Self harm: Case study 1

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Summary of report content

This is the first of three case studies by Healthwatch Cornwall of a patient who had been having suicidal thoughts and felt that he had been “discarded in a corner” when he initially sought help in January 2015. Mr X describes his tiresome ordeal from his GP one Friday afternoon, to then being sent to the A & E where in his words he felt that the emergency department “couldn’t do anything” so he was “discarded in the corner”. After waiting for 8 hours, he was found a bed at Bodmin Community Hospital through CMHT. After three days and attempting to break out of the hospital he was kept in line-of-sight for further five days. He finally made some friends on the ward, and gave up trying to escape after which it was recommended he go back to the original ward. Instead, he requested to be transferred to a ward at Camborne Redruth Community Hospital and his friend was also moved there. He started seeing a psychologist on the ward and was diagnosed as having bipolar disorder. The patient found the diagnosis was helpful. He felt that staff on the ward when he first arrived at Bodmin Community Hospital should have been honest about ward rounds and let him know it would be a few days before he saw anyone. He also believes that he should have been dealt with at the GP surgery, not sent to the Emergency Department. If this is the only option though, he feels he should have been offered a side room as the busy emergency room made him feel anxious, which the staff seemed oblivious to.

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General details

Report title 
Self harm: Case study 1
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cornwall
Date of publication 
Friday, 13 March, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 13 March, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 13 March, 2015
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Consent to care and treatment
Quality of care
Other information of note about this report 
Case Study
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Acute services with overnight beds
Psychiatry/mental health (hospital services)
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not applicable

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.