Monday, 22 June 2020

in lockdown and social isolation for 8 years

This time of Lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging although not as much as it might have due to having been in a kind of lockdown and increasing social isolation since the human rights abuses perpetrated by nurses against my son in Stratheden Hospital IPCU in February 2012.

I began speaking out about it from 1 February 2012 in Emails, just checking back and I wrote many, many Emails on a daily basis to a variety of people in high positions, mental health wise, including Dr Donald Lyons, CEO of Mental Welfare Commission, and George Brechin, CEO of NHS Fife, both men I knew and had met.  None of them did anything to stop the abuse of my son in the IPCU. I was on my own, raising complaints, advocating for my son, his Named Person under the Mental Health Act, and his Carer.

They had locked him in a room with no toilet, light or water for hours on end, unobserved.  Social isolation and a denial of basic human rights.  He's asthmatic and prone to collapsed lungs, had another pneumothorax in 2017 and lung operation in ERI.  He could have died when face down restrained by nurses in the locked seclusion room after being left to defecate in the dark, punished for doing a dirty protest at their neglect and abuse. 

I have spoken and written often about this, how we were abandoned by community mental health services after his discharge from Lomond Ward, Stratheden Hospital, at the beginning of April 2012.  I didn't realise this until months later, having completed a Carer assessment form, thinking that we would be supported.  I didn't know that Mental Health Officers were trying to find evidence that I was to blame for nurses abusing my son in the IPCU until about the August 2012, doing an FOI request to get a copy of the Adult Protection Investigation Report.

It's all water under the bridge.  

I won my Ombudsman case against NHS Fife in September 2014 and received a written apology from Fife Health Board who had been awarded £4.4m from Scottish Government, under Civil Servant Geoff Huggins, Head of the Mental Health Division, to build a new IPCU, Hollyview Ward, opened in 2016 by the Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt.  Neither my son nor I were invited to this opening.

Over these 8 years since becoming a whistleblower, exposing human rights abuses in Stratheden psychiatric Hospital, it was similar to being in a lockdown, increasing social isolation and coming to terms with independent living, doing things on my own, speaking out as a lone voice and eventually finding peace of mind, enjoying the freedom.  There have been many challenging events and space invasions by others who didn't like my speaking out or resistance to their takeover, manipulating behaviours.  I've had many stories to tell, at the time and in hindsight, making sense of them.

I do enjoy travelling around, taking selfies and photos on the move.  I take many selfies and think of my Dad who did so too, way back in the early 1960's in our 4th floor council flat at Pomarium, Perth.  I hope to study my Father Willie Patterson's Jeff Hawke stories which he scripted and wrote, many from our council flat, on an electric typewriter in the living room, at his big wooden desk, which I still have and use now as a dining and craft table.

My son and I are looking forward to a fresh start and new life in Dundee after we are awarded our own council accommodation there, separately but hopefully near each other, for support.  I have been wanting a move there since 2012, putting our names on the Dundee City Council Housing list back then but no offers for 4 years and in 2016 I forgot to renew the application, too busy trying to survive and keep caring.  I had no car, it was a challenge keeping fit, foodshopping and attending events as far away as London, to speak out.

I've inserted many selfies into this blog post from different settings in Dundee, to demonstrate both my social isolation and enjoyment of the city.  A juxtaposition.  Since 2018 I've been travelling there to swim and walk, to become more familiar with the streets, parks, River Tay, castles and various places of interest like libraries and museums.  It reminds me of my happy childhood in Perth and all the actitivies I did there which made me into the person I am, thanks to my loving Mother, Father and extended family.  

my Dad William Cunningham Patterson

Saturday, 20 June 2020

sexual abuse by nurses in locked seclusion room

Was the hardest thing to get over, to recover from, over the years, since it happened on 8 February 2012 in Stratheden Hospital's IPCU/Ward 4.

I didn't know the full story until after my son was discharged from Stratheden at the beginning of April 2012.  However he did speak out about anal rape after nurses abused him, we all heard him say this when visiting.  And my son tried to speak to Police about it, phoning them up, but the Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist cancelled the appointment saying that my son had "no capacity".

A Police Officer came to my home early one morning when I was still in my pyjamas, wanting to speak to me, so I let him in.  This was around 16 February 2012 and he asked me about the anal rape claim made by my son.  I didn't have any details to give the policeman for my son hadn't gone into any detail about it, naming names.  For how could he?  My son was a detained patient under the Mental Health Act and had no power to speak out, for fear of retaliation, worse abuse by Nurses.

Two policemen eventually did come into the IPCU with an Appropriate Adult at the end of February 2012 but by this time my son's spirit was broken, he had been forcibly injected with Haloperidol following the dirty protest in locked seclusion room, restrained face down in his own faeces and urine, sexually abused, his anus penetrated, his bottom slapped.   So by this time my son was unable to speak out and we were both in the ward that day, waiting for his transfer to Lomond Ward out of the IPCU/Ward 4.

I had to keep a close eye on my son in Lomond Ward that March 2012, firstly getting his bed moved away from the ex-con patient who was on the sex offenders register (only found this out recently).  The ex-con was a bully and had the run of the ward.  On one occasion I saw him go down the long corridor into the female dorm at the end, no nurses around, he was wearing rosary beads around his neck, crossing himself and chanting.  I heard a female patient cry out and then the ex-con came back up corridor, followed by an older woman walking with a stick (she took her own life in April 2012 after discharge).  I asked her if she was OK and she just looked at me, said nothing.  It was only later that I recognised her photo in newspapers and heard her husband making an appeal on STV.  My son knew her, they had both attended horticultural therapy at Stratheden prior to this.

