"I felt frightened and alone"
Posted by indy girl (as ),
I've had two stays at Highbury. Neither time did I feel safe, welcome or listened to. Not shown facilities, belongings went missing, two staff members called me the wrong name.
There were a few members of staff who knew that reassurance and inclusion, and talking to me like a normal human being worked wonders but they were the minority. Others walked around like expressionless robots or didn't venture from the office unless it was the day before my ward round and they had to find something to report for that. Most didn't introduce themselves to me. I felt I was left to rot. No routine, no encouragement, poor communication. I felt frightened and alone. During my first stay on Rowan 2, I was told not to come out of my room after lights out as patients weren't allowed out on the ward on night shifts. I felt like I had committed a crime and found it hard to remind myself I was poorly in hospital, not a criminal in prison.
Bassetlaw hospital was amazing. The total opposite to Highbury. Despite being an older building it outshone this hospital in every way. Staff engaged constantly, motivating and including me even when I couldn't have cared less. The routine was strict in a good way but I felt safe and cared for. They would sit and talk all night if that's what I needed. Everything was structured but with a relaxed positive feel to it and progress soon was made in my illness.
Highbury has fantastic single sex facilities, but has a long way to go on realising what mentally ill people need. I never trusted or relaxed enough to open up to staff even though I was ill and needed help. I would go anywhere in future to avoid this scary hospital.