Sunday, 1 March 2015

Another tale from The Abraham Cowley Unit at St. Peter's.

Here’s another tale from The Abraham Cowley Unit, located on the grounds of St. Peter’s hospital but administered by a separate NHS Trust.
It's one of those situations where you feel that Doctor's are making decisions apparently based on medical experience but have forgotten an element of humanity. Of course, these are also decisions which often go wrong. As far as we know, this one didn't;

'No-one will help me', said woman talked down from A3 bridge -

12 September 2014 

By Andre Langlois

Get Surrey  


A woman threatening to jump from a bridge across the A3 was talked down by a mother from Leatherhead.


Police stood back on Wednesday August 27 to allow Dawn Swinburn to speak to a 40-year-old woman who was stood outside the railing on the Clay Lane bridge, in Jacobs Well, Guildford.


The woman was subsequently taken to the Abraham Cowley Unit at St Peter’s Hospital, Chertsey.


A stop-smoking adviser, Mrs Swinburn has family who have experienced the effects of someone close committing suicide.


She was driving her daughter to Merrist Wood College when the traffic slowed after she had come off the A3 and was on Clay Lane at around 4pm.


“I tried to drive past because I thought that someone had stopped and I should move on,” she said.


“I got all sweaty and thought ‘I can’t do this’.


“There was a line of traffic and people on the phone dialling 999.


“There was a guy on Clay Lane just walking around holding his head.


“I asked my daughter what I should do and she said ‘You have got to turn around mum’.


"I was hoping there would be more people there.


“[A] young lad was a metre-and-a-half from her – too close. I walked up to her from behind and thought ‘don’t make her jump’, as in startle her.”


'Just want help'


Mrs Swinburn approached from the same side as the man and, having learned the woman’s name, introduced herself and told her about her own family’s experience.


“I didn’t know what to say but I just said that anyone you love – if you do this you destroy them forever,” she said. “They will never get over it.


“She started telling the story of how she got up there and she said ‘I just want help – no-one will help me'.”


The woman involved has been a patient at the Abraham Cowley Unit in Chertsey. The police had arrived in the meantime and Mrs Swinburn said the woman appeared nervous in their presence.


“There was a guy sneaking around and he showed me his badge. I told him to do one and he went to talk and I said ‘now’.


“Fair play to that guy. He assessed the situation and just moved away,” she said.


“What I said to her early on was, ‘can I hold your hand because it will make me feel better?’.”


Suicide attempts


She said it struck her that the woman had painted her fingernails orange and that it was odd she should do that before stepping out on the bridge.


The pair hugged and it took 40 minutes to persuade the woman to come back from the edge.


She has had ongoing mental health problems, and made a number of suicide attempts, and Mrs Swinburn said it was tragic that she has not received the right care.


“I’m not a professional,” said the 52-year-old. “I have spoken to people in Scotland whose friends and family have had very good quality care up there – so it’s not all across this country.”


As of Thursday evening (September 11), the woman had been readmitted to the ACU but then discharged again.


A spokesman for Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which operates the facility, said: "We would like to stress that the safety of people who use our services is our top priority.


"Due to the confidential nature of our work we are unable to respond to enquiries about individuals. "When people are at risk of harm we strive to provide them with the right treatment and support in the right setting, to ensure that they are best supported to stay as safe as possible."

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)


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