Woman begs to leave 'nightmare' mental health facility
A DISABLED woman is begging to leave a facility for people with acute mental health problems after enduring a ‘two-month nightmare’.
Susan Brear, 64, of North Somercotes, says she has been frightened, depressed and at times “wanted to die” while staying in the Manthorpe Centre in Grantham - even though doctors raised concerns she should not be there.
But despite staff becoming “deeply concerned” about the effect that being in the unit is having on the former teacher, she is still desperately trying to force a move out of the facility.
Mrs Brear was moved to the facility after her husband had a heart attack and could no longer look after her at home.
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“It’s dreadful,” she told the Target.
“It’s the wrong place for me because it’s for mental health patients and I’m not mentally ill, but I will be if I stay here any longer.
“The staff do their best but they can’t help.
“I’m so depressed – I’ve just got to get out of here.
“It’s an absolute nightmare.
“I have anxiety all the time and I’m frightened.”
Mrs Brear, who has a daughter, made a miraculous recovery from a stroke four years ago but has been in a wheelchair ever since.
She returned to live with her husband Michael, 67, two years ago following her release from hospital in February 2011.
She then required several home visits from carers every day to help with basic tasks like washing and getting dressed.
But after Mr Brear’s heart attack in April, she had to be moved elsewhere – going to The Elms Care Home in Louth before her transfer to Grantham on June 20.
Her husband said he had contemplated suicide because of the situation and felt his wife had been “dumped” at the Manthorpe Centre.
“The whole thing is diabolical,” he said.
“She will ring me up and I can’t hear her because of the screaming and shouting in the background.
“She’s in a wheelchair and she’s quite a sensitive soul, so it’s frightening for her.
“The way things are she can’t come home and there’s nowhere in Lincolnshire for her.
“She’s been so upset. A few weeks ago she told me she wanted to die.”
Mrs Brear has some movement in her right hand and has shown signs she can get the use of her legs back with the correct treatment.
However, her husband says she has not been able to secure appropriate physiotherapy to continue her rehabilitation since specialist sessions stopped last summer.
Mr Brear said he did not know when he would receive feedback from an assessment of his wife’s physical condition on Tuesday, August 13.
The couple both say the Manthorpe Centre is a good facility for patients that it was designed for.
Part of Grantham Hospital, the unit cares for people aged over 65 who have mental health problems, such as dementia.
Dr Al-Kaissy, a consultant psychiatrist at the site, wrote to the county’s older adults care team on July 19 asking for Mrs Brear to be moved.
His letter states: “Mrs Brear, understandably, is finding it more difficult to be accommodated in an acute older adults mental health unit.”
Dr Al-Kaissy continues to explain his patient’s condition, stating she admits having “demanding behaviour” caused by her physical disability and dependency on carers.
He concludes: “I would like to re-stress the fact that we are deeply concerned about the impact of being in an acute mental health unit on Mrs Brear’s mental wellbeing.”
Mr Brear has had concerns about his wife’s care since her release from hospital.
The former businessman says he had to fight for £19,000-a-year funding for carers to visit their home, and even then he found it difficult to cope with looking after her.
Mrs Brear made good progress during spring last year, eventually being able to make her first steps with a stick.
But funding only covered monthly sessions for half the year and her progress stalled.
Since her stroke in July 2009, Mrs Brear has had left-sided neglect, which affects her awareness of one side.
Her brain injury also means she has problems with her attention, but there have not been major impacts on processes like speech.
Her husband is hopeful she can make a strong recovery and eventually be able to regain the use of her legs and do everyday tasks herself.
He says she needs to be transferred to a specialist facility for occupational and physiotherapy but claims there is not one in Lincolnshire.
Gary James, accountable officer at Lincolnshire East Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Unfortunately we cannot comment on individual cases.
“However, as the commissioner of services for the east of Lincolnshire, we would encourage the patient concerned to raise their concerns with us directly.”
Mr Brear, who says he can only afford to visit his wife twice a week, claims he has struggled to get his voice heard.
“Even if it’s resolved, it’s shameful,” he said.
“They keep prevaricating and people keep saying they are not the right people and putting you onto someone else.”
“Everything is devolved and diluted.
“Everyone seems to be in little compartments that can’t communicate with each other.”