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Sue NHS for negligence (abuse). Please help! watch

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    Hi,

    So 10 months ago I admitted myself to a 'hospital' upon being given the option by police, and was put in the seclusion room of a MENTAL hospital. My phone was confiscated and a number of things happened which I won't go into too much detail... but it resulted in me being restrained several times, forced medication and another form of abuse I won't mention.

    Many of the staff I've come across have looked down on me, been extremely patronising and had contributed to me being paranoid.

    I've also collapsed from taking my forced medicaiton in hospital, had severe withdrawal symptoms (nose bleeds, twitching, dizziness, insomnia) which have driven me crazy. Not to mention giving me the very generic/subjective diagnosis of 'psychosis', while Mental Health Services have tried to convince me that I have a mental illness and I could also develop schitzophera etc. etc. which alone is enough to drive someone insane in the head, as you start doubting your own thoughts and judgements.

    Some further points:
    - I've been out of work for 5 months and ultimately it's ruined my career.
    - I've gained excessive weight which contributes to my low self-esteem
    - I still have low energy levels
    - I've been suicidal as a result of NHS 'treatment'
    - Quite significantly... I struggle with sleep, whereas I never had such issues before.

    (I've been off meds for 3 months)

    So, I thought I would just have to suck up the trauma, accept it and move on. However this has proven extremely difficult... I can't see how I can ever let this slip. I would now like to persue legal action against the NHS for ruining my life.... perhaps to get some closure.

    However I am worried that there is not much evidence (written, recordings etc.) that I have against them, apart from the experiences that I had. The blame has always been put on me when I try bringing up issues with the way I've been treated. But also they have written a lot of rubbish about me on the system (which I do not have access to)... I believe they have stuff like; I attacked a nurse, which is not true!

    I was wondering what it would take to sue the NHS? And I am also concerned about how much it can cost me. I understand there are no-win-no fee option out there, but then I've read that I may have to pay legal costs of the defendant (would that be the cast since it's the NHS?). How much can I roughly expect to pay if I do lose this?

    I understand that it can be a lengthy process to file a negligence lawsuit against the NHS and I'll have to relive the trauma. As well as the immense slap in the face I could have to deal with if I do lose.

    It's not about the money... my health is extremely important to me and I would just love to have the life I had before I was admitted to this hell hole service. But a significant amount of money could make me satisfied, as I can use it grow, take some needed further time off work and pay for private therapy etc.

    Anyone have any ideas or experiences with this?

    Thanks in advance to any responses.
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    (Original post by posthumus)
    Hi,

    So 10 months ago I admitted myself to a 'hospital' upon being given the option by police, and was put in the seclusion room of a MENTAL hospital. My phone was confiscated and a number of things happened which I won't go into too much detail... but it resulted in me being restrained several times, forced medication and another form of abuse I won't mention.

    Many of the staff I've come across have looked down on me, been extremely patronising and had contributed to me being paranoid.

    I've also collapsed from taking my forced medicaiton in hospital, had severe withdrawal symptoms (nose bleeds, twitching, dizziness, insomnia) which have driven me crazy. Not to mention giving me the very generic/subjective diagnosis of 'psychosis', while Mental Health Services have tried to convince me that I have a mental illness and I could also develop schitzophera etc. etc. which alone is enough to drive someone insane in the head, as you start doubting your own thoughts and judgements.

    Some further points:
    - I've been out of work for 5 months and ultimately it's ruined my career.
    - I've gained excessive weight which contributes to my low self-esteem
    - I still have low energy levels
    - I've been suicidal as a result of NHS 'treatment'
    - Quite significantly... I struggle with sleep, whereas I never had such issues before.

    (I've been off meds for 3 months)

    So, I thought I would just have to suck up the trauma, accept it and move on. However this has proven extremely difficult... I can't see how I can ever let this slip. I would now like to persue legal action against the NHS for ruining my life.... perhaps to get some closure.

