"My experience of the Becklin Centre & Crisis Team at St James Hospital, Leeds."

About: Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Inpatient mental health care

(as the patient),

I have a history of self-harm and suicide attempts over the past few years. It wasn't until 2014 when I took an almost fatal overdose that I was placed in the Becklin Centre as an inpatient.

I can't remember the first 2 days because I was too 'out of it' and (as told by other service users) I kept falling over and that certain staff members were dragging me around the ward. The first day I can remember (2 days after admission), I self-harmed and the nurse who was working with me on that shift bandaged me up and talked to me until I felt stable and the urges had gone. However, she is one of very few that treated me that way. On other occasions when I self harmed, I was told that, and I quote "you're silly and you will regret those when you're older and have to explain them to people".

I am very quiet and smile a lot (coping mechanism I developed during my childhood) and I felt that I wasn't listened to or taken seriously at all, even though I told them this. I felt other service users who were less patient and more loud/aggressive got what they wanted (e.g. cigarette breaks, a chat, etc) rather than those who asked politely and were told to wait several hours. For me it was usually a chat because I was distressed. Sometimes the help never came.

On a different, but similar note, I have noticed that several members of the Crisis Team are very rude. Recently I told them I wanted to kill myself and felt like I would do so had I left the hospital at that point. They said "Okay", and then discharged me.

I then left the hospital and jumped in front of a car on a busy road. The car did a sudden stop and asked if I was okay. I said I'm fine but was crying and then he drove off. I then lay on the floor hoping a car would hit and kill me, but then a man got out of his car and picked me up, just as the police and then ambulance arrived.

I was taken back to see the Crisis team who took 5 hours to arrive, so I was told that if I tried to leave the hospital I would be put under a Section and police were all outside the room. So I waited 5 hours, just for the crisis team nurse to say "Hi, you're discharged. You can go now". I felt this was very inappropriate given the state I was in. She didn't offer a chat or any other service.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Leeds and York NHS Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

My name is Kim Lacey and I am the Clinical Service Manager for the crisis team you refer to in your posting. I have also talked to Gail Galvin who is the Modern Matron for the inpatient area at Becklin Centre.

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. I am genuinely sorry to hear that you feel your experience of being an inpatient at the Becklin Centre and your contact with the crisis team were unhelpful, particularly in a time of crisis for you. Nevertheless I am grateful for you bringing it to our attention. It sounds like you have had a difficult time lately and the last thing I would want or expect would be for our working with you to make a difficult situation worse.

Ideally I would like to do more than just acknowledge your frustration and disappointment, but it is difficult for me to comment further without more information.

It therefore seems that it would be useful for us to speak so we could talk this through - to try to understand what help you did need at that time and to understand why you feel this did not happen.

It is also important for us to receive feedback like this to see what we can learn, so I really appreciate the time you have taken to alert us to your experience.

In order for us to do this I wonder if you would be kind enough to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who can take your details and get in touch with us.

Their contact details are: 0800 0525 790 / 0113 3056620 or by email to pals.lypft@nhs.net.

We look forward to hearing from you, and I sincerely hope that you have moved forward to a more comfortable position than the one you describe above.

Updates, changes and questions related to this story