"Inequality and unfair restrictions"
About: Arnold Lodge Regional Secure Unit Arnold Lodge Regional Secure Unit LE5 0LE
Posted by 1N1 (as ),
Posted by the advocacy service on behalf of the patient in their own words;
I am a service user at Arnold lodge on a personality disorder (PD) ward. There are 2 issues I want to bring to your attention.
The first issue is telephone access, there are 7 wards on this unit; 3 mental illness wards, 2 female wards and 2 PD wards. When I attended the patients forum some months ago it was mentioned that all the other wards could use the telephone freely with no time restrictions during the day so long as it didn't get in the way of treatment. The PD wards have 15minutes maximum per day (incoming and outgoing calls combined) and only after 6pm until 9pm. It has also been raised in the Patient Satisfaction Survey and nothing has been done about it. The Mental Health Act Code of Practice says (16. 3) 'Hospitals should make every effort to support the patient in making and maintaining contact with family and friends' (16. 4) 'The principle that should underpin hospital or ward policies on all telephone use is that detained patients are not, of course, free to leave the premises and that individual freedom to communicate with family and friends should therefore be maintained as far as possible. Any restrictions imposed should be the minimum necessary, so as to ensure this principle is adhered to. ' (19. 4) 'Patients should have readily accessible and appropriate daytime telephone facilities'
I believe the restrictions placed on patients with BPD is unfair and discriminates against patients with a personality disorder.
The second thing is the patients on the PD wards are not allowed food brought in by visitors either to eat during the visit or to bring back to the ward. As far as I am aware, all other wards do not have this restriction. I believe again that this is unfair and nothing has been done about it when we have raised it as a complaint.