Help - my son has a tribunal on Monday

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
This is beginning to sound like a soap opera!!

I went to the hospital and Jay was not back so I went looking for him. Couldn't find him and phone switched off. Went back to the ward and the doctor asked to see me. We had a long chat and she asked about how I felt and what had led up to the section. She assumed the section had run it's cause and they forgot to put him under a section 3, which is why he was informal. I briefly explained what happened and she said from chatting with Jay that morning she felt he needed to be sectioned as he had no idea what he had done was wrong. I almost cried with relief that finally someone agreed with and listened to me.

Anyway after Jay had been gone for 5 and half hours panic began to set in. I was in a quandary as to whether to call the police as I knew if he was just happy in his own world it would really upset him as he had done nothing wrong. On the other hand I was terrified he had done something to himself and every minute I did not call them was precious. Luckily the phone rang and it was Jay. He had had a lovely time walking a mile to town and buying glitter, cigars, 2 ties, socks, a necklace, a hat and a lighter. He even managed to get a bus back - never would have dreamt he would do that. He was angry because they had not given him his mobile charger so it was flat so he could not let me know where he was.

Anyway we went up to see him and had a walk then he showed us all his stuff. I spoke to the nurse about his charger and it was a misunderstanding so that was sorted. He was so happy and chatty and did not mention coming home, he just wanted his charger.

What a day but, despite all the worry, I do feel that we have moved further forward with the team in one day than in the 10 days he was at Norwich.

PS. ACS = Adult Community Services or Social Services in the old days.
Trisha,
Lots of us live our own soap operas, too.

It sounds like finally you and your son are getting more support. The psychiatrist sounds interested and is getting to grips with the whole picture.

Keeping everything crossed for you.

Melly1
I know I'm a little late but I've worked in psychiatric wards so may be of some help.

Do make a complaint, that was improper care - but it's not clear what kind of ward he was on? If it was high/medium security then if he is presenting calmly then it wouldn't be appropriate to keep him. If it was just another acute ward in another area then that psychiatrist was discharging too early. Patient are suppose to be kept for 72 hours minimum to observe behaviour and discharging after that is considered poor practice.

If he is in an acute ward now, then rest assured they will follow procedure. If you run into an issue where he is threatening to leave, if the staff feel he can be sectioned they will call the external doctors to place a section on him. If they don't feel he could be sectioned, then it's likely he can't. Sectioning is about capacity, my partner was showing psychotic symptoms but had too much awareness so couldn't be sectioned. They can't just section because he was violent, sectioning is about capacity, people can be self harming etc and not be sectioned because they are capable and able individuals.

His medication will not work that quickly, it takes 4-6 weeks to notice any difference in symptoms and that is just difference. Also, medication is like halfothe battle, the rest is therapy for any condition. But his medication will help a little, if it helps more that's great!

I'm glad you are taking to the ward staff, now he is on an acute ward he should be having ward rounds which you will be invited to. If you want you can just let them know you want to attend any ward rounds.

I will say, if you are worried about your safety and his safety and when he is discharged you don't feel he has improved enough for being at home with you (whivh is possible, beds are in high demand and you do have to be presenting in a certain way to have a bed, horrible as that sounds it's just reality) you have the right to refuse to have him home.

I know that's probably so hard to even consider, you want to protect him. Can you really take care and support him if you aren't able to take care of yourself first? You need to ask them to find him housing as a vulnerable adult because you are refusing to have him home for safety reasons. It could actyally be better for him to be in supported accommodation becausr it takes pressure off your relationship.

Obviously you don't have too, and I know I'd massively struggle to do that. I hate when my partner has to go to a ward, I can't imagine with it being your son!

I wish you the best to you and your son. Its such a challenging process and I hope he gets the help he needs
Thanks both,

My son was on a PICU ward but was still confused and did not think smashing someone's car with a hammer was wrong, which made me concerned he would do it again. His care coordinator and other nurses on the ward did not think he should be discharged but, because it did not go to the Tribunal they were not given a chance to speak.

I spoke to the Psychiatrist at Ipswich today and he said my son was obviously very unwell and should never have been discharged from Norwich and apologised to me, although not his fault. They are going to section him again today but have not been able to do it yet because he went wondering off for a few hours again. He also said he should really be on a PICU ward but there is no room so they will be able to manage him on the acute ward. There is no way I am going to have him sent away again, although I know I will have to fight that. I know until he is sectioned he can leave so need it done asap.