Sunday, 10 May 2020

Loam and Wart - Lomond Ward

This is a blog post about Lomond Ward, Stratheden Hospital, by Cupar, Fife, an acute psychiatric inpatient ward which, together with the old IPCU/Ward 4, sums up everything that's bad about mental health treatment, in my experience of 50+ years.

Lomond Ward - my plan for internal redesign sent 17Oct12 to Management

My first experience of this ward was in 1995 when I took my oldest son in there, sent by our Cupar Doctor/GP.  My son was in a "psychosis" and needed help.  No other option but psychiatry.  I was broken-hearted when my son phoned me at Discovery Christian Camps (Dundee), out at Glenshee, and I realised what he would have to go through, because I'd been through it myself, twice, in 1978, 1984, as a psychiatric inpatient in Hartwoodhill, Lanarkshire.

However I had no personal experience of Stratheden Hospital in 1995 although we lived on Elmwood College Farm and had often walked through the old asylum grounds with our Jack Russell dog Toby, bought sweeties from the shop, played tennis on the old courts, past the mortuary.  My oldest son practised driving through the grounds before gaining his license, aged 17 in 1993.

selfie taken 14 April 2020 on walk through Stratheden Hospital grounds

I became aware of the failings in Lomond Ward when my oldest son was a patient, particularly in 1996 when they gave him one shock treatment/ECT which led to a critical incident, ambulance to Ninewells Hospital and we were sent for.  Fortunately he survived and we didn't have to raise complaints with the Mental Welfare Commission although I did complain to the Lomond Ward Senior Charge Nurse about poor nursing care.  She eventually became SCN at Weston Day Hospital, Cupar, her husband the General Manager at Stratheden Hospital.

I have no doubt that my raising a complaint in 1996 about Lomond Ward nursing practices meant that it was very risky for me as an inpatient in March 2002 when my two older sons took me in there, experiencing a menopausal "psychosis".  My card was marked "Troublemaker".  

You have to go through it to know it.  I've always said this and it was true for me that week of being a mental patient for the third time.  Voluntary then detained for 72 hours until I swallowed their toxic chemicals, Risperidone antipsychotic.  I was warned that if I didn't take their drugs then I wouldn't get out.

Stratheden Hospital signposts 14Apr20 - no Lomond Ward notice

In March 2002 the Nurses put me in the end female dorm down long corridor where there was a young male patient in single room opposite and I remember waking up one morning to see this man coming out of his room, no nurses around.  I slept in my clothes, the Nurses wrote this in the Notes as if it was a sign of madness, whereas in truth it made complete sense.  Antipsychotics are strong sedatives, given to control mental patients, against our will if we resist.  I had capacity when experiencing psychosis and retained this when drugged by psychiatry.  I count myself fortunate to have good recall, managed to avoid ECT in 1978 when it was rife in mental hospitals.  I'm a survivor of Psychiatric Abuse like my Mother before me, also my 3 sons, my Dad and two wee sisters.

I swallowed the Risperidone under coercion as a Loam & Wart inpatient in 2002 because I didn't want forcibly injected with antipsychotics which could render me more vulnerable to predatory behaviour.  I knew this from my previous inpatients stays at Hartwoodhill, observing how female inpatients formed liaisons with male patients, having unprotected sex outside in bushes.  Very risky behaviour then and now, patients without full capacity, women being taken advantage of.  You might describe it as free sex, unpaid prostitution.  I do believe that some men become inpatients for that very purpose and can name one of them from 2012.  Predatory men and uncaring nurses, a recipe for disaster.  

Clinical Psychology had been training the Loam & Wart Nurses in Mindfulness/ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy), I heard this from the Senior CP based at the hospital.  So the Nurses were trained to switch off in 2012 when I witnessed various concerning behaviours, putting patients at risk of space invasion, of absconding and ending their lives before time.  It was one of the reasons I persisted with involvement in DClinPsy user/carer groups at both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, to speak out and to witness what went on, to try and see the training materials, to understand why psychology had taken the wrong path in Scotland.  I only caught a glimpse of Edinburgh's ClinPsy training programme, never saw the Glasgow stuff although I did read enough of the Professors' "academic" articles to know it was gobbledegook or nonsense language.

