse abuse in Stratheden IPCU/Ward 4, dealing with the flashbacks. I was also involved in various mental health groups nationally, blogging and tweeting.
Not sure how I survived it. Well done Mother and Son!
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