"NHS should be ashamed - total disgrace"

My partner was recently admitted to the Ladywell Unit Triage ward following an episode of psychosis. I am still in shock over the whole experience; this place is a prison not a psychiatric ward with total disregard to the patient & their families. My partner was admitted overnight & when I came to visit him the day after, he was asleep & I was told to come back later. I wanted to talk to a nurse to find out how he was & was told I would have to come back when he would be awake. After having been from the trauma of having my partner detained under section 2, I received no compassion whatsoever from the staff and had to get angry before someone called a doctor who then talked to me. The ward is heavily secured & looks like a prison with alarm buttons all over the place, and the rooms are no better than a prison cell. It is dirty and run down, the food is awful. Patients with all sorts of conditions are in this ward from people with Dawn syndrome to aggressive patients. My partner who suffers from burnout and paranoia could not sleep more than 4 hours a night as alarms kept on going off & the aggressive nature of some patients only fuelled is paranoia even more. He was scared at night & did not get any rest. My meeting with a consultant was 2 hours late, the consultant spoke to my partner on his own and then I was asked to come into the room.

There were 5 people in the room: 2 doctors, one nurse, the consultant & my partner. Myself and my partner were sitting on a chair facing everybody else, it felt intimidating & I was uncomfortable asking questions with my partner in the room due to his condition. I complained about the fact that I had been provided with no information since my partner had been admitted, I did not know the name of the doctors, the medication he was on or any prognostic over his illness and that no one had spoken to me or explained anything, all the information I had was because I asked. It was a very tensed meeting & I expressed my anger & frustration at the way I had been treated & the conditions in which my partner was kept. I did not feel any compassion from anyone in the room except for one doctor who later on that day called me to offer his apologies & tell me he totally understood why I was so upset & that my partner should not be in this ward. We are fortunate enough that my partner’s private medical insurance covers psychiatric illnesses and I was able to get him transferred to a private hospital. I cannot imagine what would have happened to his state of mind if he had stayed in this place for another 1 week. I have been through a week of hell & could not sleep at night until he was finally transferred. I wish I could forget about the whole experience, but I am still thinking of the people stuck in this place with no one to fight for them and of all the other patients and families who will have to go through this terrible ordeal. The NHS should be ashamed of themselves that such places even exist.

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Response from The Ladywell Unit

I am responding to your recent post and am very sorry that you and your family member had a negative experience of our services and for any distress this may have caused you. We have contacted the Triage Ward at Ladywell and asked them to look into your concerns and how they might be addressed and we will let you know the outcome of this.

In the meantime if you need any further support please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service either by email PALS@slam.nhs.uk or by telephone 0800 731 864 (select option 2)

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