I am sure that many women will have left mental hospitals with sexually transmitted infections, maybe not knowing how it happened, where they caught it, being out of it on psychiatric drugs.  Men also but I'm more concerned about the women, mothers, sisters, daughters.  A SAMH supported accommodation Manager said to me at a St Andrews "peer support" event a few years ago that many of the women they worked with couldn't remember what happened to them when Lomond Ward inpatients.  I believed it.  A travesty of healthcare treatment.  A scandal.  An outrage.

I got no response from NHS Fife General Manager Stratheden Hospital regarding my plan to redesign Lomond Ward internally, to make it safer for female patients althought the Estates Director Jim Leiper authorised many external improvements to the former asylum grounds and to the fixtures and fittings inside.  But they didn't change the internal workings, I think because it would have been an admission of guilt on their part, for having allowed scandolous behaviours to go unchecked in their "healthcare" buildings for decades.  

And so the statutory agencies in Fife did their very best to frame me for Psychiatric Abuse, investigating me rather than Nursing practises, and accusing me of causing my son "psychological harm" when I advocated for him in both IPCU/Ward 4 and Lomond Ward/Loam & Wart in February and March 2012.  Ten years after they put my life at risk as an inpatient due to poor nursing care.  Nurses used the diagnosis pinned on me by Dr Stephen Carey (after I overdosed on Venlafaxine, suicidal impulse side effects) to justify their sub-human treatment of my son in the old IPCU/Ward 4 locked seclusion room.  Saying I was a "difficult and demanding Mother" and that there was a "family history of Schizoaffective Disorder".  

Express article Sunday 5 October 2014

Summing up as to why Lomond Ward and other inpatient psychiatric wards are such toxic environments.  It was a gateway to worse treatment, in the locked seclusion room IPCU Ward 4, then being a long stay patient in rehab wards or death by suicide.  I have to be honest, speak plainly, no beating about the bush.  My sons and I could have been statistics, very easily, there but for the grace of God sort of a thing.  If any one of them had died and I was left then my life would have taken a much different turn, no rest from campaigning for justice and until the culprits were arrested and locked up for their crimes against humanity.  If I had been taken then eternal rest.

cross-stitch I did in 1990's to 2002 before needing specs, now I knit, sometimes sew

into handknit socks these days ...

Sunday, 3 May 2020

from school to university, marriage to motherhood, faith & surviving psychiatric treatment/abuse

Series of tweets this morning:

photo taken by my Dad Willie Patterson, after Caley Road School, Perth, c1963

class photo Caledonian Road Primary School, I'm wearing a party dress!

"Could have gone to Uni after 5th year at Perth Academy but didn't know what career to go for. Made the wrong choice, twice. Accountancy, Primary Teaching. MA/BA Aberdeen Uni/College. So got married instead, became a Homemaker then Mother. Farmworker, Shepherdess, Craftswoman.

[Default position worked out for the best. Still here to tell the tale.]

1970 on my BSA Bantam 175cc, Perth
possibly at the Black Isle, by Muir of Ord c1973

"1976 became a Mother. 1981 became a Christian. Lifechanging experiences. 1978, 1984 survived Psychiatric Treatment/Abuse after tortuous labour by oxytocin injection to deliver at 3pm. Both times got off antipsychotics within a year. Made a full recovery.

Isle of Gigha 1980 with oldest son Edwin, was on Krypton Factor that year
"2002 Psychiatric Treatment/Abuse much harder to overcome, recover from. Drug cocktails. Life threatening side effects. Scary stuff. Took me longer to regain self control, taper, get off prescribed neurotoxins. Added risk of Lomond Ward, Stratheden Hospital, bad design, history. 

"Loam and Wart/Lomond Ward. Mixed gender. Dormitories. Female wing, long corridor with male patients in single rooms opposite. Drugged up. No Nurses around. Sharp exit. Emergency door at end of corridor locked. Cruel trick, game. A matter of survival. Resisting space invasion.

photo booth snaps with sons Edwin & Angus 1979

"You would need to be there to feel the fear. Going in voluntarily then detained 72hrs until you swallow their toxic chemicals. No escape. Resistance futile. To be forcibly injected more risky. I knew the score from 1978/84. Forewarned is forearmed. Plus oldest son in there 1995/96.

