Thursday, 10 August 2017

on being an independent voice, leader, educator, survivor: Safe Houses for Psychosis

A wee reflective post about being an independent voice in mental health matters, speaking out and, in a sense, leading the way.

My psychosis in 2015, following a complete physical and mental breakdown after years of campaigning for justice, resisting bullying and exclusion by various head honchos in Scotland's mental health world, was transitional and strengthening.  It was a matter of survival, with no recourse to system support.  My whistleblowing had put paid to that.  I was persona non grata with community MH services, having exposed them as incompetent.  There was no trust, on either side.

The psychosis was a painful process, facing the fear, feeling isolated, not belonging, remembering the past, recounting stories, recalling memories, sharing experiences, adjusting, adapting, rearranging, accepting.  There were yearnings, deep longings for more children, lost opportunities, what might have been.  I grieved for babies unborn and considered how this might be overcome.  Time was relative, ageless.

It propelled me back into creative pursuits and getting fit, eventually cycling after not being able to afford a car.  We got poorer as NHS Fife got richer, to the tune of £4.4million, a new Intensive Care Unit at Stratheden psychiatric Hospital as a result of my campaigning and my son's abusive treatment.  It was very unfair, hard to withstand, seeing the new build unit from the 64 bus, Springfield to Cupar, most days.  Like rubbing salt in the wounds.  My son avoids this experience as much as possible.  I thole it and externalise my distress.

I'm glad to say that the pain of isolation experienced during the psychosis has lessened and I've come to terms, to some extent, with the role assigned to me.  Which is to speak out as I find it, without fear or favour.  I'm not perfect and that's OK.  I'm entitled to my opinion, based on a lifetime of psychiatric system engagement, surviving psychosis/coercive drug treatment and caring for my 3 sons coming through the same, supporting other family members too.  I've got the scars to show for it and fortunately the education, and experience, of being a well-seasoned reflective practitioner, trainer, mentor and facilitator of learning.  No mean feat.

I was always a natural leader, even as a child, although didn't realise this until a youth leaders training weekend at Wrangholm Hall, New Stevenson, Lanarkshire, in around 1981, when we undertook a serious of "trust" games and other leadership activities, aged 29, with 2 sons, having survived one puerperal psychosis and coercive drug treatment in Hartwoodhill [avoiding ECT when hospitalised in 1978 after first postpartum psychosis; then Krypton Factor 1980].  During the tasks I took the lead, getting folk organised, usually when others had tried and couldn't manage.  I didn't trust much when it came to the games.  Learnt this lesson more during my first mental patient experience.  I'm a quick learner.


student mentor awards Fife [Adam Smith] College 2007
I've often been a lone worker, in paid and voluntary posts, sometimes the only paid person with a team of volunteers, or taking the lead in setting up community projects, all of us volunteers.  Community development, local activism, groupwork, children's and youth work, in various settings, including schools, latterly colleges and universities.  The student mentoring project I set up at Adam Smith/Fife College in 2006/7 involved partnership working with many other agencies.  Therefore the move into promoting MH peer support and delivering recovery training in 2008 made sense, based on my past achievements.  However I soon met resistance, exclusion, bullying and cronyism, the extent to which I'd not anticipated or experienced before in life.  I've had to get tougher to survive.

In conclusion, I've survived another psychosis without psychiatry this time around, and there is no comparison between the two.  Avoiding coercive, invasive drug treatment and risky psychiatric ward settings is the way forward, in my opinion, for people, especially women, wanting to journey through psychosis with the minimum of damage and the maximum of enjoyment.  To become more yourself, stronger, fitter, drug-free, retaining an independent mindset, avoiding predatory behaviours and increasing self confidence.

Safe (haven crisis) Houses for Psychosis are the way forward, to my mind, and I'll be considering how to make this happen in the time that I have left, researching and evidencing good practice in the UK and abroad.  I'm still focused on teaching, facilitating learning, mentoring within the DClinPsy (Clinical Psychology doctorate) programmes at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities, because I believe that my survivor voice and considerable life experience are of value to, will benefit trainees and academic staff, practitioners.  I also want to do the same within Mental Health Nurse training programmes in Scotland, finishing what I started. These are statements of intent.

