"We need to get it right"

About: East Riding of Yorkshire PCT Hull Royal Infirmary Humber NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

My wife developed post-natal depression after the birth of our second child, who also had health problems, bowel problems, he was in and out of hospital, it seemed like the hospital were not able to help the situation and he just kept screaming all of the time and as a result of all this pressure my wife one day took an overdose. A neighbour found her and she was taken in an ambulance to hospital, the ambulance happened to be nearby when it was requested so they got her into hospital quick and pumped her stomach out. During this time, I was arrested; the police searched the house and found bags of prescribed drugs, so they took them away. Our children were then taken into care. The police later released me and my wife came home after a couple of days. Our children were kept in care for a while. My wife kept taking overdoses, getting better and then sinking back into depression and this went on for years. They gave her all types of wonder drugs, some of them she remained on for too long and they did not do her any good.

She was once admitted to De la pole Hospital for a couple of months where they kept bringing her back to normal and then she would relapse. The relapses just kept coming back and eventually they did manage to get her back on an even keel.

Once she had 3 months in hospital and then had a weekend at home to see if she could cope, but, when a neighbour avoided speaking with her, she just could not stand it and wanted to go back into hospital.

We wanted to make a new start so we moved to Withernsea and came under the care of East Riding of Yorkshire PCT.

By now both of the children had been put into temporary care so that I could go back to work. She received some treatment in Broadgate Hospital in Walkington. After 3 months she came out and if was felt that to look after the youngest child would be too much work for her so he remained in care, this was very upsetting for her. Every time we visited him he became very upset, the decision was taken to only let us see him through a glass screen to see him happily playing, this was the worst decision that we ever made as we never had contact with him again and he was told that his parents has passed away. This later affected him in his adult life.

Over a period of time we had social services regularly visit her and if they felt that she needed to go into hospital at Broadgate they would just admit her, change her medication and then let her come home when she was well again. This happened on and off for years. I cared for her for nearly 50 years and I wanted to do this, she was the love of my life. They closed all of the old people’s homes in our area, so I cared for her myself, but, she kept taking overdoses, this became too much for me and I decided to take an overdose. She had taken so many drugs over the years; she became a legal drug addict.

A GP at Withernsea Hospital, Queen Street helped wean her off some of the very powerful drugs.

I have been struggling with the authorities for Mental Health care, fighting them for years as to why they gave some of these wonder drugs to my wife and why at Broadgate they gave her ECT. The first time it was successful, the second time it left her a zombie. They told me that she must never have another ECT again. At one point in her care they wanted her to have another treatment of ECT and I informed them that I was told that she should never have it again and I refused to let her be treated. They did a brain scan and found out that the ECT had damaged the cells and that she had lost her memory. I have tried to sue the government and the drug companies for the way my wife was treated, but, did not get anywhere. When they checked her records, there was no record of this brain scan, some how it had got lost.

At one time when my wife was very depressed, we had a man who visited us at home sent from the council. He was very helpful and I know it helped my wife. He retired and they sent a younger man who was marvellous but this service was scrapped when a new chief executive came in.

The thing with mental health problems is that everyone is learning as they go but in the early stages no one ever explained what was happening or what they were going to do to my wife. I was told that I had no right to look at her medical records. They left my wife on drugs for much longer than they should have done and it was hard to make anyone listen to me when I said my wife shouldn’t be having ECT again. The doctor seeing my wife once sent me out of the room while he discussed treatment with my wife. I tried the PALS system but I believe that this is not for patients; it is them looking out for themselves.

My wife ended up in an old people’s home and died last year on 8th Feb after a period of deep depression; I miss her and have thought about her every day since then.

I believe that care in the community is not what it was. I want people to take responsibility. If there’s something wrong and the managers don’t know about it, it’s my duty to tell them and we need to get it right.

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Response from Engagement Section Assistant, NHS Hull

Dear Indigo695 Firstly we would like to apologise for the delay in acknowledging your posting on the Patient Opinion website. We have been experiencing technical difficulties and have only just received your comments. We are very sorry to hear of your poor experiences with our local mental health providers and we have brought your comments to the attention of both Humber Mental Health NHS Trust and East Riding of Yorkshire PCT. When we receive their responses we will arrange for them to be posted on the website. We are disappointed that your experience with the Patient Advice and Liaison Service has been less than satisfactory and would be grateful for your feedback to enable us to improve this service. NHS Hull is the organisation responsible for deciding how money is spent on local health services [also known as commissioning]. Our role is to ensure those services are of high quality and meet the local needs of the people of Hull. We value all feedback and if you would like to discuss this further please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service on 01482 335409 or by email. If you would like to become more involved in decisions about local healthcare, all local health Trusts are recruiting ‘members’. By becoming a member, you can find out more about your local NHS, have a say in how health services are provided and help to further improve services for others. You don’t need any special skills or experience to become a member, you just need an interest in local health services – you can commit as much or as little time as you like. For more information please either by email or telephone 01482 675165.
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Response from Engagement Section Assistant, NHS Hull

Dear Indigo692,

Further to our earlier acknowledgment, we have spoken with your contact within East Riding of Yorkshire PCT, who is sorry to hear you still have concerns and would be happy for you to contact them again.

We expect you may still have the contact details for East Riding of Yorkshire PCT, but should you have misplaced these, their Patient Advice & Liaison Service can be contacted on 01377 208823 and would be happy to help.

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