I was admitted to the Danube Ward at the St. Charles Hospital Mental Health Centre for five days. I was going to go to my normal private Capio Nightingale Hospital in Marylebone but I decided to have a change of environment. The whole experience was extremely distressing. My 5 days there were supposed to be treatment and recovery, yet all I experienced was extreme stress, anxiety, disrespect from the medical staff, and a lack of privacy. Most of the nurses (namely the female nurses, especially the ones on night shifts) were extremely unhelpful and rude. I would leave my room at night to try and get some water and be shouted at by one of the nurses to "go back to my room- other patients are sleeping". There was one night where I couldn't sleep properly as it was freezing- the window in my room was broken and could not be closed properly. I was in placed in a male ward for the first day- and a fellow male patient actually came into my room whilst I was sleeping and tore the bedsheets off me, which was very frightening. Although the nurses behind him immediately restrained him and pulled him away, and apologised, it was nonetheless distressing. There was one night where I asked the nurse for a fresh towel and nightdress as I was preparing to go to bed. She didn't really pay attention to what I was saying and merely said "Right, I'll give it to you in a bit". I waited for an hour in my room and she never came. I eventually did not shower and just fell asleep on the bed. I remember the first morning I was there, the nurse suddenly stormed into my room whilst I was sleeping and said "Right. Why didn't you come and take you medication when you were called." She then left and slammed the door. I honestly did not know I was supposed to go to this area where I am to receive my medication. There was also the day when I was promised to be seen by the Ward Doctor, but I was never called. I asked the nurse about it, and she raised her eyebrows and said "I think you were." and left. When a few friends came to visit, I mistakenly took a "selfie" with one of my friends. The nurse noticed and told me to delete it and took my phone away. I understand it was a mistake, as it was a hospital where patient confidentiality is important, but there was absolutely nothing in the picture apart from two girls' faces smiling. You could not even tell that it was taken at a hospital. I showed them that I deleted the picture, then promised I wouldn't take anymore, but they still would not let me have my phone back, and was very rude about it. Most of the nurses don't look at you in the eye when you try and speak to them. They are either looking at the computer screen, or trying to brush you off. I was on 24/7 close observation on the first night, and all I can say is that the nurse on the night shift was sleeping all the way through, so would not have had any idea if I had harmed myself.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from St Charles Hospital

I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience at St Charles Mental Health Centre and thank you for telling us. The experience you describe is below the standards we expect for our mental health wards. We hear what you say and we will sort it out. If you would like to speak to me in confidence you can contact me directly on kate.ayres@nhs.net or call 020 3315 6058. Kate Ayres Deputy Service Director for St Charles

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

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