"That which does not kill me makes me stronger" - Friedrich Nietzsche





Wednesday, 9 August 2017

'Hard to reach: Coercive system or defective gene?' DCP-Scotland Review Aug17

Wallace Monument 24Mar17 after event
Many thanks to Dr Simon Stuart [@soothron], Clinical Psychologist, Editor of DCP-Scotland Review, for inviting me to write a piece on the 'Psychosis & Complex Mental Health Faculty' event which I attended in Stirling 24 March 2017.  Link to Summer 2017 DCP-S Review Issue 16.



 
  
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Presentations #BPS #DCP #Psychosis & Complex MH Faculty event 24Mar17 Stirling

Storify of tweets: teaching #BPS #DCP #Psychosis & Complex MH Faculty event 24Mar17 Stirling; it's hard to reach out

 

Friday, 4 August 2017

'Mental Health Nurse training programmes: involving survivor voices' @FionaCMcQueen

Prof Fiona McQueen
Here is an Email letter just written, to Prof Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing Officer Scottish Government, copied in to Prof Hugh Masters, Associate Chief Nursing Officer, Scottish Government, Dr Rosie Stenhouse, Mental Health Nurse Lecturer, University of Edinburgh, and Others:

Strapline: Mental Health Nurse training programmes: involving survivor voices

Dear Fiona

I am writing to you again with a topic that I think is important, the involvement of survivor voices in Scottish MH Nurse training programmes.

From what I witnessed when taking part in Abertay and Dundee University MH Nurse training, 2012/13, there were various issues or flaws in the recruitment and selection process, and the way in which people with lived experience were involved.  To reiterate, I'm an experienced, qualified, community educator and facilitator of training, since the 1980's in the field.  Here is my Biography page on the blog:
http://chrysmuirheadwrites.blogspot.co.uk/p/bio.html

The abusive treatment of my son by Stratheden IPCU MH Nurses in February 2012 impacted on my involvement in nurse training.  This is understandable.  We exposed, whistleblowed, about the locked seclusion room with no toilet, light, drinking water, the fact that my son was left for hours unobserved.  I made an FOI request for observation reports, there were none, according to then General (Nurse) Manager Bob McLean, now retired.  My son had to defecate on the floor of the cell, then when still no-one came he did a dirty protest which, together with the bare feet and underpants move from Lomond Ward by Porters, led to my "winning" the Ombudsman complaint against NHS Fife.

Dr Rosie Stenhouse's PhD thesis was on patient safety, however I maintain that this is flawed.  A nurse researching psychiatric inpatient treatment cannot be independent.  Her supervisor was Nurse Steve Tilley.  Her thesis was marked by Nurse Phil Barker.  I contend that psychiatric inpatients wouldn't be free to tell a nurse everything about their treatment if it was abusive.  Fear of retaliation, retribution, payback.  Which is what happened to us after I reported poor nursing practice in Lomond Ward, summer of 2010.  I witnessed many inappropriate behaviours by nurses and told various people in authority, including Geoff Huggins, then Head of Mental Health Division at Scottish Government, and Dr Donny Lyons, CEO of Mental Welfare Commission.

I'm not happy about Dr Stenhouse's treatment of me during the PhD preparation, the fact that she was instrumental in scuppering my Safe haven crisis House research.  She met with Prof Schwannauer without me present and took charge at our final supervision meeting, trying to put me in my place.  This was out of line and is nothing to do with 'Developing and Maintaining Therapeutic Relationships'.  I did not raise an official complaint about Stenhouse, showing compassion because of her head/eye injury caused by her hobby of horse-riding.  But I do believe that she scuppered my research plans.  This has happened on various occasions with Dr Stenhouse where she did not respect my survivor/carer voice, enough, wasn't considerate of my situation.  After my son was abused Dr Stenhouse reframed his treatment objectively, from the nurse perspective.  I remember this.

Therefore I am even more convinced of the need for psychiatric survivor voices teaching and mentoring within the Mental Health Nurse training programmes at Scottish Universities (this could be achieved by remunerating with honorariums and travel expenses).  I'm concerned that there will be a continuation of abusive psychiatric nursing practices because lecturers are not independent or do not have the appropriate reflective practitioner skills and abilities to properly equip new MH Nurses for the tasks they will have to deal with.

I believe that MH Nurses deserve the best of training and teaching in reflective practice, self awareness, human rights issues, social justice, how to stand with patients and carers, how to stand against abusive cultures, keeping themselves and others safe from being dehumanised.  Survivor voices like mine, qualified reflective practitioners, can add value to MH Nurse training programmes, bringing insight and learning.