"I'd complained in 1996 about treatment of my oldest son in Lomond Ward/Loam & Wart. My card was marked. Troublemaker.

oldest son Edwin with youngest son Daniel, Rigside, 1985

"I knew this when inpatient with menopausal psychosis March 2002. Had full capacity. I knew the risks. Scary time having to swallow Risperidone antipsychotic. I knew it would clinically depress me. I didn't know about Venlafaxine risks which were even greater. Overdose. Bone loss

"Risperidone was worse than Chlorpromazine. Caused relapse. I got better then got worse. Hellish drug IME. Led to prescribed drug cocktail including Zopiclone & Lorazepam, eventually Lithium when they said I had Lifelong Mental Illness. Enough. I had to take back control. Not easy.

"September 2013 did Befriender training with MH project LINK. Jan14 I volunteered with Barnardos charity shop Cupar then Express Grp Fife, NEFAMH, FEAT. Got myself up in morning & out the door even though I felt like sleeping all day due to drug cocktail. Menopausal sweats severe.

"I sweated buckets. Carried Tshirts to change into. Wore lightweight jacket in winter, never felt the cold. Drugs affected my body temp. Eventually I began to feel more motivated, started tapering max dose Venlafaxine. Psych had taken me off Risperidone then dumped/transferred me.

at my middle sister's wedding 1999, I was Maid of Honour

"Psychiatrists like us to be dependent on them. It goes with the territory. They control us with drugs. He dumped me when I started to take back control. Similar I suppose to domestic abuse/psychiatric abuse. I didn't have this issue in 1978 or 1984 Lanarkshire. Interesting.

"Dr SCarey transferred me to Dr Stefan Clos (same name as footballer, diff spelling) in "community". Now Clos fancied himself & so did many of the female nurses & day patients at Weston, Cupar. Not me. Could never fancy a Psychiatrist. Yuck.

[It's a No No for me, regardless of what they look like.]    

"The guy came downstairs at Weston in full bike leathers. When I recognised him I caught his attention & told him he got it wrong about my Lifelong Mental Illness. His response? It wizny me or similar. A copout. He was locum Psych, getting paid bucketloads, no accountability.

"Psychiatric System is corrupt. From top to bottom. Profiteers galore. Patients & Carers suffering, picking up pieces, some playing the system to their advantage yet still paying the price. Doctors raking in the money. Nurses following orders. Dehumanising treatment affecting all"  


A series of recent selfies: 

Murraygate, Dundee

Swanny Ponds, Dundee
St Andrews
Cupar country walk
in Dundee for DWP PIP assessment with son Daniel

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

recovering from toxic allotment in the shadow of Tannadice

Glad to say that I'm making a full recovery from the very negative experience of having a 10 pole plot for 3 months at Clepington Gardens Allotments Association (established 1865), Arklay Street, Dundee, on land owned by the William Neish Trust, managed by a Committee, Chair and Treasurer Joe (don't know his surname) from Muirhead, Secretary Ann Coull from Birkhill.
It was Secy Ann who showed me round the empty plots available at this Allotments on 14 January and I chose this one since it needed no work on shed or greenhouse.  Ann did ask me if I could build a shed, showed me inside hers where I also met Donna who I thought was her wee sister.  I said No but I had sons who could help me fix stuff.  They had shown me some other plots with greenhouses which had broken glass, weeds or grass everywhere, this number 77 was by far the best on offer to me. 

after choosing this plot 77 on 14Jan20
I signed plot agreement and paid £170 for shed greenhouse to Chair/Treasurer Joe on 18 January, meeting his wife Kathy.  Then I paid another £90 for rent and £40 deposit for fence gate key. So £300 in total for the year on this plot.

Saturday 18 January 2020, first day on my plot
I will be writing about these 3mths in detail, all the work I did to dig over the 10 pole plot, at some point.  I worked very hard, at the allotment most days, sowed trays of seeds in greenhouse, got my oldest son to start fixing the leaky roof, my middle son and his wife helped dig some ground and my youngest son visited the most, in solidarity.

For the first 2 months or so it seemed to go well although I did hear stories from a neighbouring female gardener about issues on the allotment, women having their space invaded, including screws loosened on her greenhouse door.  I listened to these stories, took them at face value, and on one occasion went to visit a community garden at which this woman also had a plot.

She was keen on me taking a plot there at Foxglove Community Garden but I had enough to do at number 77.  I heard stories of another woman gardener who got into a relationship with a fellow male plotter which ended badly and she got SLUT written on her shed, a vulnerable woman with alcohol issues, so I was told.

I listened to these stories, taking them at face value, although I had no bother at this point on the allotment, it was winter, quiet, hardly anyone gardening, just a few stalwarts.  However soon this was to change, with spring approaching, and before too long my space was being invaded and I had to put a screen on my greenhouse window, 10 March.

