I’d love to ask the Directors of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey (BEH) which option they would choose for themselves or their loved ones if they needed a bed on a mental health ward. As a resident of BEH the options are:
1) BARNET – Two mixed-sex wards where one can not even leave ones room to get a drink without being surrounded by male patients and staff.
2) HARINGEY – A ward with dormitories (4 patients to a room with just a curtain to divide the bed spaces), where patients who are very unwell are able to come into your personal space, make a huge amount of noise and in one of the cases, an incontinent patient left the floor wet and the room smelling of urine. The dormitories are loud, affect autism, are unclean and badly run.
The worst part is that once the staff knew how hard I found the dormitory to be, they made a point of moving me from a single room to the dormitory as a punishment for self-harming. I was self-harming due to the amount of noise on the ward and putting me in a dorm only made that worse.
3) ENFIELD – The ward I was originally sexually assaulted on (will not even begin to try explain how badly run this ward was).
These wards are no longer safe options for me and so I can no longer ask for help for my mental health when I need it
You would think that by 2019, a huge London Mental Health Trust would have sorted itself out by not having mixed-sex wards and by ridding wards of dormitories. But not Barnet, Enfield and Haringey. Their Twitter feed seems to show that they prefer to spend their money on team lunches and outings for staff to support each other in their ‘difficult roles’ than to help their patients.
Something tells me they are missing the point somewhere.
Meanwhile I will continue to keep my pain to myself.