Parents say child was overmedicated

The mother of a patient at Muckamore Abbey Hospital has said placing her daughter in the hospital was “the worst day of her life”.

The parents of patient P117 were giving evidence to the inquiry into the abuse of patients at the hospital.

Both P117s parents told the inquiry they believed their daughter was overmedicated at the hospital.

The inquiry heard that P117 had epilepsy, learning difficulties and behavioural problems.

At the age of 12, P117’s parents began to avail of respite care at Muckamore.

During this arrangement their daughter spent weekdays at Muckamore and returned home at the weekend.

This continued from April 1998 until March 2001.

P117’s mother said she was “happy in the family”, there was “no sense of danger” and that there was a genuine affection between her and her sister.

In March 2001 she was discharged from the hospital.

However, the girl’s mother told the inquiry that as her daughter got older and stronger her behavioural problems had become more pronounced and she had become aggressive.

During her time at home she had hit a care worker and her mother and father.

Her mother said the girl’s sister was afraid.

P117 was readmitted to Muckamore for treatment in August 2001.

During the six week inhouse assessment, no visitors were allowed and the mother said she was not allowed to speak to her daughter on the phone.

After the initial six week assessment, the couple said they were told that Muckamore would be the best place for treatment.

They said their daughter resumed the earlier arrangement of mostly spending weekdays at the hospital and weekends at home.

They said they were never told her daughter’s stay at Muckamore would be long term.

The inquiry heard that P117 had been detained under the Mental Health Order, however her parents said this had not been explained to them at the time.

Concerns about medication

The inquiry also heard that P117’s mother had raised concerns about her daughter’s medication on many occasions with staff.

During evidence, P117’s father said he felt that staff were quick to put patients on medication but didn’t reduce it unless their families insisted.

P117’s mother described how her daughter appeared droopy and was drooling on occasion.

She said she was worried that high levels of medication could have lead to seizures.

P117’s mother said she had contacted the doctor and the Public Health Agency regarding medication levels.

In March 2018 she told the inquiry that she attended a meeting and was told that her daughter no longer needed to be detained in hospital and was now a voluntary patient.

Her mother said her behaviour had not changed.

P117 is now living in a supported living facility. Her mother said her walking had improved and her medication is being reduced on an ongoing basis.

The inquiry continues.


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