"Patient Experience at Becklin Centre"

About: Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I drove myself to the Becklin centre after two weeks of working as a full time chef and full time event manager. The final week I worked on average 20 hour days.

I was pretty settled when I arrived until all my freedom and human rights were taken away from me. I began to get frustrated and frustrated that before admission I was on no medication and once in the hospital setting I began to get offered medication left right and centre. In my notes it was written as "refusing" medication. I was making a choice.

Once I had admitted myself to hospital, after a period of working at unusually high, yet productive and safe levels, I began to experience some of the power that the human mind is capable of. It was a shame I was in an environment where this would have been dismissed if I felt it was a good idea to talk about my experiences, which I didn't!

On one day in particular, at the height of my brain activity, my behaviour was misunderstood and having been there of my own volition it was recommended that I be put on a section 3. For this to be possible consent is needed from a next of kin and a second party (a social work and another doctor) must give their assessment. This is where things get worrying for me.

The social worker told my Dad and the Dr who made the initial recommendation for section, that I thought I was three different people at times and that I was hearing voices. Neither of these statements were true and at no point was it even attempted to find out from me whether they had been accurate in the diagnoses. I could have told them then this was wrong. As a consequence it was then possible to detain me and medicate me, if necessary, against my will.

How can it be acceptable to place a patient on a section, which takes away freedom and human rights, based on a mis-diagnosis?

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Response from Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dear SHENIC23,

I am Guy Brookes, Associate Medical Director at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

First of all, thank you for taking the time to share your experience here on Patient Opinion. I am very sorry that you felt we were working against you rather than with you, during your time at the Becklin Centre. I can assure you that we endeavour to involve people in any decisions taken about their care.

Although I can not and would not ignore your obvious and understandable feelings of frustration, unfortunately there are times when people’s own views about their mental health needs differ from the views of those around them (including doctors and nursing staff).

It seems that this has been the case for you at the Becklin Centre. Without understanding much more detail I wouldn’t wish to comment further, but it is always important that you are made aware of the opinions of professionals looking after you and why they hold them.

At times it is necessary for us to treat people against their wishes and the law set outs the circumstances for this in the Mental Health Act (1983). This is never a decision that is taken lightly and requires agreement by three professionals (including two doctors) who undertake the assessment.

In addition the Mental Health Act sets out what safeguards should be made available to patients in such a position. These include the help of an advocate and the right to an independent hearing (Tribunal).

I would not wish to comment further on your specific case in this posting, but could I encourage you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who can ensure that you have access to all the information you require, and if necessary arrange a way for you to continue this discussion over the phone or in person?

PALS can be contacted on 0800 0525790 or on pals.lypft@nhs.net. I do hope they can be of help to you, and thank you once again for talking to us here on Patient Opinion.

Yours sincerely,

Guy Brookes

Associate Medical Director

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