"Disability Discrimination"

About: St George Mental Health Service / Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre (PECC)

(as the patient),

I was here early this year in PECC (Psychiatric Emergency Care Centre) and had a nurse who in my opinion, was super discriminatory. I asked them to make my bed as the sheets had come off. I have a physical disability and told them that I could not make my bed due to being disabled. They refused to make it and said it was their job to make me adjust to my day to day life.

I said the NDIS have determined that I cannot perform tasks like making my bed, hence why I have funding for such things. I felt they smirked and continued to refuse. I brought it up with the doctor and said it was discrimination. This visit I believe they have been equally horrible, laughing to the manager when I spoke to them about something and was visibly upset. I feel they have done that same sadistic smirk to me multiple times whenever, in my opinion, they had done something nasty. I believe it is sadistic.

They said they needed to do my blood pressure, I said it needed to be done on my leg due to scarring and it being painful. (I have burns to 40 percent of my body). I refused to show them and they said if I refuse they're not doing blood pressure on my leg In my opinion, demanding that I show them something on my body, and refusing to do my blood pressure on my leg when it causes extreme physical pain is not ok. I believe this nurse is completely different and kind to other patients.

I believe I have been through repeated discrimination ever since arriving here.

Other examples- being told I was not allowed my laptop on the ward, despite having it every other time, including last week when I first arrived, apparently due to other patients being told the same thing but seeing another patient today on their laptop! Another thing that happened last time I was here is there were blinds on the side of my room, and one of the other patients told me that the whole time I had been there the nurses were staring at me through that window. This patient implied that they were not doing the same to other patients and they certainly weren't coming to check how I was feeling or if there was anything they could do. I believe it is more likely that they were staring due to my injuries/disabilities. I am not a circus freak to be stared up and I feel this is extremely alarming behaviour from nurses from a psychiatric ward. In my opinion, it is bullying.

When I was suicidal last week, the nurse saying well what do you want me to do? My response, I don't know, I'm not a psych nurse. Then, coming up to them later saying I feel really awful and their response being to just sit there, just sit in front of them, as though I was being punished for being a complex case and having suicidal ideation in my opinion.

I believe people like me (I've had several high lethality suicide attempts) come to hospital for help, safety and intervention to prevent themselves from hurting themselves. In my opinion, it is, under no circumstances, ok to be treated as an inconvenience or a joke and be bullied and made to feel less than as I have felt.  


Response from David Tobin, Inpatient Services Manager, St George Mental Health Unit, St George Hospital last week
David Tobin
Inpatient Services Manager, St George Mental Health Unit,
St George Hospital
Submitted on 25/06/2020 at 10:52
Published on Care Opinion at 10:54

Dear importersm68,

Thank you for the feedback regarding your recent stay at the St George Hospital Psychiatric Emergence Care Centre (PECC). It is distressing for us to hear that your experience of care was poor and can I apologise for the distress which this has caused you. We can certainly empathise with your experience and can I assure you that all consumer feedback is not only taken very seriously by our organisation, but is investigated and reflected upon to allow for us to improve the experience for all consumers we provide care for.

Regarding the specific issues which contributed to your poor experience, I would like to offer you the opportunity to contact myself as the Inpatient Services Manager, to further discuss the issues which you have identified either by e-mail or by phone. My e-mail address is david.tobin@health.nsw.gov.au and my contact number is (02) 9113-2226.

I have spoken with the Nurse Unit Manager of the PECC since receiving your concerns, with specific reference towards the need for all staff to display professional courtesy and respect at all times for all consumers which we care for and also to ensure that our operational processes within the PECC are implemented in a most consistent manner for all.

Can I encourage you to make contact with myself to discuss these issues further? I assure you that by doing so, this will not impact on the professional care which we may be able to offer to you moving forward.

Kind regards,

David Tobin

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