    However I am worried that there is not much evidence (written, recordings etc.) that I have against them, apart from the experiences that I had. The blame has always been put on me when I try bringing up issues with the way I've been treated. But also they have written a lot of rubbish about me on the system (which I do not have access to)... I believe they have stuff like; I attacked a nurse, which is not true!

    I was wondering what it would take to sue the NHS? And I am also concerned about how much it can cost me. I understand there are no-win-no fee option out there, but then I've read that I may have to pay legal costs of the defendant (would that be the cast since it's the NHS?). How much can I roughly expect to pay if I do lose this?

    I understand that it can be a lengthy process to file a negligence lawsuit against the NHS and I'll have to relive the trauma. As well as the immense slap in the face I could have to deal with if I do lose.

    It's not about the money... my health is extremely important to me and I would just love to have the life I had before I was admitted to this hell hole service. But a significant amount of money could make me satisfied, as I can use it grow, take some needed further time off work and pay for private therapy etc.

    Anyone have any ideas or experiences with this?

    Thanks in advance to any responses.
    It sounds like you were judged not to have mental capacity at that point, where it would have been completely legal to force you to do all the things you mentioned.
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    Like you say, undertaking legal action in these circumstances is sure to be a lengthy and costly (most importantly, from an emotional pov) business. I can't give you any specific advice regarding mental health and medical negligence stuff, but these might be useful starting points:
    This Citizens Advice Bureau page puts some context around how to pursue medical negligence claims, and this MIND page talks about advocacy services that might be handy.
    Good luck!
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    Specifically, in which aspects of your care do you feel there was negligence? Negligence has a very clear legal definition and shouldn’t be used interchangeably without due care.

    My advice would be that speaking with PALs should be your first port of call. You need to open a sensible and mature channel of communication to address the experiences you had.
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    Surely it’d be better to try and get positive changes made in the NHS, so mental health treatment is better for others and yourself in the future? Mental heath is understaffed and underfunded in the NHS, taking money away for personal gain/revenge isn’t going to help.

    I understand your frustration, i’ve had some pathetic attempts of treatment from them myself, but working towards better treatment in the future is what will prevent more vulnerable people having negative treatment. Private treatment is so expensive and people deserve to have choices other than spending thousands or suffering alone. If you want to take action, make it positive. There need to be changes made in the NHS and costing them legal fees and a “significant amount of money” for you is only making good treatment further away.

    Sincerely, someone who had a six month waiting list until I could get an assessment by a nurse to see a psychiatrist when I was extremely suicidal at 16 years old.
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    (Original post by Glassapple)
    It sounds like you were judged not to have mental capacity at that point, where it would have been completely legal to force you to do all the things you mentioned.

    And this is what I'm worried about. The psychiatrist just claims that I must have been delusional to an extent that my beliefs could not be altered.... which is bullsh**.

    I was completely calm and open to conversation when being taken to the hospital.

    But once I was placed into a seclusion room, had my phone confiscated... and being watched by a thuggish looking guy who was half sleeping & rude. Who the hell would not go berserk, if you have not been told anything about what is going on... but I was still sitting there and calm!

    Then after some time and only having a 2 minute encounter with someone asking dodgey questions (didn't introduce himself, but guess he was a psychiatrist) - Someone else was put there to watch me! Then I start speculating and talking about what is actually happening.... no response, no talking to me... just staring at me!! So where I put the nail in the coffin is... a woman appeared out of nowhere with a plate of toast and was handing it to me in a little insulting way. At this point I was really paranoid and felt threated (they were trying to poison me or something), that I smacked the plate out of her hand and tried to leave the building. Now that is where they have written something in my records that I tried to attack a nurse or something.

    So I was then swiftly jumped by 6 people, pinned down and injected in the ass with an unknown substance. Now here is where I am seriously going to think something messed up is going on.... Maybe after this point my mental state deteriorated in pure paranoia and suspicion... but I can't imagine how someone can not act up given my situation.

