Weekend Herald

With­out care

- Crime · Society

Like Joan Belling­ham ( Week­end Her­ald, Oc­to­ber 3), I found the strug­gle for re­dress “al­most as bad as the orig­i­nal abuse”. An in­quiry was held: un­be­known to the com­plainants, the terms of ref­er­ence meant no- one could be held ac­count­able. The in­quiry was closed so the pub­lic did not know what was go­ing on.

De­spite an ACC find­ing of medical neg­li­gence, none of the staff re­spon­si­ble for the abuse ( which oc­curred in 1990) were held to ac­count by their pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tions. Me­di­a­tion re­sulted in an open apol­ogy and com­pen­sa­tion which could not be dis­closed. Be­cause of an en­forced con­fi­den­tial­ity agree­ment, the staff in­volved are prob­a­bly still prac­tis­ing to this day, be­cause the pub­lic do not know who they are.

I thought an apol­ogy would mean I would at last be treated with dig­nity and re­spect. Think again. I was la­belled as a trou­ble­maker and bul­lied each time I was ad­mit­ted for men­tal health care. In the end, I was ex­pelled from the ser­vice when I took an ad­vo­cate along to a meet­ing. My GP re­marked wryly that I was her sec­ond pa­tient who only be­gan to get bet­ter af­ter be­ing ex­pelled from state men­tal health “care”.

Name and ad­dress with­held.

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