Letter sent 13 April 2015 by Email to Prof Alan Miller, Chair of Scottish Human Rights Commission:
Dear Professor Miller
I am writing to ask for a meeting with you to discuss the recent election briefing from SHRC “Human rights for all – forwards or back?”:
I contend there are few if any human rights for locked-in mental patients. In certain situations. Your/our/my rights will be denied if you resist their forced drugging. You may be locked in a seclusion room with no toilet, water to drink, in the dark (light switch outside), for hours at a time, unobserved. This is what happened to my son in February 2012, Stratheden Hospital IPCU, Fife. NHS Fife have been using the locked seclusion for decades as a way of “managing” psychiatric patients.
……. suggested I contact the SHRC about the human rights abuse of my son in Stratheden Hospital IPCU, February 2012, via Email or phone. But I’ve been there and done that, with …….. at the time, around June 2012. Because the SHRC does not deal with individual cases. ……. is now Stateside as far as I am aware. I have also on occasion engaged with you from the audience at events in parliament and at conferences.
Therefore I had to singlehandedly complain about the dehumanising treatment to NHS Fife, to Scottish Government, to my MSP and others in parliament, to the Mental Welfare Commission who did nothing (wise after the event). Eventually taking my complaint about NHS Fife to SPSO and it was upheld as “unreasonable treatment”. Mainly on two counts: the fact that my son was transferred between wards (I was a witness) in only his underpants and in bare feet by two hospital porters, no dignity; secondly that my son was locked in the seclusion room with no toilet, unobserved, needed the toilet, no-one came, had to defecate on the floor, still no-one came so he did a dirty protest. Human rights abuse.
However human rights abuses have to go to a criminal court for any justice. The issue is that mental patients who have been abused in psychiatric settings are not in the best of mental health, or in financial wealth, to be taking a powerful health board to court. As an unpaid carer I was left to pick up the pieces after the psychiatric abuse. No support from either health or social work. Apart from occasional psychiatrist appointments for my son. On £61/week as an unpaid carer.
The statutory agencies closed ranks. The Fife Council Adult Protection Investigation report tried to blame me, in 2012, finding no fault with the “care”. I only got a copy of the report later on in the year after making an FOI request. I had been the one to raise the issues with Fife Council social work from 1 February 2012 onwards. They refused to believe a mother and her son. They preferred to side with abusive healthcare staff who did not tell the truth. Their notes read like a work of fiction. We have copies of these. Folders of them from Feb/Mar12. I do not have the time to analyse such a huge work of fiction. They badmouth me through the notes, justifying their dehumanising treatment of my son and their bullying of me.
I hope that you can find the time to meet up with me. I am prepared to travel to Edinburgh from NE Fife to do so. I am an unpaid carer, now a pensioner so I get no Carers Allowance although still a carer for two sons with “mental disorder” diagnoses.
[I will put this Email in a blog post for the sake of transparency, taking out other names except for yours as SHRC lead.]
Chrys Muirhead (Mrs)