On December 25, Christmas morning, I awoke to find my husband had taken an overdose.
The reasons why are too long to go into, but needless to say the poor man was at the end of his tether and just could not cope anymore. It was a cry for help. He was taken into A&E resuscitation and from there into intensive care for five days.
What myself and daughter witnessed by him while they were treating him was horrendous. From there he went to a short stay ward where he was waiting for a bed at Millbrook, the mental health unit, as he was a suicide risk.
Unfortunately no bed became available on the ward he should have gone to, so he was admitted to a different ward, Amber ward, which deals with dementia and a lot of the cases well into the disease and much worse.
Millbrook has a stigma about it, and I am sure people will feel frightened to go there, but please do not worry. My husband was in there for five long weeks and the staff were absolutely marvellous. At a time when the National Health Service is struggling and seems to be permanently in the news, I feel the staff on that ward are something to be more than proud of. Every one of the staff, from the doctors, nursing staff, carers and cleaners to admin staff were all wonderful. There were days when they were rushed off their feet and short-staffed but no matter, they still handled everyone with such kindness and gentleness and always with a smile on their face.
Not once when I approached any member of staff was anyone short with me. They always gave you their time and explained things and made you feel special.
Unfortunately I cannot name all the staff as I feel it would be unfair to do so, in case I forgot someone. But these people need medals for what they do and what they deal with on a daily basis. They go above and beyond their duty. Even when their shifts had ended, they never got away on time. They are kind, gentle, full of compassion and, even under pressure, still found time to laugh and smile.
Millbrook and King’s Mill Hospital should salute these staff. Whatever they earn, it is not enough.
My husband is now home, thanks to all their care.
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