Friday, 10 September 2010

Just what the mad need: Surfing lessons

It's quite extraordinary. For thirteen years the diagnosis has been Bipolar Disorder. Two fifteen minute sessions with a 'psychiatrist' at the 'renowned' hospital and there's a new diagnosis: schizophrenia. Didn't read all thirteen years' notes. Didn't spend any time with him after the end of the episode. Didn't speak to the family but in all the arrogance of his 'position' decides on a new nomenclature. Didn't help him though. Sent him away after four days to the streets with no back-up and no way in which to enable him to seek the required help. What a laugh. You have to laugh, don't you? Otherwise, what? What can you do with these people? Surgeons are up in arms because the European directive on hours worked means that trainee doctors are no longer being trained. Well, what did they expect when accepting any directive that comes out of Europe?

If regular interns cannot be trained in brain surgery, what about psychiatry? How many hours are meant to be spent on wards with the depressed, the psychotic, the suicidal? How on earth will any of these trainees be able to recognise the difference between acute depression and psychosis or elation and drug affected disorders? My nice man at the Crisis Centre was right: the NHS is a whale that's floundering in the shallow waters of the Thames. Now the rumours persist once again of a 'supra-hospital' locally that's going to be an amalgamation of the two largest local hospitals but with only one A&E for the whole area. And, of course, who will be the scapegoat in all of this? Why, psychiatry of course!

Nice to see that in the south-west of the country mental health patients are being given surfing lessons. Really makes my heart happy to see how the much needed funds are being spent. Heaven forfend that beds might be made available or social workers or CPNs trained. I wonder who came up with that brainwave. Who makes these decisions and who passes them on?

Monday, 6 September 2010


It's all too depressing. Too repetitive. Too enervating and just too... I don't know. I've run out of adjectives and expletives. Chucked out of hospital. No follow up care. Just lies. The unit says that they referred him. The unit they 'referred' him to say that they've no information about this. So he's back to the future. Tramping around the streets. Scared to go home. Phone 'stolen.' Beaten up by a 'gang.' Hungry. Tired. Strung out. Feet in a terrible painful and raw state because of an infection that he picked up he doesn't know where. Could be Thailand. Could be Egypt. Either way it could be Bilharzia or Leishmoniasis (however you spell it) but no one is doing anything for him and he isn't responsible or capable of looking after himself and he resents me for 'butting in' on his very 'busy and productive life.'

Where do we go from here? Sue the hospital? Maybe. Lack of care. Negligence. The Crisis Team could care less. The hospital additionally. Just joins the psychiatric army on the street. 2010 and I'm told by the very nice man at one of the numbers I called for help that it's 'only going to get worse.' That the consequences of the last hideous, vile, repugnant Labour government means that there's yet still more 'reorganisation' and less money will be spent on mental health.

I want to take the computer and slam it onto the floor. There's no one to speak with and they all pass the buck and no one will take any responsibility. What point my writing a book? What point this blog? Does anyone read it who cares? All this money they spent on a new cafe and they 'discharge' the most needy because there's no funds. They arrange parties for 'employee of the month', while withholding medication. 'The NHS is breaking up,' the nice man told me. What a surprise. It's now an enterprise that's only interested in breaking even and targets and fulfilling criteria and stats. The ill? Sod them.