"Impressions of mental health services from the inside"

About: Central And North West London NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

I am now in St Charles Hospital Kensington, being forcibly injected with anti-psychotics every night.

During my time inside, I have had the opportunity to "inspect" no less than four mental institutions, both NHS and private, and the strongest impression I gained was of collossal waste of fuel and energy. These places are kept at almost searingly hot temperatures, and the climate is like that of a hot, dry arid landscape. They could cause a global warming all by themselves.

These places often seem organised for the convenience of the nurses, who arrogate to themseves the patients’ quiet rooms and computers, even locking them out of chapels and sanctuaries designated for their use. At South Kensington the daily papers always arrived in the middle of the night, presumably after the staff had finished with them. I myself am forcibly sedated. I wonder whether this is for my own good or to knock me out so that the nurses do not have to check on me.

The staff put the patients off speaking to me by telling them I have filthy habits, but the ones I have spoken to tell me they are worried about whether their money is being handled properly by staff. Apparently the way to ensure a patient’s complaints will be disbeleived is to diagnose him or her as a paranoid schizophrenic.

The new Mental Health Act 2007 is a real Catch 22. It seems that the very fact that you have been committed to a mental institution is regarded as good reason for keeping you there, since you are an obviously vulnerable person. Vulnerable, that is, to people who want to commit you to a mental institution.

I understand, from reading the hospital Daily Mail, that certain members of the House of Lords get paid vast sums of money for making sure acts like this one are passed without difficulty.

PS: The scandal of male patients on female wards is as nothing to the scandal of male nurses on female wards.

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