I hope that you are listening to my voice Professor McQueen.  I'm not prepared to be quiet or to put up with bad practice.  I know my worth, I'm not worth less.

Yours sincerely,  

Chrys

cc Prof Hugh Masters; Dr Rosie Stenhouse; Prof Matthias Schwannauer; Prof Charlotte Clarke; Robin Ion; Mike Ramsay


Chrys Muirhead

Safe Houses for Psychosis

writer, researcher, activist; cyclist, photographer, gardener, swimmer

ChrysMuirheadWrites.blogspot.co.uk
 
@ChrysMuirhead



Thursday, 3 August 2017

Hunter Watson: Prospect of a Wide Review; August 2017; Mental Health Act Scotland

Hunter Watson
Email letter sent to MSPs and Others, 3 August 2017:

"Now that the final day has arrived on which signatures can be added to my petition PE01667 on mental health and incapacity legislation I have produced the attached paper which not only makes the case for a wide review being necessary but also provides reasons for my being hopeful that one will take place. You might find it of interest.
                         Best wishes,
                                           Hunter Watson"

Paper:


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24 June 2017: #HunterWatson Petition PE01667: Review of mental health and incapacity legislation @ScotParl

W Hunter Watson Papers


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Horrified Other: History Beyond Trauma; Davoine & Gaudillière

Footnote 17 on p58: The phrase is Arendt's (The Horrified Other)








Saturday, 22 July 2017

Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship

 
"Travel to learn – return to inspire… 

We fund UK citizens to investigate inspiring practice in other countries, and return with innovative ideas for the benefit of people across the UK."




Sunday, 16 July 2017

on being constrained; shooting the messenger

Recently I returned to a group that I'd not been attending for over 2 years.  I'd left because of feeling bullied by other members so it wasn't easy returning, for any of us. 

What was most interesting about going back was the recollection of what it felt like to be in that group before.  The constraints.  I felt the pain of it, having to toe the line, hadn't really considered the restrictions before, in terms of not being allowed to be myself, a free agent.  

The constraints may have occurred for safety reasons.  But it didn't work.  Because when the person who usually kept order wasn't there then there were no constraints and I was attacked.  

Express article 5Oct14
Which tells me that constraints or restraints don't "work".  

People are angry at an oppressive system and this can spill over into arguments and scapegoating, in my experience.  I've seen it often since 2008 when first getting involved in mental health matters, aged 55.  More so since having to speak out against human rights abuses in psychiatric settings, perpetrated on my family for over 50 years.

Shooting the messenger.

I'm not prepared to put up with being bullied for speaking out with an independent voice.  To be constrained and excluded.  It can result in hierarchy and some being favoured over others.  Narrow corridors.

My voice matters just as much as anyone else's.  I'm not worth less.

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avoiding ECT when hospitalised in 1978 after first postpartum psychosis; then Krypton Factor 1980

Hartwoodhill Hospital, Lanarkshire, where I was inpatient 1978 & 1984

memories of peer support in the psychiatric system circa 1984

Postscript

I was forcibly internally examined one week after my youngest son was born, 25Nov84, when a voluntary inpatient of Hartwoodhill psychiatric hospital, held down by 3 nurses while a black doctor (possibly locum) put gloves on and invaded my body.  My husband witnessed this.  I resisted because the birth of my son had been normal, no complications, therefore no need for an examination by a doctor in a psychiatric ward who wasn't a specialist in gynaecology, and may have damaged me.  Then they forcibly injected me with Chlorpromazine.

A few months after discharge my husband got a vasectomy, I signed the form when on Chlorpromazine, aged 32.  No more babies.  My husband didn't want to risk it again. 


Friday, 14 July 2017

#ECT training by SEAN at £150 a go for doctors; half price nurses/students

Flyer advertising 'Electro-convulsive Therapy [ECT]' training by the Scottish ECT Accreditation Network [SEAN]:



Q: it says "90% of patients who receive ECT in Scotland improve", improve what?
[compliance?  their manners?  putting up with bad treatment without complaining?]