    But anyway I am pretty convinced that giving my point of view and all my circumstances... any decent person will agree that the treatment was unnecessary and wrong.

    You could say they were just following protocol and their intuition, but fundamentally the NHS has spent probably over £20,000 to dehumanise me and make me suicidal. A simple 30 minute, humane/empathetic conversation about everything could have solved it.

    But no... instead they treat you like some kind of ill animal as soon as you enter a mental hospital. It is absolutely disgusting. I would rather have gone to jail for one year.

    (Original post by OxFossil)
    Like you say, undertaking legal action in these circumstances is sure to be a lengthy and costly (most importantly, from an emotional pov) business. I can't give you any specific advice regarding mental health and medical negligence stuff, but these might be useful starting points:
    This Citizens Advice Bureau page puts some context around how to pursue medical negligence claims, and this MIND page talks about advocacy services that might be handy.
    Good luck!
    Thanks, I should start by actually writing a formal complaint to NHS and then also getting a MH advocate. I should have done this much earlier... but it is only now that I seem to be fuming and I just can't let these people get away with this kind of abuse.

    I told my psychiatrist about a particularly bad/humiliating abuse which was totally out of order and all she did was try to shun it and gave me a complaints number. Wow, given that abuse & trauma can cause severe mental problem... their response to it is incredible!

    (Original post by Etomidate)
    Specifically, in which aspects of your care do you feel there was negligence? Negligence has a very clear legal definition and shouldn’t be used interchangeably without due care.

    My advice would be that speaking with PALs should be your first port of call. You need to open a sensible and mature channel of communication to address the experiences you had.
    Negligence of not doing any assessment or talking as soon as first response... which should be basics of mental health. Instead putting me in a distressing environment.

    Also staff at the hospital seem to neglect most patients and keep somewhat of a distance... they are only keen on getting you hooked on meds and having you released.

    And then there is actual abuse/aggression which goes beyond negligence.

    (Original post by cat_mac)
    Surely it’d be better to try and get positive changes made in the NHS, so mental health treatment is better for others and yourself in the future? Mental heath is understaffed and underfunded in the NHS, taking money away for personal gain/revenge isn’t going to help.

    I understand your frustration, i’ve had some pathetic attempts of treatment from them myself, but working towards better treatment in the future is what will prevent more vulnerable people having negative treatment. Private treatment is so expensive and people deserve to have choices other than spending thousands or suffering alone. If you want to take action, make it positive. There need to be changes made in the NHS and costing them legal fees and a “significant amount of money” for you is only making good treatment further away.

    Sincerely, someone who had a six month waiting list until I could get an assessment by a nurse to see a psychiatrist when I was extremely suicidal at 16 years old.
    I agree with bringing positive change to the NHS, but the system is so screwed up that I can't see how to bring along that change. Psychiatrists are also in severe denial about their approach to mental health and are too keen to chemically restrain individuals. They are also very keen on fishing out 'symptoms' and giving a formal diagnosis.

    Something that could have easily avoided this situation is if the staff working in the hospital are empathetic and truly care about their patients (although I have met a few ward nurses who do have souls). As soon as I entered I felt very intimidated and felt like I was being detained in a jail cell.

    Perhaps I can become an advocate for MH at some point and I am sure there are people have been through worse or even commited suicide thanks to the NHS. But I am in an extremely distraught position at the moment to the point of near suicide (which was not the case before hospital), that I am mostly focused on myself right now. I think I have every right to be compensated for abuse and trauma, as others do. I don't pay taxes for part of that money to go into ruining peoples lives!

    The NHS has spent a hell of a lot of money to ruin me. I hadn't had to see my GP in over 8 years. I didn't want any of these services. In fact I am trying to leave the mental health services at the moment and they are trying to keep me on for three years.


