EDP: Private Sussex hospital Priory Ticehurst put East Anglia teenager in a room with disturbing messages from former patients

Nicholas Carding of the Eastern Daily Press reports:

A 16-year old has described her stay in a private hospital where former teenage patients had left messages encouraging self-harm and assault on her room’s wall.

Her room was completely bare – containing nothing but a sheetless bed and a window.

She sat on the bed, mentally ill, knowing she could not leave, and that her family were more than 150 miles away.

Scrawled on the walls around her were messages from the room’s previous occupants: “Cut me open and I shall keep bleeding” and “Kill Brooke – slash her like a twig”.

This was the reality in which Rebecca found herself. She was a frightened 16-year old mental health patient sent away from her home county because of a lack of facilities there.

“It was awful,” said Rebecca.

“You don’t put someone who has been suicidal in a room like that.”

“There was nothing that went on during the day apart from the classes,” she said.

“It’s not therapy. There was nothing to do.

“One night I was being watched by one person in the doorway who was vaping and texting on her phone.

“I had to sleep on a plastic mattress without a sheet which was very uncomfortable.”

She also described long waits to see her doctor and problems accessing a telephone to talk to her parents.

Meanwhile, brand new local NHS beds for young people lie empty because NHS England refuses to fund them. Shameful.

NHS England chiefs are carrying out a national review of the number of inpatient beds for child and adolescent mental health services.

It is looking at the number of beds against local need and demand, and the geographical distribution of beds.

“Our aim is to prevent the amount of time young people spend in hospital and eliminate inappropriate out of area placements.”

This newspaper reported this last August and asked NHS England when the review is likely to be completed, but a date is not yet known.

The Care Quality Commission said it was aware of the complaint about the messages on the wall.

NHS England is an unaccountable bureaucratic nightmare: its Kafkaesque priority is playing the NHS Blame Game rather than patients.

Read the EDP’s report by clicking on the image below. Even better, support expensive investigative journalism, which is so crucial to our campaign, by buying a copy of the newspaper.

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