Put an end to the cover up of abuse by the HSE 

If I were to give up now and think all is hopeless. 

What can a nineteen year old do to help or change such a situation only a high court judge can make a decision on ? I would have given up on everything I fought so hard for since the day I turned eighteen. The thing was though I persisted and I didn’t give up even though the HSE brought it higher than the high court to fight against everything I was begging for. Everything that I was actually entitled too. Sitting over there after a High Court had agreed I could return home that I had capacity and that itself was right for me to have the decisions over my life, my treatment and my fight. Yet it still wasn’t enough.
I took the call on the Tuesday morning from my guardian ad litem to say Katie the HSE are after bringing it to the Court Of Appeal. One tier lower than the Supreme Court. To keep an eighteen year old who had been deemed competent in her decision making and her judgements on her own life in St. Andrews hospital. To be moved to the adult ward where for six months you didn’t leave the four walls of that ward because you were on assessment no matter how low a risk you were or how well you were. Anybody sitting in the confines of four walls with contact to the outside world by only a phonecall or letter. Never leaving. The strongest person would not be able for a week of it never mind years. Not even being able to open the windows because these wards in this hospital didn’t have Windows you could open. No just something you could try look out through the three layers. One plastic then the glass window and then more plastic. Each layer of plastic had a layer of mesh like curtain so even if you did look out it was hard to even recognise a passing face. If that was even where the window was situated. To feel the fresh air only when outside in a small garden with fences so high and so secure even the sun was dark. 
That Tuesday I took the call I couldn’t express the hurt and heartbreak I felt. Every time I got off the phone and seemed any bit upset it was wrote in another court reports.
 My solicitors at the time were even told to make contact brief for they were causing me great distress with their phone calls. Imagine. Hearing from the only person able to try get your voice heard about your life and what you want and what your going through that the HSE were going above and beyond to keep you in England all the while knowing just how badly it was affecting you or what they were putting you through. My solicitors were the ones told to be easy and be considerate with how they said things, how they delivered the news to me about the HSE and their deceiving hidden intentions for only their own gain.
 See that’s the problem with the health service and their absolute ignorance. They refuse to own up to any of the negligence, their faults and mistreatment, their extreme selfishness to put themselves first besides having a duty of care but also completely abandoning their professional ethics and compassion of not just a professional but as a human being. A human being who has bad days, good days, pain and trauma and suffering themselves. They have completely detached from the quality of care and patients rights and in my opinion these people doing these things and making these decisions have become heartless to what’s suppose to be the most important. They are using the power to control to maintain their good name while manipulating the patients, their families and friends, and the general public into believing they are doing this as a last resort. They have no choice. There hands are tied. It’s the only thing they can do to give the person the best possible chance in life.
Please Note. From what I said earlier the HSE still put up a fight to return me to Ireland even after all progress as was made clearly evident in a court report. 

1) St. Andrews is run on a level system of rules, rewards and then consequence and punishments. You could have the most awful intentions and the plans to follow them through but if you can follow every order, every rule and every demand they put in place even if you don’t agree with it you can get out because you’ve played the system. 

One English teenager over there seemed to be doing great. He did everything they asked and never argued. Followed every request and went along with it as if he was happy with what they were putting his through. What they put us all through. He got discharged and committed Suicide within weeks of being let out. There level system doesn’t consist of help, or lenience, it doesn’t allow your say and it certainly doesn’t give you a chance. You do what your told or you will have consequences. Even if you don’t agree with it. Even if it’s not helping you. Even if your trying your very most best. It’s a routine harsher than a prison and the newspapers said that themselves. 

In the mornings you have to be ready, showered everything in the day area for eight am. If you ignore your wake up call or if you sleep through it or if your crippled with a depression and pain inside that you can’t even lift your head from the pillow.. You ignore that wake up call three times and you will be dropped to a lower level. 1 is the highest risk and 6 is the lowest. Each level has its own set of care plans, it’s own privileges and it’s own rules in which you must follow. You will be forced if you don’t. 

