Unlawful hospital detentions

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Jonathan Coulter,

I am writing to you as Acting Chief Executive, because front line staff require adequate training and necessary support, to protect them from being routinely in breach of the law.

On the 28 March 2022 at about 19:00 in the Harrogate hospital, five or more staff on one ward, rushed to their exit to FORCIBLY PREVENT someone from leaving. Two security staff also arrived on the scene.

That person had arrived by ambulance from the Leeds General Infirmary following a minor stroke and stated that they would be going home.

Nursing staff insisted that they had powers of detention, despite the fact that the person was fully compos mentis, fully ambulant and capable of walking home.

That person has submitted reports to parliament, about changes needed to both mental health and mental capacity legislation and in a previous life, had protected some from abuse by consultant psychiatrists in the Harrogate hospital - one was later imprisoned and another placed on the sexual offenders register.

When a sensitive and competent doctor arrived on the ward, it was agreed that there was no legal justification for compulsory detention.

Questions

(1) What guidance is given to front line staff, about rights not to have medical treatments imposed?

(2) What has been done to make staff aware of the 'Discharge Against Medical Advice and Refusal of Treatment' document?

(3) What information is given to staff, so they can be sure they are never exercising illicit powers of detention?

Yours sincerely,

John Bradfield.

FREEDOMOFENQUIRIES (HARROGATE AND DISTRICT NHS FOUNDATION TRUST),

Freedom of Information requests during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust are committed to complying
with the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 2000.  During this extraordinary
period we would like to ask you for your patience and understanding when
submitting a FOI request.  At the current time, we are having to
prioritise other areas and adapt our usual approach to these requests.  We
will continue to process these within the 20 working day timescale given
under the FOIA whenever we can, but this will be dependent on the
availability of staff, which could impact on timely delivery of FOI
responses during this challenging period. 

 

We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause, and
assure you that we will get the requested information to you as soon as
possible. Can we please ask that you consider if your request is still
required or can be delayed until after this pandemic is over.

show quoted sections

FAO
Acting CEO Jonathan Coulter
All managers
All heads of departments
All significant others mentioned on this hospital's website:-
https://www.hdft.nhs.uk/livingatourbest/...

I am writing to ask for an internal review of the Trust's handling of my Freedom of Information request 'Unlawful hospital detentions'.

Details of my FoI request are available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/u...

The issues raised are of critical importance.

They required an urgent and full response because:-
(a) they are about very serious psychological and medical threats to vulnerable people;
(b) an immediate assurance should have been given, that the unlawful actions would be urgently stopped;
(c) at the very least, hospital staff should do no harm;
(d) hospital managers should have learnt vital lessons from their dire negligent failures to stop abuse by the consultant psychiatrists referred to;
(e) the issue is not with dedicated staff but unlawful and seriously oppressive hospital procedures and/or failures of training and/or irresponsible expectations of managers;
(f) potential whistleblowers will be aware of risks to their careers if they speak out;
(g) management practices should now be exemplary in view of the legally imposed duty of candour, which exists to prevent the very issues raised.

Regarding (f), that issue was outlined in a proposal for a new law, the first stage for which was debated in the House of Commons on the 26 April 2022. A record of the details can be found in Hansard via parliament.uk. Details will also be found via the website of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Whistleblowing. That can be contacted via HallfordHallG[at]parliament.uk

Yours faithfully,

John Bradfield.

FREEDOMOFENQUIRIES (HARROGATE AND DISTRICT NHS FOUNDATION TRUST),

Dear John,

This is been looked into as a matter of urgency for you and we will respond in due course.

Many thanks

FOI team
[email address]
Trust HQ, Harrogate District Hospital, Lancaster Park Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 7SX

show quoted sections

Dear FoI team,

I am assuming from your response, that you mean my request for an internal review is being looked into as a matter of urgency, because that isn't what has happened with my FoI request on the 02 April 2022.

This was and remains a matter of urgency, to prevent anything similar, in that what happened breaches various aspects of law. Those range from the unlawful deprivation of liberty, to the duty not only to protect but also promote physical and mental health. Hopefully, there will not also be a breach of the legal duty of candour about such events.

In case you are not already aware, on the 02 June 2022, I copied details of my request for an internal review, to hdft.wellbeing[at]nhs.net

In that email, I requested an assurance that all those listed below, will receive details of my Freedom of Information request, because of the delay in responding:-
Risk management team
HR Team
Freedom to Speak Up Guardians
Fairness Champions
Executive Directors
Non-Executive Director with responsibility for whistleblowing
Staff governors
Representatives of Trade Unions and professional organisations.

I also mentioned in that email, an additional point about what happened on the day in question.

When the person reached the double exit doors and staff prevented them from leaving, that person decided to test, if the double doors could be forced open. That proved possible and they were left with minor bruises.

Despite having forced open the exit doors, they were still physically prevented from leaving.

Yours faithfully,

John Bradfield.

FREEDOMOFENQUIRIES (HARROGATE AND DISTRICT NHS FOUNDATION TRUST),

Dear John,

We are investigating this for you.
If you wish to have this specific incident you mention investigated you can do this through the Patient Experience Team, [email address] where they will be able to look at that specific incident and investigate what happened and talk to all involved and any learning from this will be shared throughout the Trust and any changes to policies and procedures will be actioned.
You will need a form to be signed (which Patient Experience can give you) form the individual this affects giving their permission for the investigation. You will be kept informed of the investigation and findings.

Many thanks

FOI team
[email address]
Trust HQ, Harrogate District Hospital, Lancaster Park Road, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG2 7SX

show quoted sections