Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ways to dismiss a Service User's complaints.

The majority of people involved with Beds in the Orchard have been treated in the community, and most have been treated as an inpatient as well.  Many of the other people involved have first hand experience of their friend or relative being treated.

Some of us have made complaints before to the people we have contact with.  These are some of the responses that we've had.

They're ill and don't know what they're saying. (When a family member passed on a complaint).

Here's a form to fill in.

I've heard about your problem, but I'm unable to deal with it right now.

That didn't happen.

You're remembering that wrong.

You're being manipulative.

You're too reliant on services.

What do you want us to do at this time?

You're upset at the moment, why not take a nice bath to relax?

Have you spoken to your care coordinator?

You must have misunderstood.

I'm sorry you feel upset. 

I'm sure that's not how it was intended.

We're very busy you know.

You're not the only patient.

Sorry to hear about that.

We've not had that complaint before. 

Why not complain properly when you're feeling stronger.

But he wasn't behaving as he should have done! (When a complaint was made on behalf of a service user).

Staff can be rude because they're busy.

That's a bit melodramatic.

All we can do is tell staff.

All of these responses sought to minimise or dismiss what was being said.  Nothing happened afterwards and all felt like there was no point in talking further.  The volunteers try to represent service user complaints, but get varying results and it feels like more empty words sometimes.

What about now?  Will we be listened to now?


  1. Add to those the following:


    This was said to me, when alone, by a nurse after he unusually shut the door of the treatment room prior to medication dispensing.

    Why did he confront me?

    I had verbally complained about the treatment, lies and deceit being dealt to me and my wife (and subsequently my children) and had also complained about the demeaning way this nurse had loudly spoken to me in the main corridor of the ward with many people watching and listening. This was during a time of very obviouse SEVERE anxiety for me.

    I was a vulnerable person voluntarily admitted to hospital due to severe anxiety, depression and suicidality. I have a severe disability.
    I was very frightened in that instant. Fearful of violence and fearful of the vulnerability of being a psychiatric in-patient. As a patient I quickly learned that you have no way of evidencing your voice and as a 'head case', who will believe you any way.
    It seems that criminals get better treatment and better protection.

    It took approximately 2 years before I felt abe to bring it to the modern matron who said it was too late to complain but he'd find a way to bring such issues into supervision.

    Time has not healed this injury.
    Surely I can only truly complain when I am well enough to bear the stress and or meaninfully convey my thoughts, feelings fears and experiences.
    With regard to stress, Psychiatrists strongly advise patients to avoid stress where possible until one is well enough.


  2. What you're talking about is one of the reasons why people don't complain.

    "Bring such issues into supervision". Did you get any feedback about HOW it was brought up in Supervision to make sure it didn't happen again? I doubt it.

    It's just another way to dismiss a Service Users complaints.

  3. I heard no more on the subject.

    Bit as to the rest of your thoughts, Absolutely.
    In fact it was much more than that. The best spin I can put on this in his favour is that he is ignorant of those under his care. There is much ignorance amongst those who are meant to know. But without intensive training involving people with our experience of our conditions this can never change. It is cultural with many.
    But, in regard to this Staff Nurse, he has to be aware that this was blatant psychological abuse. It was bullying. It was extremely intimidating; tantamount to the threat of violence.
    Yet I was very conscious that I was physically, practically and psychologically defenceless.
    Sadly others since have seemed blind to this.

    In-patients are all extremely vulnerable, and I've witnessed similar with others, as well as general ignorance and insensitivity to the needs of individuals. Common sense can often be absent.

    Can't mention the Trust for political reasons.

    I truly hope you are successful in what you seek. The evidence appears strongly to be in your favour.