"Poor experience of mental health care at Kingston Hospital A&E"

About: Kingston Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a friend),

My friend and I brought my partner into Kingston A and E as recommened by her psychiatrist, as she was feeling suicidal, and had taken an overdose and ended up in hospital two days prior.

This time we wanted to stop her before it was too late. She has recently been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and so finds it very hard to deal with her emotions and instead acts on them destructively.

We saw a doctor who said she would refer us to the emergency psychiatrists, but we never met this team. Instead we were passed over to a man who told us 'we'd be fine' and they couldn't do anything. He refused to let us meet with the psychiatric team, and when I expressed fears for her immediate safety he LAUGHED and said 'she's not going to kill herself!' despite the fact that she felt otherwise.

We went to speak to someone else to get her the care that she needed immediately to calm her out of her state, and to keep her in a safe environment until she got better. The nurse we spoke to looked very concerned, until the same man saw us, body blocked the nurse from our conversation and said 'the exit is that way.'

My girlfriend, who just wanted some help, felt so violated and forgotten about, and like she would never get the help she deserved, got set off again into a BPD fit, and turned and ran out of the building. I followed her crying for help as I know how destructive she can get when she gets like this. I called to the man for help, as well as two nurses on the way out and the receptionist.

She ran into the busy road and I had to grab her and pull her back. Not a single staff member came to see if we were ok. I feel disgusted at this treatment. If my girlfriend wasn't so upset I would have gone straight back in there to get everyone's names, but obviously I was more concerned in doing my amateur best at convincing her not to kill herself.

Here are the first set of standards the hospital promises on their website:

•Putting patients at the heart of everything we do

•Nurturing the wellbeing of the whole person, respecting patients' physical, emotional and spiritual needs

•Listening to patients and their families and responding to their needs

•Showing compassion and empathy

•Treating patients, their families and friends with dignity and respect

•Being welcoming, polite and friendly to all

•Involving patients and carers

•Going the extra mile

•Working to the highest standards of professionalism and ethics

Needless to say, we didn't receive any of this.

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