"My son is not improving in Arnold Lodge"

About: Arnold Lodge Regional Secure Unit

(as a parent/guardian),

My son has been in Arnold Lodge for a long time. As I understand it, they are supposed to help him move on but instead when they seem to be moving forward, they find things wrong - issues as they call them - so they have all the things taken from him like leave. Also I've spoken to a few parents who said the same.

It's no wonder some of the service users who have been in Arnold Lodge go back to prison as they know they can at least move forward with their lives. Also I think there should be help - parents with traveling expenses who are working but on low wages as it can be very expensive when u live a long way. For 4 of us, we have to get 2 trains and it costs over £60 a time.

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Response from Jane Danforth, Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Jane Danforth

I was so sorry to read about your experience of services at Arnold Lodge for your son. I will contact Arnold Lodge staff and ask them to reply to your feedback. We do appreciate you taking the time to raise issues of concern.

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Response from Involvement Team , Involvement & Experience, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to send a posting, although I am sorry to hear that your experience of services for your son at Arnold Lodge is not a positive one. We are always keen to get both positive and negative feedback from patients, carers and staff in various ways as this helps us to continuously review and improve the services that we provide. Hopefully you received the new Carers’ Newsletter recently which detailed ways in which you could do this, including using the Patient Opinion website.

Unfortunately I am unable to comment on decisions made about your son’s care as I do not know who he is or what ward he is currently residing on. Clinical Teams sometimes have to make decisions which may limit patients’ access to things such as Section 17 leave. This decision is never taken lightly though and any changes to access will only be made after a thorough clinical risk assessment by the patient’s Clinical Team which meets weekly. If you would like to discuss your son’s care with his Responsible Clinician (Consultant Psychiatrist), then you can do so by ringing the unit and asking to speak to them. They may be limited in what they can tell you due to patient confidentiality issues, but they will be able to answer any questions you may have about the clinical decision making processes.

I would also urge you to attend the Carers’ Open Day on Saturday 15th December if you receive an invite from your son, as we are running three workshops for carers. These will hopefully provide you with some of the answers that you are looking for, as well as giving you the opportunity to raise questions about the treatment programmes here and your role as a carer.

Regarding transport costs, unfortunately we do not have a budget to refund these expenses to visitors. I am aware, however, that people receiving means-tested benefits such as Income Support can apply for financial assistance from the Department for Works and Pensions (DWP). Our Social Work team will be happy to assist you in this process if you wish. You can also get advice from the Carers Trust www.carers.org, Carers UK www.carersuk.org and also the NHS UK website www.nhs.uk/carersdirect.

I hope you find these agencies helpful.

Thank you again and kind regards

Hazel Hayward – General Manager