Indirect mental disability discrimination

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freeflow

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I am my wife’s carer, we live in Scotland and my wife suffers from Anthropophobia ( fear of people),Depression, Anxiety and panic attacks and has no trust and has actual fear of any authority and people, including Dr’s.
She now has developed Neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) and needs a stomach operation involving the removal of all her stomach and.
I like to know if she will be exempt from the visiting rules, eg can I be there all day as I am her carer and she needs me to keep her calm.
If the ward sister does not allow it, could that not be classed as discriminated against on the grounds of disability or other characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 or a mental health act and therefore as I am her carer and got power of attorney, they would not legally be able to keep me of the ward, as it is my wife’s wish to be there?
The consultant just say’s, it is down to the Ward Sister in Charge, but I like to know, just in case, that there is a law to help me, if need be as my wife needs me to help her recover and stress and panic attacks would be very bad for her, in particular after a major operation.

Thanks
 
Cazcat

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I don't know if there are any laws, but working in a healthcare setting I would be very surprised if there were any problems with you being their all the time particularly if your wife is in a side room which I'm assuming she will need to be in from a mental health perspective. Having you their will help your wife and also help the staff as Imagine she won't let them care for her without you their. We have had occasions where we have borrowed a camp bed from the children's ward so that relatives can sleep in the patients room where necessary. If you don't know which ward she will be on in advance I would see if you can find out who the matron is for the surgical area your wife will be treated in and explain the situation. Hopefully they will be able to agree an action plan with you in advance to reassure you both. The surgeon is right though to say he has no jurisdiction over visiting.
 
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freeflow

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I don't know if there are any laws, but working in a healthcare setting I would be very surprised if there were any problems with you being their all the time particularly if your wife is in a side room which I'm assuming she will need to be in from a mental health perspective. Having you their will help your wife and also help the staff as Imagine she won't let them care for her without you their. We have had occasions where we have borrowed a camp bed from the children's ward so that relatives can sleep in the patients room where necessary. If you don't know which ward she will be on in advance I would see if you can find out who the matron is for the surgical area your wife will be treated in and explain the situation. Hopefully they will be able to agree an action plan with you in advance to reassure you both. The surgeon is right though to say he has no jurisdiction over visiting.
In an ideal world yes, in the hospital she is going to no.There are very few side rooms and they are reserved for patients with infections, that is what i was told and on top of that they said that i will not be able to be there all the time even during the day because of the other patients
Thanks for your reply
 
SomersetScorpio

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I'm not very knowledgeable at all when it comes to law, but i'm wondering if it would be worth contacting PALS or a similar organisation where you might be able to get an advocate to support you in getting your wife's needs met while she is in hospital.

Perhaps Citizen's advice might be able to help you find out where you stand legally too.

I'm hoping the ward sister will be reasonable to you and that you don't have any issues, but it's wise to get the information you need beforehand just in case there are any problems.
 
Cazcat

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In an ideal world yes, in the hospital she is going to no.There are very few side rooms and they are reserved for patients with infections, that is what i was told and on top of that they said that i will not be able to be there all the time even during the day because of the other patients
Thanks for your reply
Unfortunately isolating infections always takes priority for side rooms, but I'm assuming the surgery is elective, therefore they should be able to have some degree of planning. If someone normally has 24/7 1 to 1 care from professionals in the community in my experience those professional carers continue to provide the same level of care when the person is in hospital and so there would be a professional carer with that person 24/7 on the ward. In my experience these patients tend to be those with learning disabilities or younger people with profound physical disabilities but I don't see why it should be different for you and your wife. I Wonder if they are not fully understanding your wife's care needs or the severity of her condition. Do you have any mental health professionals who could support you in this? I think if you are not getting any headway with the ward manager or matron then PALS would be a good idea.

Obviously you don't want your wife to be distressed, but I suspect if they realise that they are not able to meet her care needs without you there or her distress is disruptive to other patients they will very quickly decide they want you there. However I know you don't want your wife to have to go through this in order for you to be allowed to stay.
 
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freeflow

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HI
Thanks, this is just so frustrating and i just have enough on my plate now and should not have to be doing all this running around, i should just be able to get answers from hospital. My wife is still being assessed by a psychiatrist as we just 6month ago moved to Scotland and the psychiatrist says, if hospital needs answers they need to write to her and she will put them "straight on my wife's needs and support us”. PALS here is PASS and they just provide info, no help and say that talk to hospital, matron, ward sister in charge etc or make complaint if no luck with them. Pass also say’s, one needs to understand it is a all woman ward and therefore one needs to leave more often than not etc. so just getting run around. we written now to consultant again to pass on more info and put on record that i am a carer and my wife's exact needs, after they just ignored our GP's support letter and just said they will try their best, but not giving guarantees, as they got to consider other patient needs at the time. Problem is, consultant is very good, hospital is normally very good, i myself under two consultant for chronic illnesses, just at the moment they are stuck up on archaic rules, sometimes with no communication possible at first stage. This uncertainty is getting to my wife and myself and is no good for her at all.
In the past i found quoting rules and law at people very helpful and they felt, being able to bend or break rules as they are then protected from repercussions, from their bosses and that is why i was asking for help on rules.
Sorry for going on, but it also helps to get it out of the system.

Thanks
 
Cazcat

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Just wondering if it would be worth trying the Rethink advice line 0300 5000 927 they might be able to advise regarding legalities. They have been very helpful when I have spoken to them about concerns.
 

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