"Difficult experiences at Midpark"

About: Darataigh / General Psychiatry

(as the patient),

I was taken to A&E Stranraer after stupidly taking six Nurofen tablets, At the time of consultation in Stranraer I advised I would take more pills should I go home.

It was explained to me that I would be sent to Dumfries Royal Infirmary to talk to a Councillor/Psychiatrist for help.

On the journey to Dumfries [some 80 miles] I regretted what I had done and realised it was very stupid and vowed within myself to never do anything like this again, I could not look at the paramedics accompanying me as I was so ashamed at what I had done and the fact that I was now wasting emergency services resources.

On arriving at Dumfries I met a Psychiatrist after waiting for a while, he asked lots of questions about my traumatic history and I was honest with him and obviously very upset telling my story of my life, I explained that due to my childhood experiences I had always had highs and lows but managed to pull myself out of the lows normally, I explained I had not managed this on this occasion as I lost my dad [Not biological] to cancer last week and I had nursed him and stayed with him until he died, work had been unsympathetic and taken all my annual leave off me for the days I had cared for him and buried him as he was not my biological father, I had not slept in months and had went into work 45 mins late a few weeks ago and got a right telling off from my boss, my colleagues were not supportive and everyone was "sharp" with me. I further explained the best place for me..where I was happy was home with the children, tonight had been a blip and I regretted what I had done, I wanted to go home. I reminded the psychiatrist I had only taken six Nurofen, hardly a serious suicide attempt. He advised I should stay at Midpark, I asked if I would be free to go home if I went with him, he said no. I asked if I was free to leave now, he said I was, but kept trying to persuade me to with him to Midpark to be assessed, I became very distressed and could feel the sheer panic within at the fear of being labeled as mental and not being able to see my young children unsupervised ever again or for a long time, I left the consultation room saying to the psychiatrist that I would not be kept away from my children as I loved them and we needed each other as we were all grieving for our recent loss..

Once outside the consultation room I slipped my shoes off and ran to the Maternity ward and phoned a taxi, The police arrived...demanded I return to the Psychiatrist with them, I explained he said I was free to go home, they returned me to him, I told him he was a liar and had lied to me, I continually told him he had made a mistake, he would not reconsider, the police drove us to Midpark! I asked if I could leave...they said no.

Once up stairs and led into a room I was told I was not allowed to leave, I had to stay at least for tonight to be assessed, my hand bag was emptied, items were taken from me, I again asked for him to reconsider his decision as we are all human and we can all make mistakes and he had made a mistake by keeping me here tonight, I was then led to a room called room 1, It was light green, one bed with a top and bottom sheet and one waffle blanket, freezing cold, built in shelf unit, no t. v, no books, no music....I was distraught, in shock, ashamed, freezing, alone.

I asked for a second opinion, told no, phoned NHS 24, they advised they could not help me. I was told to stay in the room as I was not permitted to leave. I cried continually, I did not stop crying, I was desperate, nurses came and went advising to be quiet, I exclaimed that I could not stop crying as my children needed me as they were grieving also, I cried and cried at the sheer frustration of being held against my will in this room, I explained to the nurses that being stuck in this room could not help me settle as it was freezing cold [ I have Fybromyalgia which is intense pain in muscles and does not respond well in cold temps] nothing to read, no t. v, no one to talk to, nothing to do, not allowed up out of the room, no drinks.

I was assured that the detention certificate could be revoked in the morning, I just needed to calm down, I explained I could not calm down being kept in this god forsaken room, I explained that it is a well known fact that people with depression often find it difficult to sleep and would do an activity to help pass the small hours of the morning until they could sleep, I needed something to do to settle, I did not want to be alone with my thoughts in a freezing cold room in a state of distress and trauma and shock, I was continually told that I could get a revoke in the morning, it was only hours away, I exclaimed that what seemed like hours to them was a lifetime to me as this room was depressing in itself and I had never been away from my children overnight [my eldest son is in his late teens, Eventually a nurse came in and said I could go to the lounge area as long as I was quiet, It was about 6am, I had been crying non stop since I had been admitted around midnight, I must hold a record!

I advised it would be brilliant to get out of this room as it was unbearable! I began to talk to nurses and read a magazine in front of the fire in the lounge area, nurses began to talk to me and things seemed hopeful.

Around 8. 30am I went into room 1 and waited for the psychiatrist to come and possibly revoke the certificate, A nurse entered my room, introduced himself as my nurse for the day? I exclaimed I did not require a nurse for the day as I was getting the certificate revoked, I was merely waiting on the Psychiatrist, he exclaimed this was not possible as the Psychiatrist was in Stranraer today, I told him this could not be as I and my family had been told I would be reviewed today and possibly the certificate would be revoked, he left, I began to feel the panic and ditsress, he then came back, he said another psychiatrist from another ward would maybe revoke this but he could not guarantee it, I had nothing to lose, I asked him to set this up for me, a while later another Psychiatrist and student came to see me, we spoke, he said he would be willing to revoke if my husband said he was happy for me to go home, a call was made to home, my husband agreed, certificate was revoked. I had the long wait of him travelling up to Dumfries to get me and the fear that my right to freedom had been taken away once already and could easily be taken again. We need to review our policy's/procedures here, I feel this should be a multi agency decision to take someone's freedom away from them and detain them against there will, its a scary thought that one person can have so much power over another persons freedom and snatch it away in the blink of an eye.

If that nurse had not have come into room 1 on that day and been so helpful I may still have been sitting waiting on my freedom being granted.

On leaving I requested my confiscated items be returned, I was advised they must have been "binned"

A few days after my release I was sent a letter to say my detention certificate had been revoked and attached to this a letter headed "your rights under the mental health [care and treatment scotland] Act 2003, this goes into great detail regarding why I was admitted, my rights whilst there etc... it would have been helpful for me to have had this when I was actually there as it was about my rights whilst being in there etc, to receive it some days after was not good.

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Response from Hilary Butterworth, IPIQ Officer, Patient Services, NHS Dumfries and Galloway

Dear Iyzzy

I was sorry to hear about this distressing period of your life and your subsequent admission to Midpark. I am glad to hear you are now back at home in Stranraer with your loved ones.

The story you have related encorporates quite a lot of detail and you have raised a number of issues within it. In order to help you and respond adequately to your concerns I will pass your story on to the staff at Midpark for their advice and response.

I hope you are keeping well and continue to do so.

best wishes


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