Sorry, I know I keep flogging this dead horse…
Yesterday we picked up Phil. Phil has mental health problems in that he his schizophrenic, and sees the Devil and Jimi Hendrix. He is known to be a rent boy and is homeless. It's been a bit cold this week and we found him sheltering in the lea of an office block. Obviously the office workers didn't like seeing Phil so they called us.
Phil is normally very scared and has difficulty determining his hallucinations from reality, so it involves a bit of work on our part in order to make him feel safe enough to travel with us.
Anyway – the hospital discharged him around midnight last night – after psychiatric review. He has nowhere safe to go.
Dropping off another patient we saw him waiting in A+E again today. This is the third time he has attended A+E in as many days. At least it's warm. I doubt that psychiatric services will admit him in order to get the medications that he needs. Instead he will be discharged as part of “Care in the Community“. This is the same process I saw when working in A+E, unless he is a specific danger to himself or others, people like Phil just don't get the care they need. Even being a danger to themselves is often not enough; I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of patients attending A+E because of an overdose and then going on to be admitted under the psychiatric services.
Sometimes it feels that no matter how hard you bail out the water the ship is still sinking.
I'll try and post something more upbeat later.