Some Questions Answered?

These are some questions we were asked when making this toolkit;

“How long will I be here?”

You will be in the unit for the shortest time possible to allow you to recover and be well enough to go home again. You can talk to someone on your team about when this is likely to happen. Tool 10 can help you set goals for yourself while in hospital and you can use Tool 12 to plan for going home when you are ready.

“What does confidentiality really mean?”

Only people involved in your care and treatment who ‘need to know’ should have access to your personal information.

Your right to privacy with your personal information is very important. You should be told who within the unit or mental health service providing care for you will see your health records and who will know what is in your care plan.

Normally your information will be shared with your parents or legal guardians, but it will only be shared with other people without your agreement if:
• It is in the public interest
• What you have said could be evidence
of a major crime.

You have a right to see health information that is kept about you (unless your doctor thinks it would not be in your best interests) – this includes all your health records.

Your right to confidentiality should be respected.

Any limits to the confidentiality of what you say should be made clear to you.

“Can I have visitors and still see my friends while in hospital?”

Yes, you should be able to meet with visitors, of all ages, in a comfortable place. However there may be times when it is considered not to be in your best interests to meet with visitors so you should ask a member of staff about having visitors.

“Can I choose whether my key worker is male or female?”

Sometimes it is possible to request this. If you feel that you have a good reason then it is important that you talk with someone about it as soon as possible.

“Can I be secluded or restrained against my will?”

Yes, but it is very rare and will only happen when it is considered to be the only way of protecting your own safety or the safety of others.

Seclusion means separating a person from others and being placed in a room alone for a short time maybe because they need to calm down. Restraint is when a person is held by another person or where something like straps are used if the person is lashing out. These can only be used in your best interests.

The Mental Health Commission has very clear Rules and a Code of Practice on their use which staff must follow. If you have any questions after reading about these issues, you can ask for a patient information leaflet. Your key worker will probably be the best person to get the information for you or to answer your questions.

“Can I still see someone from the team that looked after me when I was at home?”

Sometimes, this will depend on where the unit you are admitted to is located. If is far from your home, it may not be possible to see someone from your community team until after you leave hospital. You should ask a member of staff on the unit more about this.