Your experiences in an NHS mental health unit?

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Twinpeaks
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Recently, I've had a friend who spent time in an NHS hospital due to being referred to the psychiatric unit and she was very unhappy with the quality of care she received. She felt as if she was just constantly given drugs and received no compassion and was basically ignored.


Now I am shocked by this, I thought mental health care has moved on substantially in the last couple of decades. But now I think about it, is it really that surprising.

The only people who really experience the mental health unit are the patients, and staff. And in any other unit, patient complaints or experiences are listened to, in terms of complaints to the media and within the hospital. But I do feel that because mental health patients are mentally unwell, they aren't given any serious attention. When someone complains about the quality of care they receive in terms of physical health, it's taken seriously. But if someone complains that the quality of mental health care they received is substandard, I worry that people just think along the lines of 'oh well you would think that, given your current state'. Basically. Why should they listen to a mentally ill person.

Obviously in some cases that may be true, but in a lot they aren't. I'm not saying that my friends experience is representative of mental health units across the country, but I'm beginning to worry that if there is substandard care what if it does go unnoticed?


So, I'd just like to hear of any possible experiences that you, or others in your life have experienced. Good and bad. This thread is more for patient experiences as opposed to staff experiences. Thanks
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Noodlzzz
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Uncaring, distant pill pushers.
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PangXie
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Completely depends on the unit ethos (e.g. medical or psychology-led), the approach of the nurses who make decisions on the floor, and the approaches modelled to staff. (I work in this environment and have had someone close spend time in a couple of MH units recently too. Of the latter, one unit was incredible and the staff were caring, empathic and had time for patients and families. The other, I wish I could be as positive about.)
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Cinnie
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No one believed anything I said - as if everything was because of my illness. I felt sub-human. They also broke my confidentiality, which they shouldn't have done because I went voluntarily so that they wouldn't section me. I didn't sleep. My experience overall was bad, but I would be dead without it.
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Twinpeaks
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(Original post by Noodlzzz)
Uncaring, distant pill pushers.
Do you mind expanding a bit?
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Twinpeaks
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(Original post by Cinnie)
No one believed anything I said - as if everything was because of my illness. I felt sub-human. They also broke my confidentiality, which they shouldn't have done because I went voluntarily so that they wouldn't section me. I didn't sleep. My experience overall was bad, but I would be dead without it.

The first bit is exactly what my friend said. So in hindsight, do you think there could be major improvements?
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Cinnie
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(Original post by Twinpeaks)
The first bit is exactly what my friend said. So in hindsight, do you think there could be major improvements?
not in my case, apart from adhering to confidentiality. They kept me safe, kept a close eye on me, made sure I took my meds and ate and drank. They weren't there to entertain me, and I understand why they were suspicious of everything I said - I was in hospital due to a psychosis crisis. Though I do wish they kept me away from certain male patients... that was scary
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Anonymous #2
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There was some definite low points but also some 'good' times. 80% of the staff were lovely, not always understanding but always there to support me.
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McNuggetsAhoy
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I was just left in my room (at the time I was too scared to be around other people). Had to take medication every night at 10pm and apart from a weekly meeting with the doctor that was it.

Don't expect much when you are in a mental health unit. You are basically just left on your own.
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Twinpeaks
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(Original post by McNuggetsAhoy)
I was just left in my room (at the time I was too scared to be around other people). Had to take medication every night at 10pm and apart from a weekly meeting with the doctor that was it.

Don't expect much when you are in a mental health unit. You are basically just left on your own.
Thanks for the reply

I always thought you'd have plenty of psychological sessions, group and individual. But it seems more like you're there just so you don't cause harm to yourself? As if they're protecting you, but not giving much active support.
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McNuggetsAhoy
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(Original post by Twinpeaks)
Thanks for the reply

I always thought you'd have plenty of psychological sessions, group and individual. But it seems more like you're there just so you don't cause harm to yourself? As if they're protecting you, but not giving much active support.
Yeah that is basically it.

You get more support in the community. Hospital is just when you are a threat to yourself or others. They keep you there until you are no longer a threat and then you go back to treatment in the community.
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superwolf
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Quite mixed for me. I was a total mess (depression mainly) and almost incapable of interacting with patients or staff. I remember a lot of staff trying to engage with me, but not getting anywhere because of my condition. So I think the majority of them had good intentions. On the other hand, some would try and blackmail me into eating (e.g. one would only tell my dad I couldn't come to the phone once I'd promised to go to dinner), about which I understand their intentions were good, but I do feel it was the wrong approach and only served to increase my feelings of guilt around not eating.

