"My Daughters Inpatient Stay at the Darwin Unit of the North Staffordshire Combined NHS Trust"

About: North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust / Inpatient mental health care

(as a relative),

Our daughter is currently an in patient at the Darwin Unit of North Staffordshire Combined NHS Trust based in Stoke-on-Trent. She was admitted by the Crisis Team for her own protection.

She has now been an inpatient for quite some time. Our daughter has a history of mental health issues.

Our experience of the Darwin unit and the staff involved in our daughter's care has been very poor. The stated primary function of the Darwin Unit is:

"to provide assessment and treatment facilities for youngsters with mental health disorders (Including deliberate self harm, acute psychosis and eating disorders). Youngsters are admitted for completion of multi-disciplinary assessment which involves developing an understanding of their mental health and psychological wellbeing, in the context of their developmental, social, family and educational history. This includes work with young people and their families at all stages of their treatment."

So far my daughter has been an inpatient at the unit for quite some time. We don't feel that there has been any attempt made to develop any understanding of my daughters problems and to understand and deal with the reasons for her admission in the first place. My daughter says that no one has tried to talk to her about how she is feeling or why she is feeling this way. In fact from what our daughter has relayed, it seems they have actively suggested that she would be better off at home.

As the unit does not seem to be able to help and in our opinion have not seemed to want to help my daughter, we are actively seeking her discharge back in to the care of our local community mental health team.

We feel very strongly that our daughter has been let down and the approach from the staff at Darwin Unit has not been in line with their duty of care to our daughter based in its own stated primary function.

We also think that it is not unreasonable to expect that within the period she has been an inpatient, significant progress should have been made to assess our daughters state of mental health and her care needs.

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Response from North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear ‘Mr Perplexed’

I am very sorry to hear that you feel let down by the service offered to your family and your daughter and that there is a lack of understanding of her problems. Myself and the Centre manager would very much like to address these concerns with you as soon as possible. We would be most grateful if you would provide some contact details so that we could be in touch to fully consider how we meet your family’s needs.

Yours sincerely

Dr Claire Halsey

Interim Clinical Manager, Children and Young People's Division and Clinical Service Lead CONNECT CAMHS and First Steps

01782 408 356

internal 4550

Children and Young People's Division

The Boat House,

1 Canal Arm, Festival Park,

Etruria, Stoke on Trent, Staffs