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If you go to A&E because you feel suicidal but then leave before you're seen to

(20 Posts)
ThereIsACarInTheKitchen Mon 01-Dec-14 21:01:54

What, if anything, happens?

My sister was taken to A&E earlier because she was having serious thoughts about killing herself. We have been texting each other and I've been trying to make sure she is okay. She sent me a text about 20 minutes ago saying she was sick of waiting and she just wanted to go home and go to bed and she was thinking about just getting up and leaving.

I'm worried though about what will happen if she does leave...will anything be done when they realise she's not there when she's called?

I have text her back saying it's probably best to wait but she hasn't replied.

ThereIsACarInTheKitchen Mon 01-Dec-14 21:02:50

And I've just realised I've posted this in the wrong place. I meant to post this in Chat, not AIBU.

FATEdestiny Mon 01-Dec-14 21:03:58

I would think it depends on the perceived danger to life. If she was considered sectionable then you might get some follow up. If not, then probably nothing will happen. Sadly mental health provision in the NHS is poor.

TheOriginalWinkly Mon 01-Dec-14 21:06:29

Very often police are called to look for them as a missing person

TrousersSchmowsers Mon 01-Dec-14 21:07:04

Agree - I've worked in mental health and unless she is sectionable, under a community treatment order or considered at risk in some other way, they will likely assume she has discharged herself and take no further action. Do you know where she's likely to go?

TrousersSchmowsers Mon 01-Dec-14 21:08:23

You say she was "taken" there; by whom? Was it another agency, or did a friend/relative drop her off?

DoraGora Mon 01-Dec-14 21:08:38

Has she been feeling low for a while? Does she have regular ups and downs, of the type that make you worry?

ThereIsACarInTheKitchen Mon 01-Dec-14 21:09:19

She was taken there by her partner but from what I understand he's not with her right now.

I think she just wants to go home.

EleanorAbernathy Mon 01-Dec-14 21:09:30

I work for the police, and usually when this happens the hospital will call us to attend the person's address for a welfare check.

crumblebumblebee Mon 01-Dec-14 21:10:41

It depends on her situation. Was she triaged in A&E?

ThereIsACarInTheKitchen Mon 01-Dec-14 21:11:20

She said she had been triaged.

TrousersSchmowsers Mon 01-Dec-14 21:13:25

Home and bed might be a good plan for her if she's feeling poorly. Has this happened before? Sometimes realising that you' do reached the point of seeking emergency help is enough of a wake-up call for someone to trigger them looking for help with their mental health.

Eleanor that's great - not all areas do this.

TrousersSchmowsers Mon 01-Dec-14 21:13:54


ThereIsACarInTheKitchen Mon 01-Dec-14 21:16:59

That's what I'm worried about*Eleanor*. I keep reading online that if you leave before you're seen to the police are called to find you and when they do find you they take you straight back to hospital. I'm reading these things on sites which might not be reliable though.

I just know that would cause even more stress for her if that happened.

Hatespiders Mon 01-Dec-14 21:18:34

Does she know to call the Samaritans if she feels like this? They're excellent and available 24/7.
You must be so worried. I hope she's tucked up in bed and feeling a little better.

TrousersSchmowsers Mon 01-Dec-14 21:21:11

No they couldn't forcibly remove her to hospital in these circumstances. A welfare check is just that - is she okay, maybe signpost her to other services.

raltheraffe Mon 01-Dec-14 21:25:57

I used to work as an A&E doctor. The police will be called to do a welfare check and they will probably encourage her to return. If she refuses they do have the right to enforce her to get medical attention if the officers' assessment is she is still a suicide risk.

raltheraffe Mon 01-Dec-14 21:33:00

This was posted by HotFuzzRa on another thread but I think it is really useful here. Apologies to the mods if I am breaking a forum rule posting it on another thread but I think it is great advice.

Police only have powers to take a person to a place of safety if they are doing something likely to hurt themselves or another, and they are in a public place. (Under section 136 of the Mental Health Act which is why we call it 'section'.)
If they are in a private property and are doing something likely to hurt themselves we can request doctors and mental health professionals come to do an assessment and they can detain someone and take them to a MH assessment unit (section 135 MHA)
This takes HOURS so we normally persuade people to go voluntarily to hospital for an assessment for their own wellbeing.
We can force entry if we believe life is at risk.
I have 'sectioned' people before for less worrying behaviour than your brother has displayed. It is always in their best interests, and simply as we are incapable of assessing/helping people to the level they need, and we don't feel it safe to leave them alone.
Best wishes, thinking of you flowers

ThereIsACarInTheKitchen Mon 01-Dec-14 22:28:57

Well I've just got a text saying she has arrived home and is going to bed. I really hope you're right and that nobody comes looking for her.

raltheraffe Mon 01-Dec-14 22:38:43

Best thing would be an emergency appointment with the GP tomorrow. When I worked at A&E a suicidal patient got triaged, then seen by me or a colleague and then referred to the crisis team, which consisted of a psych nurse who would do an assessment at the A&E. However the crisis team nurses took ages as they were dealing with a massive caseload, only a small proportion of which was A&E attenders. The whole process took ages. GPs are far more qualified than A&E junior doctors and the wait is a lot better.

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