Programme

[there is no information on the SEAN Reference Group of Users and Carers page on website]

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Scottish ECT Accreditation Network Annual Report 2016; A summary of ECT in Scotland for 2015
 
Summary & Key Findings page x


  • "23% of all patients receiving ECT had expressed a specific preference for the treatment" which means that 77% didn't want it but were pressured or coerced
  • "43% of patients receiving ECT had previous responded well to treatment" which means that 57% didn't respond well to ECT previously
  • 62% gave informed consent to having ECT which means that 38% objected to having ECT and were given it coercively
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page 1 from SEAN report 2016
  
"just over 10% of people receiving ECT were aged over 80 years, while this age group accounts for only 4% of the population" 

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other blog posts about ECT:

14 July 2015: the dominance of biological psychiatry in Dundee: pushing ECT on female patients; polypharmacy; NMD - going backwards not forwards 

20 April 2015: Dear Prof Matthews: why are female patients in Carseview Centre Dundee being put under pressure to have ECT?

1 September 2014: Dear Support in Mind Scotland please present a balanced view of ECT and try not to be patronising


Sunday, 25 June 2017

"Would you like to join me?": Dr Peter J Gordon, Martyrs Monument 21Aug17

"Would you like to join me?" on Hole Ousia

INVITATION:

This is an invitation to join me on a peaceful protest to be held on Monday 21st August 2017 at the Martyrs Monument, Calton Hill Burial Ground, Edinburgh.

WHAT THE PROTEST IS ABOUT:

It is a protest for anybody who has had difficulty communicating with high public office in Scotland. For some this may have been with the Scottish Government – but it need not relate to any particular institution.

This protest is for anybody who has felt that those in a genuine position of power may have acted unfairly.


Professor Walter Humes, writing in Scottish Review, 21st September 2015:

“For some time I have been copied into email exchanges concerning how complaints against public bodies are dealt with. I have no personal stake in any of the specific sources of concern (which include patient care in the NHS and responses by Police Scotland, the Scottish Government and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) to requests for formal investigations). I do, however, have a long-standing interest in issues of public accountability and am familiar with the various techniques used by bureaucratic organisations to avoid responsibility when things go wrong: these include silence, delay, evasion, buck-passing and attempts to discredit complainants.”

THE FIRST MINISTER’S “INTENTION”:

The First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon said: “I intend that we will be an open and accessible Government” 26 November 2014

Prof Walter Humes, 21 September 2015:

“Those who hold high office in public bodies are very adept at defending their own interests. They may claim to support openness and transparency but those principles are not always translated into practice. Bureaucratic Scotland often falls short of the democratic ideals which are said to underpin civic life”

WHY GATHER AT THE MARTYRS’ MONUMENT:

This film by me, “The Friends of Liberty“, explains why the Martrys Monument has been chosen for this protest. The location is next to St Andrew’s House, the seat of the Scottish Government. The Martyrs Monument rises higher and has a wider view than St Andrew’s House. The Martyrs Monument was raised through public donations.


The Friends of Liberty from omphalos on Vimeo.


WHY the 21st of AUGUST ?:

Reason 1: The foundation stone of the Martyrs’ Monument was laid on this very day, 1844.

Reason 2: on the 21st August 2017 there will be a full solar eclipse (sometime just before 8pm) revealing the power of one orb over another and our shared need for light.

THE PERSONAL STORY MATTERS:

Here is my experience with Scottish Government. I have been, and continue to be, an active advocate for ethical considerations in all aspects of healthcare in NHS Scotland. I am proud of what I have done and of who I am.
So if you have your own story please come along and share it. Together we can make a difference. 




Saturday, 24 June 2017

#HunterWatson Petition PE01667: Review of mental health and incapacity legislation @ScotParl

PE01667: Review of mental health and incapacity legislation

Petitioner: W Hunter Watson

Closing Date for Online Petition: 03 August 2017 

"Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to conduct a wide review Scottish mental health and incapacity legislation and, when doing so, to take due account of recent developments in international human rights law."



Background Info

"In 1997 I began writing to my MP in an attempt to persuade Parliament to legislate to ensure that antipsychotic drugs were not concealed in the food or drink of elderly care home residents. After the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, I began writing to MSPs in an attempt to achieve the same aim. When it became apparent that this approach was not going to be successful I submitted a petition to the Public Petitions Committee. This petition, number PE867:
http://archive.scottish.parliament.uk/business/petitions/docs/PE867.htm

generated great media interest because it had not been generally realised that drugs were being concealed in the food or drink of some care home residents: I was interviewed on both radio and television and the story was covered in the UK press. Regrettably, this petition was unsuccessful. It was assumed that my concerns would be addressed by revising the Code of Practice for the Adults with Incapacity Act. Basically, the revision implied that covert medication is permissible provided that it is done in accordance with the provisions of the Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) 2000 Act (the AWI Act). However, given developments in the field of human rights since the passage of that Act, it would seem to be now appropriate to review it.

