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Friday 13 September 2013

Pride and Principles in the NHS.


"The NHS provides a comprehensive service available to all

This principle applies irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, religion, belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity or marital or civil partnership status. The service is designed to diagnose, treat and improve both physical and mental health. It has a duty to each and every individual that it serves and must respect their human rights. At the same time, it has a wider social duty to promote equality through the services it provides and to pay particular attention to groups or sections of society where improvements in health and life expectancy are not keeping pace with the rest of the population."

So let me tell you a story about the CAMHS based at Arrol Park, Ayr, another one who needs to be named and shamed.

The NHS works across organisational boundaries and in partnership with other organisations in the interest of patients, local communities and the wider population.

The NHS is an integrated system of organisations and services bound together by the principles and values reflected in the Constitution. The NHS is committed to working jointly with other local authority services, other public sector organisations and a wide range of private and voluntary sector organisations to provide and deliver improvements in health and wellbeing.

Let me tell you about how they are happy to see a child, under their care, fail to thrive for 30 months.  Let me tell you about how they still insist that a child whose weight percentile is at 0.4% (that means 99.6% of the children of her age weigh more than her) does not have an eating disorder, does not need a second opinion by an Eating Disorders expert, has "magical thinking", does not even need a diagnosis of any sort.  

The NHS is committed to providing best value for taxpayers’ money and the most effective, fair and sustainable use of finite resources.

Public funds for healthcare will be devoted solely to the benefit of the people that the NHS serves.

Let me tell you about botched treatment, 3 admissions to hospital, 3 Child Protection hearings called to cover their arses.  Let me tell you how they blamed the mother, called it a "systemic" problem, tried to discharge the family from the service.  How they call endless review meetings to discuss whether there should be any further treatment or whether there is need for a second opinion.  And failed to come to a decision.

The NHS aspires to put patients at the heart of everything it does

It should support individuals to promote and manage their own health. NHS services must reflect, and should be coordinated around and tailored to, the needs and preferences of patients, their families and their carers. Patients, with their families and carers, where appropriate, will be involved in and consulted on all decisions about their care and treatment. The NHS will actively encourage feedback from the public, patients and staff, welcome it and use it to improve its services.
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Let me tell you about how they have blamed and shamed a mother.  How they have caused a child deep physical and mental distress.  How they have insisted she attend full-time school when she is physically patently too ill to do this.  How they have judged a mother and ignored a child.  How they refuse to listen to a mother. How they have refused over 14 requests for a second opinion.  How they have shamelessly used the system to keep the mother "in check", making her agree to a lot of ridiculously restrictive conditions which she KNEW were detrimental to the health of her child under the black cloud of "having her children taken away".

The NHS aspires to the highest standards of excellence and professionalism in the provision of high quality care that is safe, effective and focused on patient experience in the people it employs, and in the support, education, training and development they receive in the leadership and management of its organisations and through its commitment to innovation and to the promotion, conduct and use of research to improve the current and future health and care of the population.

Respect, dignity, compassion and care should be at the core of how patients and staff are treated not only because that is the right thing to do but because patient safety, experience and outcomes are all improved when staff are valued, empowered and supported.

Reading reports where the sneering, condescension and "holier than thou because I have a degree" positively oozes its venom off the page.  The smug, self satisfied, "you won't understand" way this mother is spoken to.  The obvious fact that no one listens.  The pre-meeting which is awash with self-satisfied jargon.

The NHS is accountable to the public, communities and patients that it serves

The NHS is a national service funded through national taxation, and it is the government which sets the framework for the NHS and which is accountable to parliament for its operation. However, most decisions in the NHS, especially those about the treatment of individuals and the detailed organisation of services, are rightly taken by the local NHS and by patients with their clinicians. The system of responsibility and accountability for taking decisions in the NHS should be transparent and clear to the public, patients and staff. The government will ensure that there is always a clear and up-to-date statement of NHS accountability for this purpose

It seems to me, from reading the notes, that the CAMHS team are more interested in their egos than in the physical well-being of a child.  It is my impression that they are more concerned with their petty little power games than actually doing their job.

Access to NHS services is based on clinical need, not an individual’s ability to pay.  NHS services are free of charge, except in limited circumstances sanctioned by Parliament.
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I have counted over 14 requests for a second opinion.  I have seen funding denied.

Or should I just put the bare facts before you?

This child's physical and mental health has deteriorated under their care to a dangerous level.


  1. I'm crying. Because things shouldn't be like this in 2013.
    We went through some stuff in 1989 but I thought the world had moved on. I'm praying for this child and her family. This cannot be allowed to continue.

  2. This makes painful reading. Care in the UK is a postcard lottery and blatantly unfair.

  3. This is unspeakably cruel treatment to that child and to her family. How can this be possible? I am furious and sputtering. When my child was 11 back in 1999 and had gotten down to a very low weight due to anorexia, there was no question that she would be hospitalized and get intensive outpatient treatment and then continued to be refed at home. My husband and I were never once blamed. Every effort was made to help her get healthy again. This makes me SO glad that I live in the U.S., as horrific as our health care insurance situation is for some. We are trying to make it better.

  4. That poor family. This is sickening. I do hope the family get the proper help they need and that the individuals in CAMHS in Arrol Park, Ayr, are struck off.

  5. My heart is in my throat, my veins are bulging with rage, my understanding of human compassion from those who enter into the health and social services has been turned upside down. How is this type of treatment even remotely possible? How can this family, this child be so utterly and shamelessly treated in this manner? I shake with rage and my head is exploding! This message, this unprofessional, uncaring, uninformed corner of the NHS needs naming and shaming!

    Anyone in the UK reading this, please send to your MP, please speak up and out! Every note, message, email, tweet and phone call will make a difference.

    How is this even remotely possible?

  6. I actually go to the CAMHS in Arrol Park in Ayr and my experience has been entirely different. I have been going for the past three years and the people I have seen have gone above and beyond to help me. The people I have seen are lovely and kind and provide so much support to me that I'm so thankful for. It makes me really really sad reading these comments about people saying how angry they are, because as a patient, I see the reality as something entirely different. I'm not very good at expressing myself and getting the words that I want to say, but I just read this and felt the need to comment a different side.
    Thank you for your time.