Iâ€™ll tell you whatâ€™s really broken in this country-what needs urgent fixing and what isnâ€™t helping improve the process. Mental health assessment for those who really need it is a total shambles and an embarrassment to the NHS. This particular part of the service has suffered under ever changing contract managers, come and go social workers, funding cuts and care free secretaries. There seems to be a distinct lack of any qualified mental health professionals but a lot of managers â€˜managingâ€™.
David Smith was about to make his getaway in his girlfriendâ€™s old Rover. It pulled up the hill and into the train station where he waited patiently with a kebab. As he got in the passenger side I sprung out of my vehicle and surprised him. In my middle class accent that seems to annoy I shouted â€œMr Smith! David!â€ and I ran the short distance to the car. I held the door open and he looked up, his face full of disappointment at being caught.
â€œDavid, I really need to get you back to hospital mate, your CT scan hasnâ€™t come back yet and you need to speak to the doctorâ€ I pleaded with him. I rested my head on my right forearm that griped the frame of the door and my body barred the way to freedom. Dave looked straight ahead and looked despondent â€œIâ€™ve already been the for four fucking hours now, its pointless. If you donâ€™t leave men alone Iâ€™m to fucking kick offâ€.
Dave was a heavy set man in his fifties, being ex-army he never sorted his hair out and his beer belly had caught up with him. Since his fall a couple weeks ago, his depression had been getting worse and the drinking too. He finally agreed to got the hospital after two days of nagging by his partner. Debbie sat patiently in the driverâ€™s seat, I had earlier asked her to lure her partner in for his own good. I hope this good karmaâ€¦
â€œYouâ€™re gunna ave to cuff me mate, I ainâ€™t coming quietly. I fucking ate hospitals mate, I really do. I fucking ate the smell, the lights, the beds, the peopleâ€ he began to snarl and his face turned red, the thought of returning to the hospital was making him extremely angry. He had already been waiting four hours before he left. The hospital had subsequently reported him missing.
As he spoke I nodded, I didnâ€™t threaten him and I knew Iâ€™d have to play this one carefully to avoid getting it wrong. I had Sophie with me and when she spoke he got extremely agitated â€œI donâ€™t wanna speak to you little girlâ€ little did he know she is 4 years older that Iâ€¦ Well it cheered her up anywayâ€¦
â€œI fucking hate hospitals too, if Iâ€™m honest, I really donâ€™t want to take you. BUT!â€ I exclaimed â€œThe head nurse tells me you may have a small bleed on the brain and there are a few things you need straighten outâ€ I moved in closer to his face, he looked ahead again so I spoke into his ear. â€œDavid, I can risk you dropping dead in front of your misses when I could have taken you back and sorted this out. You also mentioned a few dark thoughts youâ€™ve been having; you need to talk to someone about those. Therefore I need to detain you take to hospitalâ€. He slapped his thighs and gasped. â€œOh for fuckâ€™s sake! Cuff me up then Iâ€™m gunna kick offâ€. I thought about doing just that but I wanted to steer clear of that. I knew heâ€™d have a long wait and I didnâ€™t want to wind him up by cuffing him even if it was what he wanted at the time. Also, I didnâ€™t know how long he would have to wait and its bad drills having someone in cuffs for extended periods.
â€œDave, I donâ€™t have to do that do? I know it isnâ€™t what you want to do, but lets crack on and get it over and done withâ€. He got out of the car and walked over ours. It was a short drive through town, the same town Iâ€™d have to police on foot later that night. He was quiet, he had accepted that the situation was beyond his control and remained dignified. Upon arriving his shoulders slumped and his face turned pale, the larger seventies building loomed before us, row upon row of mirrored glass reflected the low light and the structure reminded me a prison. Itâ€™s a depressing place, grey concrete and repetitive patterns all over. As we walked over to the entrance, he circled and became hesitant. â€œTake your time mate, Iâ€™m not in a hurryâ€ I relaxed in an attempt to try and make him do the same. My hands were in my pockets and my stance casual. I didnâ€™t want it to appear I was ready to pounce in case he decided to run off.
Inside The head nurse was ready to see him. This no nonsense woman strolled over, the second I saw her I could tell she was the head shed. â€œRight David, lets get you sorted outâ€
He was a decent man, embarrassed by his recent decline in mental health and reluctant to seek help when he needed it. Soph and I were forced to detain him. The advice we were given was to use a certain act to curtail his liberty in his own interests. This advice was from the mental health assessment team on the phone so we confirmed we would do as they ask and wait for them to arrive at the hospital. We stayed with David and Debbie for a long time while we chatted and paced the hallways. Throughout the night, he became increasingly agitated, he kept clenching and opening his fists, he tried to stay limber in case he felt the overwhelming urge to run but I kept on chatting about nothing and everything.