In 2008 I was made aware of one particular case which made it clear that the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2003 (the 2003 Act) was not working as well as the Scottish Parliament had expected. Basically, it suffers from the same flaw as does Part 5 of the AWI Act. In each case, too much power is given to health professionals who, like the rest of us, are not infallible. Nor do they always adhere to the laudable principles which are supposed to underpin both the AWI and the 2003 Act. As a consequence, many of the people who are treated under the provisions of those Acts have their human rights violated. Because of my concerns about the 2003 Act, and the absolute refusal of the Scottish Government to act to address those, I submitted petition PE01494 which called for the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to amend the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 to ensure that it is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. Although I and the person who seconded my petition were both permitted to address the Public Petitions Committee and although that Committee gave various bodies and individuals an opportunity to submit evidence, the Committee agreed to close my petition without discussing it. I was informed that it agreed to do this as the consequence of an instruction from a senior official or civil servant.

The Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015 reflected a limited review of the 2003 Act that was based upon the 2009 McManus Report and which was concerned largely with administrative rather than with human rights issues. In spite of calls from the General Assembly, from the Labour Party's health spokesperson and others, the Scottish Government declined to widen the scope of that legislation. It is noteworthy that the Scottish Government chose not to give due consideration to the submission made by the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee:  http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_HealthandSportCommittee/Inquiries/MHB027_-_SHRC.pdf 

In that submission, it is stated that the relevant law includes the "Scotland Act 1998 which requires that all legislation of the Scottish Parliament must be compatible with ECHR rights. It also requires that Scottish Ministers must observe and implement the UK's other international obligations, which includes obligations under international human rights treaties the UK has ratified. There are several international human rights treaties that have application to mental health and mental disorder. This submission focusses on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities". (My italics).

The Scottish Government should examine the possibility that if Scottish mental health and incapacity legislation is not amended to take due account of those judgments of the European Court of Human Rights to which I make reference in my paper entitled "Important Court Judgments 2" then it will not be ECHR compatible as is required by the Scotland Act.

My paper also contains relevant judgments of domestic courts. These have established case-law which makes clear that an adult with capacity can only be treated with that adult's informed consent and that there must be a presumption of capacity. Among the cases to which reference is made is Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board, 2015. Comments on this case appeared in the May 2017 edition of the BMJ. Among those comments is the following: "The doctor might think that disclosure of certain information could lead the patient to a decision that is not in their best interests, as was true in the Montgomery case. But the ethical and legal position is clear: doctors must not withhold information simply because they disagree with the decision the patient is likely to make if given the information".

The need to provide full information about risks and to not assume that there is a complete lack of decision-making capacity is of particular importance when a doctor prescribes an antipsychotic drug for a person with dementia. The administration of an antipsychotic drug to such a person, especially if carried out for a significant period, increases the risk that that person will die prematurely or have a stroke.

In a 2009 report by Professor Sube Banerjee about the use of antipsychotic drugs for people with dementia it was stated "The use of these drugs in those with dementia has substantial clinical risk attached, including a conservative estimate of 1,800 extra deaths and 820 extra serious adverse events such as stroke per year". (Numbers presumably referred to England and Wales.)

In a 2014 report prepared by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (MWC) it was noted that of the 336 dementia patients in the 52 NHS units surveyed 166 patients (49%) were being given antipsychotic medication. The MWC commented "While this might be helpful in relieving symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, agitation or aggression there are known risks for people with dementia. All antipsychotic medications increase the risk of stroke or death, many can impair mobility and increase the risk of falls".

In June 2010 there was published Scotland's National Dementia Strategy. In section 97 of the strategy it is stated "This strategy is making a commitment to a reduction in the level of prescription (of psychoactive medication) during 2011 and a further reduction for future years".

Regrettably the production of strategies is totally ineffective if they can be ignored with impunity: the document entitled "Medicines used in Mental Health" reveals that for the period 2009/10 to 2015/16 all NHS Boards showed an increased prescribing of antipsychotic drugs. Although the data does not indicate whether this increased prescribing applied to those with dementia, there can be no assumption that it did not.

In May 2017 there was published a report entitled "Scotland's Mental Health and Capacity Law: the Case for Reform". It was produced jointly by the Centre for Mental Health & Capacity Law and the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland. This report notes that," ... in order to ensure compliance with developing international human rights standards ... there is a need to revisit and, where necessary reframe, our mental health and capacity law". The report draws attention to the possibility of small changes being made to the existing legislation prior to the production of a completely new and unified Act.

