"admittance to A and E after taking an overdose"

About: Dorset County Hospital

The abulance service arrived promplty I was very disorrientated and when i hesistated getting on the ambulance due to a panic attack I was bunddled on by 2 male paramedicics told to calm down and sit in a chair and I think I was injected with a sedative - probably diazepam (I am a qualified pharmacy technician that has worked in NHS hospitals) even though they knew I had taken an overdose and I am under the local mental health team. The next thing I rememeber is arriving in hospital and hearing the paramedics telling the ed team I had been addgitated on the ambulance and that they needed to calm me down. The ed team where very calm and kind to me (I understand that having taken an overdose some people percieve this as self inflicted but I am diagnosed with major depressive disorder and have been treated before by dorchester ed) Several blood tests and ecgs were taken over the evening and I was transfered to the observation ward over night. Ward Nurse and a young dr treated me with much compassion in ed and then I was transferred to observation ward under a ward sister who again was very compassionate and helped me to the toilet as I was very undsteady on my legs . The ward sister continued to observe me and take my obs over night and then a different ward or staff sister took after at about 8am. She was very abrupt and rude and made me feel very guilty for 'wasting' her time being in hospital with an overdose - basically she told me the dr would come and dischard me and then I could go. She at no point asked me how I fellt mentally or physically . As soon as the dr came and said I could leave I left - before leaving the hospital I vomitted in the toilets several times and felt incredibaly faint and disorrieantated waiting for a taxi to take me home. I vommited at home all day on the monday - I had no medication as I had taken it all in my overdose - again nobody checked to see if I had medication and felt so guilty and ill that I did not see my counsellor for 2 days (of which I had gone without a lot of mental health medication by this point) If my counsellor had not phoned my GP and got me an appointment that day I would probably still be without medication today. I was also told by the hospital that they did not think it was worth contacting the crisis team and it was up to me if I told them about my sucide attempt or not. They said that they would post a letter to my GP so when I saw him on Tuesday he still had no idea of the situation and if I had not spoken to the mental health crisis team today they would have no knowledge of my overdose on sunday night. When you have serious mental illness it is not easy to communicate to services if you have had a crisis and in past events the hospital have always notified them. I feel lelt down by my discharge by the ward sister and if anything could make me feel more suicidal at that point it would have been her discompassionate attitute - Caroline Eramanis

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Response from Dorset County Hospital

I am very sad to read about your recent experience; ensuring that you receive kind and compassionate care is very important to us and I am sorry that you did not experience good care from all our staff. If you would like to contact us we would be pleased to discuss your concerns with you. Please contact our PALS service on 0800 7838058 or pals@dchft.nhs.uk Kind regards, Alison Tong, Director of Nursing, Dorset County Hospital

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