Sunday, 9 November 2014

Away from family and early release - A husband speaks out

As we've said many times before, the closure of The Orchard to women doesn't just affect the women themselves.  It affects their families and those around them.  This email is from the husband of one service user from our area.

In 14 yrs of using of using mental health services this is the first time I've heard of any spare capacity in the female inpatient provision in Lancaster. It was always rare that a bed would be available for my wife when admission was needed, and a regular occurrence that home leave would lead to loss of a bed. 

When my daughter was 3 years old we had to travel to Kendal hospital for about 6 weeks using public transport, that was difficult, costly and time consuming. Just recently my wife had to be admitted to Burnley due to Lancaster having no spare beds. 

This resulted in poor care provision as the staff had no knowledge of her personality prior to illness or of the best way to deal with her. They then proceeded to discharge her before she had properly recovered causing extreme distress to our family who then had to cope with the aftermath of her actions. 

All of this could have been avoided had local care with those who know her been available, and easy access for her family who have been very proactive in her care and recovery with daily input.

Let's just remind ourselves again that when Keith Dibble was asked "Do you accept that moving these women further away from their families and children could be damaging?"  He replied "We believe not".

We are still telling you that it does.  We have first hand experience that it does.

Start listening Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust.  You are failing in your duty of care to us and we will not go away.

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