9 March no screen:

Very useful that I took many photos around this time as I didn't tweet about the Secretary Ann Coull coming into my plot, looking in my window, univited. I did get a shock, was drinking Diet Coke at the time, could have been doing anything. The path is to the left of the window so I didn't see her approaching.  Before this my son did say that maybe I should put net curtains up but I didn't think that anyone would look in when I was there.  I take many photos so what I was growing was transparent to anyone wanting a look. 

Another male committee member Bruce came down to my plot, on the path, introduced himself, invited me up to see his garden, maybe March sometime, didn't tweet about it so can't pin the date.  He opened my gate, it was probably before screening my window but not sure, and I went with him uphill to his plot where he spoke of various topics, including going for a Dementia test.

I just listened to this 69yr old man who said he'd worked in South Africa, similar to another older male gardener who I'd spoken to on 13Feb on way to visit Foxglove Community Gardens with a female gardener, passing by his plot to gate on Sandeman Street.  So that was 2 former Scottish gardeners at Clep Ass who spent time working in South Africa.  A coincidence.  Bruce said his grandson was taking on the plot down from his, I thought probably because of his dementia.

However a week or two later I heard from my fellow female gardener that Bruce's test for Dementia was negative.  I assume she must have asked him, for I'd told her about it, also Secretary who doubted that he had it, even before he went for the test.  I thought it odd that one appointment could confirm whether someone had or didn't have Dementia, thought it would take a number of tests to find out.  

Och well, another mystery.

Then on 2 April I got sworn at and bullied by Committee Member Shug when walking around the allotments looking at water barrels because the water hadn't been turned on, yet I'd been told by Secretary in the January that it would be March.  


After the bullying episode during Lockdown social distancing measures it became increasingly difficult at the Clepington Gardens Allotments Association, eventually being invaded with bags of faeces, urine at shed door, screws taken off gate and glass in the onions I planted.  It became unsafe to grow any vegetables and I determined to only grow flowers, however I got letters purportedly from Secretary Ann Coull, the final 3rd one telling me to exit the allotment by 19 April, giving me a week's notice to do so.  I moved everything by Saturday 18th, taking everything by car day by day back to Springfield.

It was very tiring.  Glad to have survived the flit, managed to buy two poly greenhouses from Lidl in Dundee, to help with protecting seedlings and plants.  Hardest thing was moving ceramic pots of plants, heavy lifting, my son helping me with transporting hybrid bike back home.  That was a priority, didn't want damage done to it.

20 March photos taken in allotment shed

Selection of photos from the flit 13-18 April, Tannadice to Springfield:

notice I put up 13Apr before receiving letter from Secy telling me to leave plot
my first reaction was to tear up the letter

But my son wasn't happy with me staying on at the toxic allotment plot so I retrieved torn up letter from our grey bin, pieced it together so my son could read it.  I exited the plot by Saturday 18 April then sent two texts to Donna, partner of Secretary Ann Coull, and to Ann herself when I found notepaper with her mobile phone number on it, in my purse where I'd put it 14 January 2020.

Donna had texted me 15 January about allotment plot after I'd met with her partner/sister Ann and her the day before. So I had both mobile numbers of Ann and Donna although have never used them since then until 18 April:

No response to my texts.  Another unheaded/no address or contact details letter by post dated 18 April, received 21 April.  Which could have been written by anyone, I suppose.

Social distancing rules so I won't be going back to the allotment.  When they give me my money back then I shall send my keys to Chair/Treasurer of Clepington Gardens Allotments Association.

In the meantime I will be raising complaints about Ann Coull, Secretary, and her partner Donna, with the Allotment landowners, the William Neish Trust, c/o Miller Hendry Solicitors, Dundee.

Allotments Fence Application to Dundee City Council 2010, Harry Tosh Agent/Gardener

details of William Neish Trust, owners of Allotments land

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

'Off the post new look for Tannadice matchday stalwart' 16May11 @thecourieruk

Kris Miller, Courier, 15/05/11. Picture today at Clepington Allotments, The allotments are getting a new fence!!! Harry Tosh (left) and Alexander Gauld beside the old one. See Andy Argo for story.

Kris Miller, Courier, 15/05/11. Picture today at Clepington Allotments, The allotments are getting a new fence!!! Harry Tosh (left) and Alexander Gauld beside the old one. See Andy Argo for story.