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To covertly record mental health professionals?

(86 Posts)
OnceThereWasThisGirlWho Sat 09-Jul-16 05:11:46

More an AIB legal... I know it sounds awful but after last nights incidents I need to somehow be able to show someone what they're like. I swear the crisis team woman was actually being goady. She seemed like she was purposely being difficult, obtrusive, and interacting with me in an inappropriate manner. I was trying my best to be calm and assertive - was quite good at "calm" as feeling so overwhlmed, hopeless and barely able to force the words out. But I swear this was actually pissing her off more, she actully said "If you're going to shout and scream at me..." which was just bonkers, I was just calmly and firmly repeating myself for the millionth time as she kept asking the same question. I wonder if she was doing it for the benefit of others in the room with her? to cover her back somehow cos she didnt want to speak to me? I dont know, it all seems crazy but I feel like i'm in an abusive relationship with them. No offence to decent MH professionals, but the coercion and obfuscation, and frankly, downright lies they have put in my notes ("Once said she sometimes likes to manipulate people to get what she wants" hmm) are freaking me out and part of what makes it all seem so hopeless.

Can I/is it legal to record them as evidence?

BugPlaster Sat 09-Jul-16 05:27:25

It's been done in other circumstances of abuse of care, such as nannies, residential care homes etc, I seem to remember seeing footage on the news where cases have gone to court.
Sorry you are not getting the support you need.

HighDataUsage Sat 09-Jul-16 05:29:47

I don't think it would be legally admissible tbh but I'm not an expert, hopefully somebody more knowledgable will come along. I would write a letter of complaint to that person's line manager outlining what you've just posted.

Did the room you were in havery CCTV because you would be able to use that.

HopeArden Sat 09-Jul-16 05:32:37

Can you see someone else? No one should be receiving 'care' from someone who makes them feel abused. Certainly you should write down everything that happened at the last session and keep that record for a possible future complaint.

BugPlaster Sat 09-Jul-16 05:52:34

My friends and family have experience of things being brushed off because of their mental state. I understand why filming would be your best route as they may act differently around other people and your letter may not be taken seriously. I take it there was nobody else there to vouch for your perspective?

Justaskingnottelling Sat 09-Jul-16 06:04:23

This article in a legal journal would appear to suggest that it's okay to record conversations (although somewhat of a grey area) but that it would be at the discretion of a judge (or presumably any arbiter, such as a body to whom you had complained in mental health services), as to whether these recordings would be admissible.

I hope you are getting support for your mh issues outside of the crisis team. flowers.

Oblomov16 Sat 09-Jul-16 06:13:02

I would write an email or letter to complain. Whether you choose to go as far as making it an 'official complaint' is up to you. Once it's in writing it's more official, you have a paper trail.
Then you can document verbatim what has been said to you.
Make sure you use the word verbatim. She said "xxxxxx". I replied "xxxxx". She continued "xxxxx"

The manager investigating won't know that you have ' evidence' of your claims. You keep that up your sleeve, until she goes as far as refuting what you claim has been said.

Hopefully it won't get that far. You ask for a review of your case and a change in worker.

They then realise that you do need a more experienced counsellor/worker and they also realise that they have missed things, and that they need to take your case more seriously in the future.

Thus, you actually get what you want.

Becca19962014 Sat 09-Jul-16 06:54:36

I did it. It made things much worse when they found out. Even though I had proof I was deemed untrustworthy and was searched before every appointment and anything I could record on was taken away. No crisis care as that was in the home only and they couldn't check it.

The therapist I saw during this said it proved I was manipulative and unfair to staff and I couldn't expect anyone to see me again in any circumstances after behaving this way.

The complaint concluded and I was discharged, can't remember exact wording but it referred to the recording as a reason.

In terms of crisis team here there's zero choice of who you see. You see whoever has the crisis duty at that time. If you refuse to see someone then you'll find yourself with no support.

I know nothing of the legal side just what happened to me. I had complained without recording but it was dismissed as being part of my mental health issues.

milkysmum Sat 09-Jul-16 07:10:49

I wouldn't to be honest. I would go into the next meeting prepared and try use more effective interpersonal skills to explain to the team how you are feeling and what you need.
Previous poster is correct in that you are very likely to get a withdrawal of any home support if they find out you have used recording devices.