    ------

    And thanks for all the responses, really appreciate it
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    Negligence of not doing any assessment or talking as soon as first response... which should be basics of mental health. Instead putting me in a distressing environment.

    Also staff at the hospital seem to neglect most patients and keep somewhat of a distance... they are only keen on getting you hooked on meds and having you released.

    And then there is actual abuse/aggression which goes beyond negligence.
    I don’t see how you can claim you were never assessed. You would have been seen by endless mental health nurses and psychiatrists during your admission. Every interaction would have been a formal assessment.

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say “staff keep a distance”. Yes, healthcare staff should tend to your physical care needs and offer a friendly face and reassuring conversation but there are clear boundaries. Leaving you for hours in a pool of faeces is negligent, not being your best friend is not.

    With regards to aggression, I cannot comment on specifics. But if you’re smacking plates out of staff members hands, you can expect them to take reasonable measures to keep themselves and yourself safe. This can include physically restraining you if required.
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    (Original post by Etomidate)
    I don’t see how you can claim you were never assessed. You would have been seen by endless mental health nurses and psychiatrists during your admission. Every interaction would have been a formal assessment.

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say “staff keep a distance”. Yes, healthcare staff should tend to your physical care needs and offer a friendly face and reassuring conversation but there are clear boundaries. Leaving you for hours in a pool of faeces is negligent, not being your best friend is not.

    With regards to aggression, I cannot comment on specifics. But if you’re smacking plates out of staff members hands, you can expect them to take reasonable measures to keep themselves and yourself safe. This can include physically restraining you if required.
    They should have done the assessment straight away... not after leaving me in a very scary enviornment and injecting me in the ass. Also I have the right to know what on earth is going on with me. And confiscating my phone???? What the hell was that all about. They did not even allow me to call my parents for at least 24 hours!

    And of course I saw a psychiatrist for like 20 minutes every week. But all they tend to do is ask you strange, indirect questions in order to gather symptoms and diagnose you! There was no talk therapy throughout my time. No chance to give my full story. No empathy! And I was in there for a total of 2 months.

    Even when I was transferred to the second hospital that night... all the staff were bundled into the office and I was left to wonder around and make sense of this mad house! No introduction??? No conversation??? Oh c'mon this is negligence at it's finest.

    Mate, I don't expect them to be friends with me, but surely creating a friendly relationship, being empathetic and listening/caring to a patient should be at the forefront of mental health services! Not walking around like a bunch of bouncers and enforcing med routine. I also have no idea what they are doing in the office all day!

    To be fair, before this happened to me I didn't have a bloody clue about the mental health services, didn't even know what bi-polar and sectioning was. It is an incredibly daft system. Once you are sucked in, it is difficult to get out.

    Smacking the plate was a mistake (did it once by the way), but given the environment I was in I feel like it wasn't an unthinkable thing to do. I didn't try to harm anyone and I was also then trying to talk myself out of the situation... but like one of the nurses said to me "I guess they didn't want to talk". But then I was also restrained on several other occassions... one time I was even telling the 'nurses' that I'd like to talk this through'... yet they still just went ahead and pinned me down and injected me with unknown substances.
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    this initial assessment would have been a risk assessment - you were in such a position as being recommended via police. Hence the isolation and observation. I dont agree with how they go about some of these steps. It would be worth trying to involve yourself in patient involvement groups to bring about change.

    Under the current guidelines, i dont think it would count as negligence. I dont know restraint guidelines well enough to say for sure on that amount of people being involved in restraint - though its usually to minimise risk. I would still make a complaint through the appropriate channels. I think the whole process is dehumanising and I wish you could claim negligence
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    (Original post by ~Tara~)
    this initial assessment would have been a risk assessment - you were in such a position as being recommended via police. Hence the isolation and observation. I dont agree with how they go about some of these steps. It would be worth trying to involve yourself in patient involvement groups to bring about change.

