""Silly Girl""

About: St Helens Hope And Recovery

(as the patient),

I was a patient on Iris Ward recently.

One evening, I decided I did not want to take my medications, as I was piling the weight on and already have an eating disorder, so the weight gain was getting me down. The tablets had increased my appetite, which was why I was refusing them.

Staff tried to get me to take them but I had made my mind up and sat crying on my bed because I wasn't being heard.

Eventually they accepted my decision and left me alone.

Still crying, one staff member then came into my room to continue one-to-one observations. She wouldn't leave me alone about the tablets and kept on and on about how she felt about me refusing to take them.

"I think you're a very silly girl, I thought you were better than this" she hissed.

And that's how I was made to feel.. all I needed when I felt bad already!

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Response from 5 Borooughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

Thanks for your posting on the website about your experience on Iris Ward. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be taking medication that causes you to gain weight, especially if you are dealing with an eating disorder also. I can understand how difficult it must have been for you to deal with your appetite increasing and trying to manage your wieght effectively.

I am sorry to see that the approach taken by staff on Iris ward appeared to lack any consideration as to how this conflict made you feel and what emotional impact this was having on you.

I would wish to see situations such as this being dealt with in a more understanding and supportive way, so as to help you feel you can share your anxities, about treatment, medication and what effects the medication has on you.I am sorry that your experience was not a positive one.

As the new Business Manager in the Borough of St Helens I am very keen to improve the availability of psychological therapies and meaningful therapuetic activities within the inpatient units. I beleive this would improve our patient experience by enabling staff to have a better understanding of peoples emotional distress and gaining better expertise in how to deal with issues such as the one you raise here in your posting.

Within the Trust we do have training staff can access on eating disorders and I will be speaking with the ward manager of Iris ward to ensure staff access this training. Also I feel here the level of customer care you received was poor so again I will be speaking with the ward manager to ensure staff attend Customer Care Training as required.

I am always keen to listen to what the users of our services have to say and learn from what we have not done well. Thus I would be very happy to meet and or speak with you so we can be sure we constantly strive to improve our services

Regards Julie Clarke Business Manager St Helens