A bigger problem for me was another patient coming into my room at night (despite her allegedly being on 1:1 observation), once waking me up and leaving me a pile of her dirty clothes, then coming in to demand them back at later times, and later coming and nicking some of my stuff! Looking back it's quite funny, but also had potential for worse problems occurring. I was knocked out at night by my medication, so anything could have happened really.

I also waited two weeks at the beginning of my stay for them to start me on my new medication, which likely had the knock-on effect of delaying my recovering enough to leave.
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superwolf
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(Original post by zippyRN)
i wonder if that assertion will come down to

expecterd sympathy , didn;t get it

didn;t like being challenged to do something aobut their condition
...or perhaps she's in fact an emotionally mature woman with good insight into her condition and reasonable expectations about how she should be treated. Having only known her for a number of years I doubt I'm qualified to question your well-thought out comment, but if you're expecting to win on this front, trust me you've picked a wrong 'un. :security:
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InArduisFouette
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(Original post by superwolf)
...or perhaps she's in fact an emotionally mature woman with good insight into her condition and reasonable expectations about how she should be treated. Having only known her for a number of years I doubt I'm qualified to question your well-thought out comment, but if you're expecting to win on this front, trust me you've picked a wrong 'un. :security:
how many years have you spent in clinical practice ?

a significant number of patients have unrealistic expectations of what a service will do, many patients discuss this with theior healthcare professional and get an informed understanding of it , others just stick their bottom lips out. ..
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superwolf
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(Original post by zippyRN)
how many years have you spent in clinical practice ?

a significant number of patients have unrealistic expectations of what a service will do, many patients discuss this with theior healthcare professional and get an informed understanding of it , others just stick their bottom lips out. ..
I'm sorry, do I need special letters after my name in order to be qualified to treat another person as a human being? :eyebrow: A bit of empathy can go a long way, and frankly from your dismissive attitude and those of some professionals I'd take advice from an informed service user such as myself or Noodlzzz over an apathetic waste of space with a special bit of paper any day.
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superwolf
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(Original post by zippyRN)
and here in lays the problem

the iunconciously incompetent professing to know all , only because they do not actually know or realise what they do not know,

you also seem to be confusing empathy and sympathy .
I am confused by your answer. You attacked Noodlzzz, making massive assumptions about the validity of her experience, and now you accuse me of making assumptions myself in defending her?! If you have any valid arguments against my own plainly asserted ones (i.e. that far from being incompetent, unrealistic or any of the :blah:, both myself and her actually are pretty well positioned to give a level-headed picture of the treatment we have received), then please do go ahead, but if otherwise please do feel free to embarrass yourself elsewhere. :proud:
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superwolf
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Yes dearie, your wikipedia links will surely make me see the light. :adore:

Seriously though, if you think that catchphrases and jargon will make you a better person, go for it. Just kindly keep your verbal excretions out of sight, and out of our NHS! :yep:
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InArduisFouette
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(Original post by superwolf)
Yes dearie, your wikipedia links will surely make me see the light. :adore:

Seriously though, if you think that catchphrases and jargon will make you a better person, go for it. Just kindly keep your verbal excretions out of sight, and out of our NHS! :yep:
if you will not accept that your (lack of ) knowledge and (lack of) experience, mean that youre observations are from a position of ignorance , then there is little point in continuning the discussion

I just hope that in face to face interactions with care professionals you are not so rude, arrogant and dismissive ...
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superwolf
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(Original post by zippyRN)
if you will not accept that your (lack of ) knowledge and (lack of) experience, mean that youre observations are from a position of ignorance , then there is little point in continuning the discussion

I just hope that in face to face interactions with care professionals you are not so rude, arrogant and dismissive ...
You know little of my knowledge, and far less of my experience. The only point I agree on is the lack of point of continuing this discussion. You have exposed your own ignorance quite enough for one day!
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Cinnie
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(Original post by superwolf)
You know little of my knowledge, and far less of my experience. The only point I agree on is the lack of point of continuing this discussion. You have exposed your own ignorance quite enough for one day!
PROM!
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