    Under the current guidelines, i dont think it would count as negligence. I dont know restraint guidelines well enough to say for sure on that amount of people being involved in restraint - though its usually to minimise risk. I would still make a complaint through the appropriate channels. I think the whole process is dehumanising and I wish you could claim negligence
    Thanks for your reponse

    I don't understand why they'd do that... as I was given the option to go hospital after refusing to go home (was reported missing by parents). I have the right to not want to be near my parents!! And the least they could have done was let me know what was going on. When I eventually got suspicious and started speculating.... the person watching me should have reassured me nothing was going on... instead of making my mind race off into paranoia. And I know I should not have smacked the plate, but honestly... it is pretty random isn't it? No conversation, but I get toast out of nowhere without asking. I was pretty sure they were trying to poison me through food or taking the mick.

    I guess I should be involved in bringing change because it is criminal to have a MH system that actually ruins lives and leaves them in further distress/trauma. And the issue probably here is, there is no particular culprit and negligence is a normal part of the system itself.

    However I still feel I have a case overall for negligence and the extreme damage they have done to me mentally. Also I became half paralysed and was severely sedated/zombified (like I had brain damage) by the meds... my parents had to take time off work to care for me in this time. I even had extreme insomnia straight for a month (which is much more horrific than it sounds) and still suffer from sleep problems today. I don't see why I should have went through all that.

    It was difficult, but I eventually got myself off those meds myself.
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    Honestly the toast thing...it’s just a kindness. I was given toast when I was being assessed at inpatient facility. Also helps line your stomach for the meds as additional benefit. No poisoning or ulterior motives. Just toast.

    If you don’t mind me saying, it sounds like you were having a mental health crisis and that perhaps your understanding is a bit distorted. They could help that by communicating more, I agree, but crap bedside manner isn’t negligence.
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    Why were you there to begin with? It seems like you must have been acting a certain way for them to think you needed to be put in the hospital.
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    (Original post by ~Tara~)
    Honestly the toast thing...it’s just a kindness. I was given toast when I was being assessed at inpatient facility. Also helps line your stomach for the meds as additional benefit. No poisoning or ulterior motives. Just toast.

    If you don’t mind me saying, it sounds like you were having a mental health crisis and that perhaps your understanding is a bit distorted. They could help that by communicating more, I agree, but crap bedside manner isn’t negligence.
    Perhaps it was bad judgement, but at the time it did not feel right. Any potential MH patient should firstly be given conversation. I was made to wait around and the first guy watching me even taunted me. It definitely did not feel like I was in a 'hospital' at all.

    Yes, I was having a mental break down and that's why I ran away from home. I was angry with my parents but also had some other stresses at the time. I knew I was in a bad state though and was trying to contact the right channels that night (although I should have just contacted a friend). What makes my case a little more complex is there is another part of the story, but by law I can not reveal certain details, even in a 'medical' case like this. Basically I had my reasons and I'm now in an even worse state I was then (I was not suicidal before).

    I guess it's difficult to pinpoint negligence because it is mental health.... but I mean you wouldn't accept a sloppy physical procedure (like surgery). And they put me in mentally distraught situations.

    I do have a feeling in my mind that they can get away with all this... but I don't want to believe that.

    (Original post by Bio 7)
    Why were you there to begin with? It seems like you must have been acting a certain way for them to think you needed to be put in the hospital.
    As stated above, I had run away from home after ultimately getting extremely angry with my parents. I was hoping to eventually book myself into a hotel. This was extremely late into the night though.

    I actually approached the police, who seemed like they were just hanging out in the area, to strike up conversation (a mistake I guess). Sounds bizzare but I was also randomly attacked by a stranger with a baseball bat earlier, apparently it was a rough area but it kind of made me a little distraught and parnaoid, but I did not mention this to police. I ask them about UK security threat level raising and what that meant to them etc. (This was a day after Manchester bombing). They had then searched my name up and found that I was reported missing so they said they would take me home. I sat in the police car but then I hesitated and said I do not want to and joked whether I could just hang out with them for night -_-.

