"Things have not changed"
About: South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust / Inpatient mental health care South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Inpatient mental health care SE5 8AZ
Posted by starlet (as ),
I have been an inpatient at South London and Maudsley NHS trust many times over the past 12 years. Back in 1996 the new Ladywell Unit was opened. It represented an environmental improvement over the old hospital at Hither Green which I thought was quite frankly a disgrace.
However, as the years have passed I feel it has got shabbier and more neglected. The environment seems to me to be designed to depress people and reminds me that I am considered as potentially dangerous. Do the bathroom fittings really have to be fag-ash grey?
As for the staff, I think there are one or two good people who are professional and treat patients humanely and with dignity. From my experience, many others seem to go out of their way to avoid speaking to us as far as possible. They are always "busy", though what they are actually busy doing is not easy for me to ascertain.
If a patient like myself requests, for example, an escort to the garden (I feel it is a basic human right to have some fresh air and a change of scenery) the inevitable speech about staff shortages is trotted out to me and I am made to feel unreasonable for even asking.
12 years ago I felt as if more nurses actually seemed to talk to patients. Now the experienced ones often seem to me to spend their time in the office and I can see the inexperienced and untrained sit around staring at us or the TV and rarely speaking. Thank God for the Link workers, people with service user experience who give up their own time to come on the wards and give us a little human respectful company.