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ever heard of a patient being charged (under malicious communications act) for misuse of the crisis line?

(9 Posts)
Mitchy1nge Tue 25-Mar-14 17:08:23

it's not for an article or anything, someone I met in hospital a few times has asked me to go to court with her next week, she's already entered a not guilty plea, it's not for threatening anyone or saying/doing anything offensive but for claiming to feel suicidal a bit too often

am just shock and hmm about it, it seems completely the wrong response to someone who is needier than they seem to know how to cope with if that makes sense

I don't think this will have been for a few too many calls. I've called the crisis team a lot when in crisis and that's what they're there for. I suspect that you're not even getting half of the story.

SilverStars Tue 25-Mar-14 17:46:17

I guess without knowing all the details against he it is hard to say. Some people are accused of wasting ambulances etc, with 000's of calls apparently.

Depends what role you are going as. May be worth meeting with her solicitor first so no shocks for you.

dontrunwithscissors Tue 25-Mar-14 18:27:31

I"ve read about people being given ASBO's for suicidal behaviour. Here: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/7911081.stm

But never specifically for ringing a crisis line too often. That seems like a rather odd thing to be going to court for, unless it is something like SilverStars says.

Mitchy1nge Tue 25-Mar-14 19:22:52

thanks everyone

I'm sure it was a LOT of calls rather than a few a night or whatever, I understand (but am still hmm about) but I don't see how it's malicious communication unless they are claiming that she was doing it deliberately to cause anxiety to the call handlers or whatever, it can't just be the frequency of the calls themselves but also the nature, claiming to be suicidal

but yes of course have only heard one side, although what I have seen and heard over the years is that the people working with her are not always clear about where the boundaries are

some people have quite complicated needs don't they, am not sure that a trust's failure to address those needs is best dealt with by criminalising the patient

SilverStars Tue 25-Mar-14 19:59:29

In many areas a person cannot call a 24/7 crisis line unless they have been referred to that team by a dr or MH team. And when referred back to or MH team care that crisis team is closed to the person. Each time a person is under a crisis team then it is a new referral needed. Is it this type of team she has apparently called too many times. Is it possible she has called when not meant to be under them?

Her care plan should state who to contact and when in crisis. Even if it is out of hours 111 service.

Some people have conditions that make boundaries and keeping them more difficult - so be worth knowing her diagnosis and treatment plan as well for her defence.

SilverStars Tue 25-Mar-14 20:00:21

Oh meant to say it is great she is taking support with her but also hope she has asked for a MH advocate or a legal team to support her too?

Its tricky without knowing the circumstances though. You don't know how often they called or if she got abusive when they told her she couldn't call. I seriously doubt that they would have gone straight to prosecution without going through a heck of a lot of other avenues first.

She should still be accessing advocacy though to help her.

Mitchy1nge Tue 25-Mar-14 22:24:59

it seems such an odd charge, almost as if she's been stalking the out of hours team or sending them hate mail or tweeting threats of violence to them

but am sure it's nothing so exciting, she's more like the woman in the link making lots of suicide attempts and exasperating the services and I don't think it's appropriate to go down this sort of route

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