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Indirect mental disability discrimination

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:49 pm
by john_18021
I am my wife’s carer, we live in Scotland and my wife suffers from Anthropophobia ( fear of people),Depression, Anxiety and panic attacks and has no trust and has actual fear of any authority and people, including Dr’s.
She now has developed Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) and needs a stomach operation involving the removal of all her stomach and.
I like to know if she will be exempt from the visiting rules, eg can I be there all day as I am her carer and she needs me to keep her calm.
If the ward sister does not allow it, could that not be classed as discriminated against on the grounds of disability or other characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 or a mental health act and therefore as I am her carer and got power of attorney, they would not legally be able to keep me of the ward, as it is my wife’s wish to be there?
The consultant just say’s, it is down to the Ward Sister in Charge, but I like to know, just in case, that there is a law to help me, if need be as my wife needs me to help her recover and stress and panic attacks would be very bad for her, in particular after a major operation.

Thanks

Re: Indirect mental disability discrimination

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:08 pm
by bowlingbun
John, there are some new rules about ensuring that those mentally disadvantaged are supported to have full access to the NHS. Introduced 1st August 2016, and NOT followed when my son had an op on that day!
Talk to the PALs (Patient Liason) department asap, and ask how they can help ensure that your wife has the support she needs (so don't mention discrimination to start with, give them a chance). Explain that you are happy to help as much as possible, but it needs to be sorted well in ADVANCE of admission.

Re: Indirect mental disability discrimination

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:12 am
by john_18021
bowlingbun wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:08 pm
John, there are some new rules about ensuring that those mentally disadvantaged are supported to have full access to the NHS. Introduced 1st August 2016, and NOT followed when my son had an op on that day!
Talk to the PALs (Patient Liason) department asap, and ask how they can help ensure that your wife has the support she needs (so don't mention discrimination to start with, give them a chance). Explain that you are happy to help as much as possible, but it needs to be sorted well in ADVANCE of admission.
PALS here is PASS and they just provide info, no help and say that talk to hospital, matron, ward sister in charge etc or make complaint if no luck with them. Pass also say’s, one needs to understand it is a all woman ward and therefore one needs to leave more often than not etc. so just getting run around. we written now to consultant again to pass on more info and put on record that i am a carer and my wife's exact needs, after they just ignored our GP's support letter and just said they will try their best, but not giving guarantees, as they got to consider other patient needs at the time. In the past i found quoting rules and law at people very helpful and they felt, being able to bend or break rules as they are then protected from repercussions, from their bosses and that is why i was asking for help on rules.
This uncertainty is getting to my wife and myself and is no good for her at all.

Re: Indirect mental disability discrimination

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:12 pm
by jenny lucas
Sounds like the hospital aren't going to make promises they can't keep!!!!

Can you find out which ward she will be in both pre and post op, and then talk to the ward sister yourself directly? If you 'talk nice' and 'make friends' etc, and get her 'on side', she may understand the situation and be more sympathetic. She may not be able to 'promise' you anything, but would be likely to at least try and accommodate you if she can.

That said, she could also (and your wife's doctors as well of course) make sure your wife has sufficient 'medication' (some form of anti-anxiety meds - eg, over and above what she is on currently?) to take down her anxiety levels.

Remember, after an op, your wife will be extremely 'snoozy' at the very least.

I'm so sorry about the actual operation itself - it sounds very grim indeed.

Are you in touch with a Macmillan nurse to help support you both? Your wife will be assigned a CNS (Cancer Nurse Specialist) who will be your first 'port of call' - in fact, why not find out who she is, and again, ask her about the added MH issues your wife has, and how the hospital can manage that. Can you ensure your wife ALSO has a consultant from the Psych team at the hospital to deal with her MH, ie, ensure the hospital understands she is ALSO a psych patient, not only a cancer patient.

This is clearly a very worrying time, but one thought - it could be, ironic though it sounds, that if your wife is worrying about the MH issues she will face (eg, the fear of others, etc etc), it COULD help take her mind off the very serious diagnosis of cancer she has just received. Sometimes when we have 'something else' to worry about, it helps divert us from the 'even worse' to wo about. I found this to some extent when my own husband was diagnosed with cancer some years ago (he used to tell me that he was more scared of the operation than the cancer itself!)

I wish you both all that can be done by the doctors, and I do hope her surgery and treatment is as successful as can be.

PS - if you wanted some more info about the type of cancer and the forthcoming operation and after-impact, I do recmend the Macmillan forum - there is a wealth of information there, and just hearing from other patients and carers can be a great help I found myself...

Re: Indirect mental disability discrimination

Posted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:27 pm
by sunnydisposition
Hi Have you thought of asking for a private room. Do you have any insurance that might cover such an event. It is surprising how many home insurance policies can cover. No one every thinks of checking.

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/childbirth ... t-hospital

https://www.hotukdeals.com/discussions/ ... hs-2282200

You could speak with you local MP.

Re: Indirect mental disability discrimination

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:09 pm
by Fig
Hi John
That's not easy! Do you have a service like VOCAL (https://www.vocal.org.uk/) in your areas that could (possibly) provide some advice? All the best for you and your wife!