Note also on level one and two you don’t have privileges. There is nothing in your room, it’s stripped of everything. You may not be allowed Even a book or an iPod it will be risk assessed so they say.
I will tell you about an experience I had over there. I think I may have self harmed. I was put in seclusion you know that padded cell type thing with no windows ? Yeah that. I was put into safety clothing. Shorts and a top. Not any shorts any top. These were a heavy black wear that you put on. Well .. were made put on. They were not cotton or synthetics or wool no nothing like that. I can’t even describe the material because I’ve never known anything like it. These so called “clothes” was like wearing a huge bullet vest. They were held on to you by a piece of Velcro. Oh and there were never the right sizes so you would have to hold your shorts up because if you didn’t they’d drop to the ground. You had no underwear on underneath. You weren’t allowed underwear. Instead you had to try keep these shorts on you while being around not only female staff but male staff, doctors and the girls you shared the wards with. The shorts always fell to the ankles at some point and you would be exposed to everyone for those few seconds you tried to gather your shorts back up as quickly as possible. When complaining to staff about this you were fobbed off with ” yeah we will try get you a smaller size” . This was the nice comment. Otherwise it be a shitty remark on ” don’t self harm and you wont have to wear them”

 or ” you should have thought about that then shouldn’t you” ..

That’s one of the minor occurrences over there. You would feel nauseous upon hearing some of the most awful things. The things that are major not minor like that one above. 
Yet nobody hears about that do they? No because this is all hidden away and while you may tell those supposedly fighting for you back home constantly it’s never important because it’s up to the HSE and they won’t even acknowledge you never mind your views. Never mind your complaints or the awful things happening to you. 
The HSE have everybody fooled. Ask any Irish person who has since returned about their experience over there. They won’t let you ask those still experiencing it at this moment in time purely because they will express how awful the treatment and how awful the service in St. Andrews itself not just the whole Trauma of being removed to another country. 

Ask any Uk patient that has been in St. Andrews about the service ? You will recover all the evidence and all the abuse we are put through. Abuse is a very strong word but I don’t exaggerate one but when I say it. Abuse by staff , abuse of a service, abuse by negligence , abuse of every human right your supposed to be entitled too, abuse to every need and wish as a human while under that roof.. Under that high court order. Abuse in the way your punished or as they like to use ” kept safe” .. Abuse in the way things are dealt with. The restraints, the injections and sedation. The seclusion room. The safety clothes. The bruises not just left on you externally but internally. The emotional and mental abuse forced upon you. That this is all your fault. That your the only one to blame for this. That you could have changed things if you wanted. 

No we don’t have a choice. We are sent there. Forced there. Held down and stripped off every piece of clothing and placed in what looks like a cell.

 Your physical health is abused. You will not have any blankets on your bed in the middle of winter. No pillow case. No sheet. No duvet. Just another safety blanket and you can be shivering in the bed with you teeth chattering and they may say we will get you another one. Most of the time you fall asleep and wake with the cold a few minutes later. They don’t have the staff to go look for another safety blanket for you. They have other things to be doing. They are in the middle of something and if you get the flu well it’s a case of everyone gets the flu not a case of perishing in the bed in that safety clothing. No socks. No hoody. No jumper. No duvet. Just what you’ve been given no matter how blue your lips go with the cold. 
You want to know about St. Andrews ? What it’s really like ? Just take a look at the report on the deaths over there in 2014-2015 ? Most of them weren’t natural causes. In fact most of them were a physical problem that the patient complained about over and over again. But ah as you can see you will never be heard. 

And your health will never be as important as long as your showing some sort of risk. Be it just a significant period of low mood or stress so heightened from what your being put through. No this is put down to a personality disorder and not the effects and aftermath of what is being done to you. 
The abuse is being covered over and over again and I say now loud and clear I tried my best last night. Contacted so many papers, so many people with the power or popularity to draw attention to this issue. Emails, messages, Twitter, Facebook, RTE , human rights. So far nothing. Covered up over and over again because at the end of the day who the hell wants to hear from a barely adult naive enough to think she can make a difference. 

That’s the saddest part. If someone with popularity or involvement in the media was writing this article as someone who went through every hardship of it there would be uproar. Absolute uproar. Yet that doesn’t deter my determination. While I may be naive I’m not stupid. While I may be not even twenty I have gone through more than most people in their eighties and nineties have gone through in their whole life. And while I may not have contacts or popularity or even much of a say I do have a voice. A voice I will use for not just be but everyone who had to go through it, everyone that didn’t make it, everyone that is still trying to make it and for those who unfortunately may have it all ahead of them. 
I know there is many people on my friends list judging me when I post these blog entries but I want you to know most have you have never even spoken to me and this isn’t a matter of what people think. This is a matter of telling people and showing people that they need to start opening their eyes. 

