Friday, 18 January 2019

the risk of retaliation when raising complaints

I happened to catch a tweet from the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland about their latest Visit Reports:

and had a look through the report on the "announced" visit by MWC to Lomond Ward, Stratheden Hospital, and noticed some of the same issues that were there back in the days when my son was an inpatient, in 2012 and before that in 2010.  I raised a number of concerns in 2010 which included poor nursing practice, the lack of OT activity and the risks to female patients on this mixed gender ward who were uninhibited due to their emotional state, maybe exarbated by prescribed drugs.  I copied my Emailed concerns at the time to Scottish Government's Head of Mental Health Division, Geoff Huggins, and to the CEO of MWC, Dr Donny Lyons, as well as other MH leads in Fife statutory organisations.

I do believe that raising concerns (also speaking at a MWC workshop in 2011 about Lomond Ward issues "anonymously") led to my son not getting crisis support when suicidal for a month from Xmas 2011 and then the abusive treatment on 1Feb12 in Lomond then IPCU/Ward 4.  I was labelled a "troublemaker" and attempts made to blame me for causing "psychological harm" when Nurses locked my son in the seclusion room with no toilet, light or water, for hours on end, unobserved, with broken hand untreated.   

Since then I've raised other complaints in different settings when faced with unfair treatment, bullying, risky behaviour, and it has resulted in different forms of retaliation, most often exclusion, in mental health matters, including academic clinical psychology.  Fortunately that's not been the case in other settings where fair play is more likely, the balance of power more equally distributed.  

It's not put me off making complaints when necessary although it can be time consuming and energy draining.  I can understand why psychiatric inpatients are careful not to criticise MH Nurses when interviewed by the likes of MWC staff.  Nurses can write things in Notes justifying dehumanising treatment, I found this out in 2012 when they said about me "difficult and demanding Mother" and "family history of schizoaffective disorder". 

on Wednesday 16Jan19 at Dundee Uni student union bar after swim 😊

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