“Everyone said, ‘In there at least she’s going to get help’ but she didn’t get anything at all.”
Amy’s mother on Amy’s removal to the Priory Hospital Ticehurst House in August 2012.
3 months later 14 year old Amy was dead.
Amy was a troubled, confused teenager but why ?
Her mother described her as having ‘ a warm heart and a great sense of humour.’
’ She never liked to see people treated unfairly and would be the first to stand and say ‘that’s not right’’
But the tragic irony was that Amy herself, was treated beyond unfairly and no one systemically, could stand up for her.
Amy’s forthrightness and conviction contributed to her CAMH’s diganoses of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), defined as a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behaviour.
And Conduct Disorder(CO),-a range of antisocial types of behaviour displayed in childhood or adolescence.
It would appear average teenage behaviour can constitute a ‘disorder’.
It is unknown what is within this ‘range’ of ‘antisocial’ behaviours, let alone what would be anyone’s ‘normal’ reaction to living in an enforced residential ‘special needs’ school away from family and community.
But her school, High Close, run by Banardos had had enough of Amy despite her £200,000 tax free a year income.
And, the only place that remained on Amy’s sad slippery slope, was a £1000 a day Priory Hospital Room.
But what did Amy’s ‘special ‘ education do for the equivalent of the cost 4 Eton places ?
And why, without learning disability diagnoses are Amy and ever more ‘troubled’ teenagers being excluded from ordinary schools and placed in such expensive residential care?.
Despite austerity millions appears available for such unaccountable services.
High Close does not appear to have had any pupils attaining a single GCSE, and a parent comment the only I could find states,
I have a child in this School and have come to the conclusion that the place offers a poor teaching environment and the unit staff lie and cover for each other when things go wrong.
As in my daughter’s National Autistic Residential School, ‘pupils only aim for and obtain P Scales ,teaching appears not to be towards the National Curriculum.
As Amy appeared intelligent, might not boredom/inappropriate education, have lead to her third label, almost impossible to avoid if you are young lively and bored, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a rare, some say non existent condition now extended into an epidemic see
ADHD The Disorder The Drugs The Inside Story. By Alan Schwarz.
Tourette’s, and Gender Identity Dysphoria– distress at the gender assigned at birth, recently made a DSM mental disorder were added to Amy’s list.
Yet despite all these ‘disorders’ Amy must have managed to be chirpy, as depression was not added.
Despite Amy, being so unhappy in school, she had drawn a picture of herself killing herself and had written underneath:
‘If only this could happen, but I haven’t got the guts.’
Exactly as George Werb had done, when he had been trapped by the Priory and his medication..
Why hadn’t her school tried to help such an unhappy child other than get CAMHS to label her and medicate ?
Amy nor her mother could systemically complain .
As a care order, enforcing any chosen state school and medication would have been obtained.
So what was life like for this unhappy child in the Priory ?
Did she receive any kindness or understanding, in her troubled isolation, living alone with strangers ?
In less than three months of joining Amy had been subjected to at least six incidents of restraint, sometimes involving forced injections.
The first restraint happened just 48 hours after her admission; the last the day before her death, when she was held down by five staff members and orally sedated
Her inquest heard of several incidents, when she had been physically restrained by staff, sometimes for 15 minutes at a time.
The Priory had a high reliance on agency staff including some with no psychiatric experience.
Staff had insufficient time even to read patients’ paperwork or clinical notes let alone get to know them.
Amy was also being bullied and the Priory had failed to deal with this, or, even care enough to share details of the many times she had said she wanted to kill herself.
Staff admitted, they were under so much pressure, they had not always been able to give the teenager one-to-one time.
So much so, a Jury ruled staffing levels were inadequate, and a lack of one-to-one time caused, or contributed to Amy’s death in a ‘significant’ way
Even basic training for her Tourettes was not given, a member of senior staff had ‘put on training on Tourette’s, but nobody had attended’.
So Amy was alone, ignored, on medication, bullied, subject to continual excessive prolonged restraints and crying out continually for help, in the only way she could, by threatening her own life and was still ignored.
Her last cry for help killed her.
3 months after entering the Priory Amy yet again, told a member of staff she wanted to kill herself.
Only the evening before she had been restrained by 5 members of staff and sedated.
Remember she was just 14.
Staff did not assess the risk of her being able to take her own life in her room; and opportunities were missed to help Amy in her room before her death, she was left alone, and this was held by a jury to have caused, or contributed ‘significantly’ to her death.
On the day she died, her risk rating was downgraded to medium.
And a delay in checking on her in the evening, contributed significantly to her death, at a time when she should have been under even closer scrutiny.
A care assistant eventually belatedly, checked on her in her room and found Amy unconscious, a football scarf tied around her neck.
The scarf had been seen in her room two weeks earlier, but not removed, as the hospital had no list of banned items.
A panic ensued, and staff delayed calling 999, and didn’t summon a doctor immediately .
They also had not been trained in resuscitation, though one care assistant had requested the training.
Amy was vomiting profusely.
When paramedics eventually arrived, an oxygen mask was two small to fit over her mouth, and the lift too small to take a stretcher, so she had to be placed on a body board.
The Jury found that but for all this, her life might have been saved.
Amy’s unhappy last years, culminated in an excruciating death, after 3 months of bullying , restraint, injections and torture .
And, the Priory will have claimed a £1000 for that day’s ‘care’.
Less than a year later George Webb was sectioned to the Priory, as were many more who are now dead.
Freedom of Information request show the Government has no idea how many young people killed themselves while being ‘treated’
Yet do know, a third suffer from a mental ‘disorder’ and want to help them.
And are willing to pay the Priory over £440million a year, £6800 a week ,to do so..
Yet Amy, was not mentally ill, she merely was deemed to have ‘conduct ‘disorders, that private mental services, a quarter of the NHS budge could make millions out of.
Add 3 more adults and you have the restraint Amy suffered the night before she died.
For many many more deaths of teenagers from forced medication see http://antidepaware.co.uk/amy-aged-14/