Start thinking with out this Governments brainwashing. Start thinking for themselves. While you may think this is pointless it may just be enough so that your family don’t go through what mine went through. You don’t go through what I went though. And nobody else goes through what we have To go through. 

We can’t make an immediate change but we CAN sure as hell fight this until it’s heard for what it really is. I may have to do this on my own because even I find it so what wishful thinking so I can imagine what you must think. 

This is the strongest most difficult and heartbreaking fight I will have to fight. It isn’t even my fight anymore. But someone needs to fight. Fight for this to end. For the HSE to own up and take responsibility. For CHANGES to be made. 

So stand with me if you will. If you have the courage and the compassion in you as another human being to stop this. And to BELIEVE we can make a difference because I won’t stop until I have. This is fighting for the health service of all the residents in Ireland. All the babies to be born and all those who will emigrate here. 

So please stand up for this country health system and don’t let this abuse go on. 

Katie woods. 


11 thoughts on “Put an end to the cover up of abuse by the HSE 

  1. Oh Katie, my heart broke for you as I read this. And as I read more, my leg started bouncing up and down, remembering when I was in the mental ward here in USA, (one of many times.) I told the nurse I was suicidal at intake, so my bed was stripped of everything too. And we have dumb gowns with 3 armholes that u have to wrap around yrself, for “protection”. I was so fat, I could only do 2 armholes, So my boobs and butt were hanging out. And I was freezing cold, cuz they have to keep it cold “for health reasons.”
    Keep fighting , girl. You are stronger than you know. The world needs to hear, acknowledge and change the system, to get rid of the abuses.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry you also had to go through such a thing. Too many of us do and that’s why I write to try get it out somehow that we are being failed by those in charge of our care and that the general public has no idea of any of it. So I write and hope someday the message will get out just what really can happen when you become a mental health inpatient. I will say not every service or placement I’ve been in has been awful. Some have gone above and beyond to try help or comfort me but unfortunately the people who who spend most days with you talking to you and interacting with you don’t have the say. They are their to look after you and help with the little things along the way while the higher up make all the decisions. Not every psychiatrist has been a disaster. Some have been fantastic and still are fantastic but you meet some awful people in authority who let this violation and infringement of dignity go on.. Some cases they are participating in this. And while I can’t knock every professional I’ve met the consultants are meant to be good and adequate and competent in their treatment and care given. It’s an expectation. Which is why I write about the really bad experiences. These are the experiences that should not be tolerated and they are covered up and hidden and that’s why you have to spread your story and fight for this to end because most people will see the doctor title and think trustworthy and that is not always the case so we have to make people aware yes some are great but several can be horrendous and these people need to start owning up to that and taking responsibility. But thank you for your comment and I’ll keep trying to help others in any way possible and continue to fight this known ignored taboo that just because a professional does it does not mean it’s right. You too keep fighting your fight for you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” Any individual who allows the abuse of patience to happen and continue are not fantastic. These professionals can be called fantastic when they come out publicly and condone the disgusting treatment and abuse of humans within the mental health services. until then they are criminals like the HSE and government courts etc.

        I spent 5 weeks in a psychiatric ward must horrific experience of my life. I was brought up in care so I know abuse first hand. I know take medication that I really don’t want because I am petrified that I will end up in hospital again. How can it be right that any person is so afraid to go to hospital an environment that is suppose to be compassionate, kind, caring.

        Katie I am willing to stand with you against this atrocity that is been perpetrated on the most venerable in our society. It breaks my heart.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, Katie! All fellow sufferers need to know they are not alone!! My first inpatient facility was kind, and caring. But they just kept mixing up me and another patient- so not trustworthy. 😦 Good thing I was still mostly coherent enough to read my name!!
        The last 3 times were at my local hospital. Not good at all. The “orientation” plainly told us, the most help we will receive is from each other. WHAT?? We are all crazy, mixed up, delusional!!! WE are here for ya’ll, the “professionals” to help us!! But, true to their word, not much help at all. That’s why I’ve made a vow to myself, to not ever go back.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t seem to find your email. Mine is on this website. You might find it easier. Send me an email with your question or whatever you would like to say. I’ll never turn people away with things like this. X


  2. Katie, thank you for sharing your blog. I’m really shocked, saddened, angered and disgusted at the treatment you received. I’m stunned at the HSBC, Tusla, Government and St Andrews cover up. How they are allowed to get away this is beyond me. Please never stop sharingoing the truth because something needs to be done. You write beautifully by the way. It’s a pity you have to write about such heartbreaking truth. Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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