LadyStarkOfWinterfell Sat 09-Jul-16 07:12:18

It's not illegal. It won't be likely to be admissible in court but that's not what you're talking about. It isn't conducive to a good relationship but if it has gone past that then recording could be useful.

OhTheRoses Sat 09-Jul-16 07:23:51

I know that in the case of work related formal meetings, recordings can be used but with permission. I dislike it and it indicates distrust. I start every formal investigation meeting now with "can I ask you to confirm you aren't using a device to record thus meeting". If they say no and then produce a recording they have proved they they tell lies. Goes down very badly at Tribunal stage.

I'm sorry you are having a bad time op. Do you want to tell us about that. You supported me once on another thread and I'm here to listen flowers.

Ningnoise Sat 09-Jul-16 07:34:18

This is advice issued to doctors on the matter by one of their defence organisation/indemnity providers:

Ningnoise Sat 09-Jul-16 07:36:33

I would also add that the primary concern of the GMC (if doctors are involved) would be protecting patients so they would use these recordings as evidence as to how a patient has been treated by their doctor if you were to make a complaint.

Noonesfool Sat 09-Jul-16 07:43:23

I wouldn't go covert. I'd tell her, and her manager, that you want to record appointments from now on because you think it's important you remember what is being said - especially if some of it is around things you need to do to keep yourself mentally healthy.

If she is doing nothing wrong, there is no problem with this.

It may be enoug to sort her out.

FeckArseIndustries Sat 09-Jul-16 07:47:39

I would do it. There's no their side/your side then, you can see exactly what happened in the cold light of day.

Becca19962014 Sat 09-Jul-16 07:53:24

In my case permission was rejected - I asked first. They had a policy stating no recording as they also must record and store what's said as part of your notes which mh team said wasn't possible.

The link above from ning was written after my situation.

I never had a refusal from other medical professionals only mh team, though I never felt bullied by other professionals either.

OneInEight Sat 09-Jul-16 08:02:13

I probably would not record but I would make a formal complaint in writing. The one thing a mental health professional should not do is make matters worse and it sounds like this one is. Do you have anyone who can go with you to appointments? We find it helps as both dh and I can misinterpret what is being said or can step in for each other if the professional is misreading what we have said.

Ednamoda Sat 09-Jul-16 08:03:57

Can I suggest you build a relationship with an advocate. They can offer support and even attend meetings with you. I'm really sorry you're having a hard time. You can also make a formal complaint through PALS. You can also make it known to CQC who will not investigate individual complaints but they will explore it further and use the information to help them when they carry out an inspection.

Pearlman Sat 09-Jul-16 08:16:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flanjabelle Sat 09-Jul-16 08:24:37

I think you need an advocate. Get in touch with MIND the mental health charity and see if they can help you find an advocate. Or perhaps speak to the PALS department of your mental health trust. They may be able to offer you some help. Good luck op.

poaspcos Sat 09-Jul-16 08:25:02

I would avoid recording and get an advocate to attend all meetings with you stating a complaint and why you feel you need an advocate present

The advocate is better than a recording tbh - they'll give their best performance

poaspcos Sat 09-Jul-16 08:25:20

X post

JimmyGreavesMoustache Sat 09-Jul-16 08:26:59

you can do it, but it isn't likely to improve working relations with this team or any other.

Make a complaint about the individuals you feel are unprofessional. Ask for copies of notes.

I also would perhaps suggest to them that you'd like to record contacts openly for your own reference, and if they're not comfortable with this perhaps suggest compiling a mutually-agreed written summary of each contact towards the end of the appointment? Or if you have a friend or relative ask them to sit in on appointments for a while?

PurpleDaisies Sat 09-Jul-16 08:28:42

Please don't do this covertly. If I've got the right poster, haven't you already had issues with being asked to leave your GP surgery and therapist? You don't want to make things even worse for yourself by getting labelled as manipulative abs deceitful. If you want to record someone, ask their permission first (or at least tell them you're doing it).

I think working with an advocate is a really great idea because it does sound like you've had a very difficult time with the health services.

RestlessTraveller Sat 09-Jul-16 08:30:04

As a Social Worker we are always being told that clients recording conversations is illlegal but it's really not. If I found out a client was recording my conversations I would refuse to work with them again, and they would be allocated someone else.

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