"My experience of being sectioned"

About: Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust / Inpatient mental health care

(as the patient),

I was in Adrian House, a psychiatric ward for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Trust. I was admitted from A&E at Addenbrookes as I felt like choking. I complained to them and got an apology. They got my next of kin wrong which was my son and seemed to think my friend knew best. I wasn’t being listened to and wasn’t well and this made me worse.

I was then put on section 2 and appealed as I was worried about leaving my house and my son. The tribunal said I was suffering from neglect. I have limited money as I’m a student. They should try living in my shoes and see what it’s like. They also said I didn’t swallow my tablets. Their main accusation was that I was suffering from neglect which I don’t accept.

I was away from home for several months and they wouldn’t even let me go to church.

I also put in a complaint to PALs about a member of staff.

The whole experience was very upsetting.

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Response from Lee Bennett, Head of Patient Liaison, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We were sorry to learn of your distressing experience. It's quite difficult to comment on this occasion without a better understanding of what happened where. It would be very helpful if you could post again outlining which of the issues you have mentioned relate to the Addenbrooke's Emergency Department. Your posting could be read in different ways so again it would be so helpful if you could clarify the situation for us.

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Update posted by Hiker372 (the patient)

Basically, on the instructions of NHS direct I was taken to A and E by my friend because it felt like I was choking on a piece of food. It felt like a physical problem and I was scared. When I got to the hospital I could not sit down because the whole of the front of my body felt in pain.

I was seen by several people, I believe one of them was a psychiatrist, against my wishes I was put on section 2 and admitted to hospital, I did not want this because it would mean leaving my house and my son with no prior warning.

I also told the lady at the desk who was taking my details that I wanted my next of Kin to be my son but no one was listening to me and they followed my friends instructions and made my next of kin my sister which I certainly did not want.

Why was it that that I was ignored, I felt insignificant and very upset, it gave me no faith in what was going to happen next.

Response from Lee Bennett, Head of Patient Liaison, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for replying.

Addenbrooke's does not employ psychiatric staff so the doctor attending to you will have been most likely visiting from Cambridge and Peterborough Partnership Trust so they would need to respond to that point.

With regard to being ignored about your next of kin I will share your concerns with the Emergency Department team so they are aware - obviously if we had your personal details which you could provide to pals@addenbrookes.nhs.uk we could check your records to see who is recorded as next of kin.

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Response from Lee Bennett, Head of Patient Liaison, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Having now spoken with the staff in the Emergency Department they think they have been able to identify you. I am not sure that it would be appropriate to provide a more detailed response in a public forum. What I can say is that the reception staff usually ask a patient who is their Next of Kin and this can be changed upon request. I understand that your Next of Kin details were changed later on. I hope this response is OK.

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Update posted by Hiker372 (the patient)

I just wonder why I should believe I got the right treatment from any of the staff when they don't follow my wishes and get my next of kin right which was extremely crucial to me.

I am not happy with the treatment I got and it has left a lasting scar and a nasty impression on my memory.

I would have preferred to have gone home where I could have been in peaceful surroundings. Instead I had the situation of being in hospital with phones ringing all night and no privacy. Extremely traumatic.

Response from Marie McKearney, Pals Manager, Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust

I was sorry to read of your experience whilst on Adrian House and would like to gain a fuller understanding of what happened. I note from your posting that you did make a complaint to PALS at the time. That said, I would still like to speak with you in order that I can talk though some of the initiatives the Trust in putting in place to improve patient experience and hopefully reassure you that we do take the learning from concerns and complaints very seriously. Please contact me on 0800 3760775 or via email at: pals@cpft.nhs.uk if you would be willing to meet with me.

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