"Care, Compassion, Dignity & Respect"

I found my stay at this Hospital to be very unpleasant. No member of staff would ever introduce themselves or engage with me other than to dispense medication. When I began to experience bad side effects from the medication due to a weak heart my dosage was increased.

Meals were served between 5.00pm and 10.00pm and the staff failed on regular occasions to ensure I was able to attend the dinner hall, sad as I have an eating disorder. The food served at the hospital was left overs from the A&E department, I was told this was to save money. Meals were offered on a first come first served bases with no concern for my dietry requirements. Often as an alternative to the main meal I was offered 2 Cream Crackers and a wedge of cheese to sliced with a plastic spoon. The hunger would cause me to lose sleep, which made my physical and mental health worse. I was told that they could not provide me with stable eating arrangements as it would cost to much money.

At no point was I informed of my what my care plan was to be and did not know at the time about 'NICE' guidlines. Owing to the lack of involvement in my care I began to lose track of time and my sense of reality.

The entertainment consisted of 1 television between all the patients (several arguments here about who's watching what), a deck of approx 32 playing cards, a chess set consisting of 7 pieces with board, a snooker table with various sized balls on it, 1 ping pong racket, a full sized piano, a selection of tatty books and board games.

There is a lovely concrete garden with water fountain/sculpture for non-acute patients and a smaller garden for accute patients which is kept locked.

Therapy was centered around the potato printing facilities and a game where patients are asked to place post-it notes on their forheads and then guess what that word is written there by asking other patients questions.

Any property brought in by relatives was confiscated and not returned, even after discharge. Things like plastic soldiers, model paint and glue, tweezers and a magnifying glass (my therapy) still remain in the patient property cupboard along with a picture of the Virgin Mary. I was however allowed to keep my Bible.

As my health deteriorated over the weeks my medication was changed several times as an alternative to meeting with my doctor. This was really painful for my heart/body. It was eventually decided that I should be discharged as further treatment would be "A waste of time". A meeting was arranged for discharge where I was able to ask the 8-12 staff present at the meeting 'who my doctor was?'.

I therefore became discharged back to my family and Out-reach workers in worse mental and physical condition than I had previously been.

I had always hoped to find support for my Mental Health problems and actively seek means of remedy. Following a stay at this hospital however I do not even keep GP relations anymore.

I have recently discovered I was suffering from PTSD which worsened my Schizophrenia...

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Simon Street, Complaints and PALS manager, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

I am really sorry that no one has answered this post for so long. The Trust realises this is not good enough and we are sorting out a new system to make sure it does not happen again.

I am also very sorry that your stay at Woodlands was not a positive one. I have passed the comments onto the team there. so they have your feedback to check what is happening now. If this is still a problem please get back in touch through this site or call our PALS team who will be able to help now 0300 304 2198 or get in touch by email pals@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk

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