Account should also be taken of the UK submission to the committee which monitors compliance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) within those countries which have ratified and hence which agreed to comply with that international human rights treaty.  Among the issues raised are the use of chemical restraint and the abuse of people in residential care.

If legislation were enacted which took full account of recent relevant developments in the field of human rights then it is likely it would follow that:

  • doctors could no longer prescribe that unwanted drugs be concealed in the food or drink of care home residents;
  • care home residents could no longer be given potentially harmful drugs as chemical restraint;
  • mental health patients could no longer be held down and injected with psychiatric drugs against their will; nor could they continue to be given ECT even though they resist or object to that treatment.
  • non-consensual treatment would be kept to an absolute minimum."

Monday, 19 June 2017

toxic supervision

yesterday Teviot Place Edinburgh
Last night on twitter I was reflecting on the toxic nature of the PhD supervision at the University of Edinburgh Clinical Psychology department which I experienced over 9 months from September 2016.  It caused me physical health issues, gut problems, having to get blood tests and stool samples examined via my GP, and having to cancel a London trip, taking part in the Windhorse and Basic Attendance Workshop on 3 May.  I'd already bought the plane tickets so it cost me financially.

At the final supervision meeting on 2 May 2017, I felt ganged up on, undermined and bullied, my research proposal on evidencing Safe haven crisis Houses was questioned and criticised, and I was made to feel "less than".  This was particularly cruel because I'm a lone "worker", unpaid Carer, campaigner, writer, activist, with no team to back me up.  The only person who supported my academic quest from the offset was Prof Andrew Gumley, supplying a positive PhD reference and offering formal mentorship.

After the supervision relationship broke down I found out from a Clinical Psychologist, formerly employed on the DClinPsy programme at Edinburgh, that 8 others had been bullied in the department, including himself, trainees and other staff, some of whom resigned because of it.  This person had raised a formal complaint with the university but got no justice and had to leave because of it.  When I heard about the bullying culture I raised concerns with Judy Thomson, Director of Training for Psychology Services NHS Education for Scotland.  NES fund the DClinPsy training at both Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities.

Ms Thomson eventually responded saying: 

"I have consulted internally about the best way to respond due to the seriousness of the issues raised. We will not be investigating this as a formal complaint as the concerns relate to a service provided by the University of Edinburgh and by named employees of that organisation. Although NES has an interest in the quality of the learning environment, the primary governance responsibility rests with the University.  Therefore we are proposing that we pass the information you have provided to the University, requesting that they deal with the points that you have raised and advise us of the outcome – as well as liaising with you directly.  Please can you confirm that you are happy for your email of 23 May to be passed on to the University of Edinburgh and we will progress with this action?"

At first I wasn't keen to be taking forward another complaint, due to the remembered stress of having had to complain about human rights abuses in Stratheden IPCU, Fife, February 2012.  Which resulted in an apology from NHS Fife after my complaint was upheld by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman. However I talked it over with my son and decided to proceed with the complaint, supported by NES.  This process is now ongoing.  [The University of Edinburgh's Complaints Procedure.]

I am very sad that my PhD hopes have been dashed, it's disheartening and disempowering, especially since I'm constrained financially, as an unwaged Carer, on a basic State Pension, no Carers Allowance.  At the November 2016 meeting with the Edinburgh University Clinical Psychology Professor I'd suggested that he could organise for me to undertake a few hours lecturing per week, enabling me to self fund the PhD.  However he wasn't willing or able to do this, although Ms Thomson thought this was viable when we met on 20 April 2017, prior to my PhD being withdrawn.

I feel bruised and battered after this toxic supervision experience.  It's very unfair, considering my situation and all the work I've done since 2008, voluntarily, to promote safer mental health services in Scotland, and Fife in particular.  Speaking out about human rights abuses and advocating for others who have been bullied for speaking out.  I deserve respect and recognition for standing up for, and with, others, at a cost to myself.

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PhD Clinical Psychology University of Edinburgh - Withdrawal of Offer 9May17

4 May 2017: "no way we can guarantee success": the breakdown of supervision; "slumbering time bomb"

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Cycling as therapy, yesterday on train to Edinburgh then cycling down Leith Walk, out to Portobello then round by Duddingston and down to the Meadows:


bike parked Teviot Place Edinburgh yesterday