"A&E for self harm. I'll never ask for help again"

About: Ninewells Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as the patient),

I did what I'd been told to do for almost two decades, and, on my own volition, went to A+E after self injuring. Never again.

When I arrived, I told a receptionist that I had numerous wounds that needed sutures. I was asked to wait in the waiting area, and I would be seen by triage as soon as possible.

As I sat in the waiting area, I heard in great detail, why another patient was in a+e. He was in triage, it seemed to me that not all patients were spoken to in privacy.

Next, it was my turn. I went into triage, and was asked "So, what have you done to yourself?" by a nurse who barely looked at me. I showed the nurse my arms, breasts and abdomen that needed suturing (and they saw the numerous other, healed wounds that had not been sutured).

I was taken round to the bay, told to sit on a bed, while waiting for the Doctor. The nurse walked away, and I began to pull the curtain round the bed I was sat on. I felt so humiliated.

A group of Doctors and Nurses were sitting round a workstation chatting and giggling. "No. That curtain stays open. I take it we're going to have problems with you?". One of the group of medical staff who were sitting at the workstation said "probably a borderline", and giggling followed (I do not have BPD, but if I did, prejudice is prejudice).

I needed to visit the bathroom (there is a toilet at one end of a+e), and I stood up to go, and suddenly, three nurses came at me from all angles. I was told that if I needed to urinate I must be monitored for my own safey (I am an adult, who lives alone). I chose not to, and to hold on for the duration.

Then came the sutures, which i'm sure did not need 2 nurses and 3 Doctors (waste of resources). They discussed amongst themselves about the pattern of my injuries, and why the on call Psych hadnt attended (which I knew nothing about). I asked why they were getting an on call psych, and was told that it was required because of what I`d done to myself. I told them I was sorry, I would cope with my injuries without sutures and go home, but no. I had all my sutures done, in full view of other patients, without the option of anaethesia (I felt like they made a decision that I wasn't worthy of it).

Then the duty Psych turned up. Told me I was "silly", and should be admitted, but there was no beds available at Carseview (thank god).

At 3 am, I was allowed to leave. I walked home, alone, in the dark and cried.

I will never ever follow the standard advice offered to people who self injure (seek medical help as required). I removed my sutures myself. The letter from a+e to my Psychiatrist was "lost" regarding this episode.

I found the experience soul destroying, humiliating and degrading. Never again. I get enough of that from myself, and don`t need any more from "Professionals".

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Response from NHS Tayside

Dear CS,

Privacy and dignity are very important to staff in NHS Tayside and if this has not been maintained in your case we are very sorry, and would like to be given the chance to launch a formal investigation.

Unfortunately, we cannot investigate your complaint without some additional detail and would therefore ask that you contact us so that we may respond more fully to you directly.

Complaints and Advice Team

Level 9

Ninewells Hospital



E-mail complaints.tayside@nhs.net

Freephone number 0800 0275507

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