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Old 07-07-2020, 06:25 PM   #1
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Can they do this?


Last Thursday I was going to take my life but in the end reached out for help. I was admitted to a mental health hospital as a voluntary patient for 48 hours. I had to stay in the section 136 suite even though I was voluntary because I am visually impaired and have a guide dog and they were concerned the guide dog wouldn’t be safe on the main ward as they said they had some very poorly and aggressive people on the ward currently. After 48 hours I was discharged and am now under the care of the Home Treatment Team and seeing their doctor on Thursday.

I just have a few questions.....

When my Mum arrived for a visit a member of the ward staff and a member of crisis team staff pounced on us and suddenly said they thought that then would be a good time to discharge me. They started talking to me about things in front of my Mum and this upset me because I had no idea this ‘meeting’ was going to happen and they hadn’t asked my permission to talk about things in front of my Mum. Anyway the member of ward staff and member of crisis team staff went on to tell me in front of my Mum that I was being discharged to my parents house and that I had to stay there. I have been staying with my parents most of the time during lockdown but I had just started staying at my home more now I can have a support bubble so anyway my question is as a voluntary patient or a sectioned patient do hospital staff have the power to tell you where you must live upon discharge? I wasn’t even sectioned! I begrudge being told where I have to live - I can make my own decisions!

The second question is that my GP surgery has provided me with 2 fit notes for my employer - one to cover the hospital admission and one to cover me working reduced hours now for a few weeks. In the space where it says on the fit note the reason why it has been issued on both fit notes the GP has just simply written ‘Planning suicide’. Now that might be accurate but usually when doctors have done fit notes for me before they’ve put something quite vague and broad like ‘Anxiety and Depression’. What the GP has said is accurate but I feel like it is disclosing too much information for a fit note and has put me in a difficult position with my employer as I don’t know what they might think of me now or what might come of it. Is a GP allowed to write this kind of thing on a fit note and does anyone understand my thoughts and feelings about it?

Many thanks for reading.

i do not always manage to be around but i wish you all the very best - love and luck to you all!

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Old 08-07-2020, 09:29 PM   #2
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Hmm, I admit I'm not too sure about the first bit. I'm pretty sure you have a right to stop that conversation and ask for it not to happen in front of your mum. I guess if they felt that you were unlikely to be safe at home, they could say that they're only happy with you going home if it's to your parents' house and if they were unable to convince you to do that they'd suggest that you stay in hospital and then ultimately they could go down the sectioning route if you were insisting on leaving against their advice.

With regards to the fit note, the guidance says that a GP should "give as accurate a diagnosis as possible, unless you think a precise diagnosis will damage your patient’s wellbeing or position with their employer." So I think that it would be well within your rights to request a less descriptive reason to be written! The guidance has a case study regarding someone who had been contemplating suicide and it suggested just writing 'depression'.

We may not see eye to eye, but we can respect each other's opinions and find the truth in them.
Perhaps in those honest conversations, instead of demonising each other,
we might see each other as imperfect humans, doing our best. ~ Jodi Picoult

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Old 09-07-2020, 07:43 PM   #3
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I don't live in your country, but I've had similar happen with regards to them talking to my parents without permission and only wanting me to be discharged if I agreed to stay with them as an adult. I don't know that it's legal or not, but what I ended up doing was basically going and staying with a parent for one night, then said parent agreeing that I'd be better off at my own home. I've been told that when your life is in danger they have the right to break confidentiality - but I personally think if you're in hospital, then your life isn't at risk anymore and they should be respecting your wishes in that regard. I will say, I've had to start shouting mid conversation at staff "I DO NOT CONSENT TO YOU SHARING THIS INFORMATION WITH THIS PERSON" repeatedly i.e. shouting over them until they stop. It's not fun, but it has been effective.

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