I spent six hours in all, constantly persuading, pleading and demanding with Dave. I spent six hours begging him to stay and I was finally winning towards the end. The nurse had broken him down and convinced him to see the specialist mental health assessment team. I felt I could breathe easy as he was near the end of his tether. The call came back after hours of waiting â€œWeâ€™re on our way, be there in one hourâ€ to which Dave sighed and thanked the lord.
It was plain sailing from here, he didnâ€™t seem to mind being made to wait six hours now, it had all been worth it. He accepted the fact he needed help, he accepted the fact he was not okay fighting this on his own and he agreed to see the specialist on his own two feet.
Then disaster struck.
â€œSorry, you didnâ€™t tell us youâ€™d used that power to detain him, we canâ€™t come outâ€ the male said on the phone. His voice came across as careless, too busy and arrogant. â€œYou see, a hospital is not a place of safety and my priority is the safety of my teamâ€
A hospital is not a place of safety. A hospital, the place you go when youâ€™re sick is not a place of safety. â€œnow thereâ€™s no need to take that town with me, Iâ€™m just doing my jobâ€ yea and seem to be getting a kick out of it.
â€œRight, sorry excuse my anger for a second; what the fuck am I supposed to do? I used that act on you advice as you led me to believe thatâ€™s what I need to do to get him to see your team. Why did not state at the time? He has threaten to harm himself, he has harmed himself and he has threatened to harm his missed-tonight. The man is ill what am I supposed to do?â€
Predictably he scoffed â€œDonâ€™t swear at me, I cannot talk to you if you swear at meâ€ but he had me there. I apologised â€œIâ€™ve been here for six hours now, why is not a place of safety?!â€ and I shall never forget the reply this man gave â€œits not my problem, you should have spoken to the out of hours specialist through social servicesâ€
If Iâ€™m honest I lost me rag. A nurse looked embarrassed and showed me to a room where I could speak to the moron in private. The head nurse came with me. I stood there, totally lost for words. The effort and the concentration I had put into that night had completely drained my energy levels and I was close to losing my shit all together. By this point, Dave was not pacing the hallway, ignoring Sophie and his partner as the pleaded with him to stay. It was turning into one of those out of control moments where one of us gets hurt and I was damn sure it wasnâ€™t going to be me. My captor was unclipped and my hand naturally knew where to go to draw my baton. All the warning markers were there, the head drops, the shoulder come forwards, the hands clench, the conversation tails off.
â€œYouâ€™ll have to contact the Social team instead, in the mean-time get him to the police station and waitâ€ The nurse repeated what I had said, she shouted at him too, â€œWhy are you telling us this now? Why not six hours ago!!???â€
â€œDibs, Iâ€™m gunna have to punch you to get away, I canâ€™t handle this, I canâ€™t go inside a cell Iâ€™m gunna flip outâ€
â€œPlease, mate, calm it, Iâ€™m calling the social team now and Iâ€™m gunna put my foot up their arseâ€
â€œSorry Dibs, itâ€™s too much Iâ€™m goingâ€
It had gone too far, I cuffed him and apologised. I called for backup just in case I needed it and the van arrived shortly after. I was the only reason he hadnâ€™t exploded and started assaulting staff or his misses. The man had been totally fucked about for hours and his blood pressure was rocketing.
I booked him into custody like a common criminal, I searched him and seized his property and led him to his cell. â€œDibs, thanks, Iâ€™m sorry Iâ€™ve wasted your timeâ€.
I went back to the hospital and spoke to the nurse. Iâ€™m not ashamed to admit it, we cried and she led me into an empty room filled with medical devices. It was involuntary, my eyes welled with tears that obscured my vision, and the sheer strain of the six hours had caught up and slapped me in the face. I couldnâ€™t speak, my voice croaked as I tried to explain, I was lost for word anyway. He was just a decent man, he finally agreed to get the help but the process had tipped him over and totally exacerbated the whole situation. The total disregard and dereliction of duty by the original assessment team had left me in tears. When David needed help, I thought I could give it to him, I thought all I had to do was stay with him and wait, not lock him up like a common criminal.
I know I invested far too much thought into this, but I really did like the man, he was kind to his misses, he was decent person we treated him like total shit. Later that night I had to walk round town and deal with every drunk moron, moaning over facebook, their lack of money for a taxi home, how I never found out who stole their niky shoes or why I didnâ€™t arrest whoeverâ€¦
Iâ€™m lucky I didnâ€™t have the bed watch of the other mental health patient, he bit my mate and had to be seen by a doctor himself. Happy days aye?
There are plently spelling mistakes and grammar errors-couldn’t give a fuck