    After like 5 minutes (they were discussing some other things as well). The police officer said "Would you like to go hospital?". After thinking just a little bit I stupidly said yes. I thought maybe they could help me with some anxiety or sleeping pills. But this was misleading as I thought A&E and had no idea about a mental hospital.

    My parents told me that they had suspected I could have taken drugs, and checked my toothbrush at home etc.

    I was actually taken to A&E by my parents the night before because I had gotten probably the most angriest and emotional I've ever been in my life and had chest pain and a racing heart (they thought it was a heart attack). But I don't think they would have known about that.

    I was taken by ambulance to a mental hospital and two of the police also came along in the vehicle, which I thought was strange!

    There's a little more behind why I had the breakdown.. but if given all the details it would make sense why I felt and behaved the way I did. But it's not like I did not acknowledge I was in distress and not thinking clearly.

    ----
    An important thing is I was capable and willing to have conversation when taken to hospital. In fact to some degree I was looking for conversation, while another part of me that night just wanted to be left completely alone.
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    Does anyone know where I can find details for law in mental health ? And also human rights for the treatment of patients.

    Does "Mental Health Act 1983: Code of Practice" document contain everything I need to know about what I should have legally expected?
    (https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...f_Practice.PDF)

    And it would be interesting to see examples of lawsuits against health providers.

    Thanks
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    (Original post by posthumus)
    Does anyone know where I can find details for law in mental health ? And also human rights for the treatment of patients.

    Does "Mental Health Act 1983: Code of Practice" document contain everything I need to know about what I should have legally expected?
    (https://www.gov.uk/government/upload...f_Practice.PDF)

    And it would be interesting to see examples of lawsuits against health providers.

    Thanks
    Sorry not to offer a direct answer, but from my experience of grievance processes in the NHS, as soon as you start a legal procedure, the organisation will defend itself. You will get hostile (if polite) letters from their legal department. Your experiences will be denied, devalued and ignored. You obviously feel angry and upset now and you will feel more angry and upset the deeper you get. Your life will be consumed by the case and your thoughts locked into rehearsing not just the original episode but new outrage at how you are now being treated.

    I'd start with a conversation with a mental health advocate, CAB or MIND person, who will all have some experience of this whole business.
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    (Original post by OxFossil)
    Sorry not to offer a direct answer, but from my experience of grievance processes in the NHS, as soon as you start a legal procedure, the organisation will defend itself. You will get hostile (if polite) letters from their legal department. Your experiences will be denied, devalued and ignored. You obviously feel angry and upset now and you will feel more angry and upset the deeper you get. Your life will be consumed by the case and your thoughts locked into rehearsing not just the original episode but new outrage at how you are now being treated.

    I'd start with a conversation with a mental health advocate, CAB or MIND person, who will all have some experience of this whole business.
    Thanks for the heads up.

    I guess it would be quite draining, but then after 10 months I don't feel like I will forgive myself for letting them get away with this. I have noticed a trend amongst mental health workers to lie and exaggerate situations (especially in medical records, from what I've heard).

    I am looking to get a mental health advocate through an organisation called Pohwer.
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    (Original post by posthumus)
    Thanks for the heads up.

    I guess it would be quite draining, but then after 10 months I don't feel like I will forgive myself for letting them get away with this. I have noticed a trend amongst mental health workers to lie and exaggerate situations (especially in medical records, from what I've heard).

    I am looking to get a mental health advocate through an organisation called Pohwer.
    good luck, and take care of yourself.
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    Do no-win-no-fee lawyers take longer with lawsuits than ones you pay for?

    or does it have nothing to do with the lawyer...
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    Sueing for something you get for free. Selfish!

    Why not use the money you'd otherwise spend on lawyers to see a private shrink ?
 
 
 
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