I knew this ex-con in Lomond Ward March 2012 by name as he often spoke to me in the ward, telling me that he was waiting to go to court on an assault charge, hence the rosary beads, as he feared another prison sentence, had a scar on his face, a big man.  He used the phone in the staff room and even climbed into bed with female patients on occasion, kissed a girl in the ward who I assume was visiting him but I only witnessed this, didn't have any details.  I hold the Nurses responsible for not curtailing this patient's behaviour and for failing to protect vulnerable patients from the risk of exploitation.

My main objective in March 2012 was to advocate for my son at clinical meetings in Lomond Ward, Stratheden Hospital, and to protect my son as much as possible by ensuring he was not bullied or abused again by Nurses or by patients.  I was bullied by male nurses that month, they slammed the staff room door in my face and invaded my space by standing very close to me, which I found intimidating.  These were the nurses who had bullied and assaulted my son on 1 February which led to his incarceration in the IPCU/Ward 4 locked seclusion room on at least 4 nights, in the dark.  

However I stood my ground and raised complaints in Emails from 1 February 2012 onwards and constantly to senior managers in NHS Fife, Fife Council Social Work, Mental Welfare Commission, Scottish Government Mental Health Division and others.  I was well known to many of these leaders, having ran Peer Support Fife voluntary organisation since January 2008, organising many events on the topic of mental health recovery and user/carer involvement.

Peer Support Fife website

Scottish Sunday Express 5 October 2014


Friday, 19 June 2020

"maybe they deserved it"

Said a retired Mental Health Officer (social worker) and Committee Member to me in March at the Clepington Gardens & Allotments Association, Arklay Street, Dundee, at their shop when I was buying compost, about mental patients in Murray Royal Hospital, Perth, in the 1960's who got many courses of ECT/shock treatment against their will for externalising their mental distress.  

He was speaking about my Mother.
She didn't deserve it.

2 April at allotment, being sworn at
Then on 2 April when I went looking for water as the taps hadn't been turned on, I was told by another gardener and Committee Member to go back to the mental hospital, and following this my plot was invaded by urine, faeces, broken glass on onions, screws taken out of my gate.  I left the allotments on 18 April because my son wanted me to and I'm his carer.  It was lockdown and too risky to remain, to have my space invaded, at risk of infection or injury.

Someone obviously thought I deserved to be bullied, intimidated, harassed for some reason.  I reported the incident to the police on 2 April but nothing was done.  I was told that they cannot investigate bullying.  I wasn't surprised.  The police did nothing at the beginning of February 2012 when I reported my concerns to them about my son's treatment in Stratheden IPCU.  I spoke to 3 of them at different times in Cupar Police Station and on another occasion one of them visited me at my home.

I had raised complaints from 1 February 2012 about my son's treatment in Stratheden Hospital to NHS Fife and Fife Council, eventually escalating this to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, winning my case for "unreasonable treatment" against the Fife Health Board.  However it was really human rights abuse, sexual, physical and mental abuse of my son by Nurses in the locked seclusion room of Ward 4/IPCU.  

He didn't deserve it.

In August 2012 I received a copy of the Adult Protection Investigation Report led by a Fife Council Social Work Service Mental Health Officer after making an FOI request for it, as I wanted to understand why they found nothing wrong with the dehumanising treatment by NHS Fife staff in Stratheden Hospital.  And I read that instead of investigating staff they tried to find evidence that I was to blame for Nurses abusing my son in the locked seclusion room.  I was accused of causing "psychological harm" to my son and the MHO had asked a Psychiatrist and CPN about my character.  

No doubt these accusations against me would have come from Nurses who justified their sub-human treatment of my son in Notes, saying that I was a "difficult and demanding Mother" and quoting "family history of Schizoaffective Disorder", the "diagnosis" label given to me by Dr Stephen Carey in 2002, to justify his drug prescribing which caused me to overdose on Venlafaxine (suicidal impulse side effect) and eventually to have bone loss when on max dose after the menopause, 3 fractures on right fibula, 6in titanium plate March 2005.  I didn't fall or trip, the bone just shattered when walking down a stair after job interview at Cupar Library.

The Mental Health Officer role is meant to be one of safeguarding the psychiatric patient under the Mental Health Act.  This didn't happen in February 2012 and they failed to protect my son then tried to frame me for Psychiatric Abuse.  They stood with an abusive system against a Mother and her son.

History repeating.  My Mother had a lifetime of being treated as "less than" because of a Schizophrenia "diagnosis" and witnessed her daughters going through the same, as I did with my sons.  Well done to the both of us Mothers for resisting the stigma and discrimination of abusive psychiatric treatment and lifelong "mental illness".  My Mother is my hero, a wonderful woman who I cannot speak highly enough of.  She was a faithful mother to the end of her life on 19 March 1998 and a great example of overcoming, surviving.


23 April 2020

Even when tending my Mum's grave I hear stories and on that day it was about Lunardi Court Care Home, Cupar, from a dementia unit resident who didn't have dementia yet had been in there for 4 years.  She approached me when I was pulling out Lavender to put in Petunias.

After we move to Dundee I plan to bring my Mother too, when possible.