"Coity Clinic undoubtedly makes you worse not..."

About: Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital

Review of a relative of mine and of my own experience as a carer/family member visiting the ward.

It is a desperte state of affairs that when an individual experiencing a mental health crisis seeks a safe and therapeutic environment.

They find themselves in a place where alcohol and illicit drugs are freely available.

The very things that they are trying to escape which exacerbate thier psychiatric symptoms, wipe out the effect of thier medications and send them spiralling even further towards desparation and despair are easily available.

The staff appear to be totally lacking in warmth and empathy ( apparently core requirements of a theraputic relationship and central to the role of a mental health nurse ) and in posession of extremely judgemental attitudes in relation to patients with an alcohol or illicit drug problem.

It appears to have been forgotten that many people experiencing serious mental illness self medicate in an attempt to manage the extremely distressing symptoms that come with the condition.

If more meangingful activities were available and there was more access to a wider range of pschyological therapies then perhaps patients would have more hope of ever achieving some kind of recovery. And would be lured by more inappropriate coping strategies.

My relative felt that she was literally left to rot with little interaction from staff and little meangingful structure to the day.

As for the involvement and support of familes and carers as highlighted by a significant number of inluencial policies that drive mental health care.

At best you felt that you could barely be tolerated and worst you were actually made to feel either a hindrence or to be over involved with your loved ones care.

Staff appeared to be in one of two camps.

They were either afraid to talk to you and appeared to be in severe shortage of confidence and experience or they were totally apathetic and appeared totally burnt out.

This ward needs a total overhaul in terms of its quaity, culture and governance.

Poor care and dire services are masked behind a cloak of stigma and shame which sadly go's with the terrritory of having a serious mental illness.

Patients and carers who often overwhelmed with the demands of the illness are so often illequipped emotionally to have the energy to complain.

How can anyone feel confident that thier mental health condition can improve in such an environement.

Desperately sad and worrying.

Story from NHS Choices

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