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AIBU about filling in a section 17 form?

(18 Posts)
UndertheCedartree Tue 23-Jun-20 21:51:08

@tatianatisling - well yes, I have been doing! But I refer to it as 'arse covering' because nurses fill it in as quickly as possible not even reading it often when the patient isn't even there. And I'm a nurse so I know all about tick box exercises! But yes my legal right is to leave the ward when I want with no need to seek sec 17 leave. This is one of the things that encourage patients to become informal. When you've been in hospital for a year plus little things really do make a massive difference.

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TitianaTitsling Tue 23-Jun-20 21:05:19

@letmethinkaboutitfornow - so anyone in a psych ward should just put up and shut up even when their legal rights are being eroded? Well that's a tad dramatic. If you are so free to leave and you see staff input as 'arse covering' why not do so?

UndertheCedartree Tue 23-Jun-20 20:50:44

@dottycat - yes, it is something they use beyond the form filled in by the consultant. And yes, of course if they feel an informal patient is at risk then a sec 5 can be used.

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dottycat123 Tue 23-Jun-20 20:42:14

It must be a local policy, if it is the same as a 'normal ' section 17 form then it has to be completed by the responsible clinician and is a legal document. It might be something the hospital has devised around shared risk but seems odd. As an informal patient you can say you want to leave at any point but if there were sufficient concerns you could be prevented from going by use of a section 5/4 and then further assessment.

UndertheCedartree Tue 23-Jun-20 20:36:10

@acquiescence - I know it doesn't sound like much but when your freedom is already very curtailed and you work so hard to get to a point where you don't need sec 17 then it can feel a big deal. Even if an incident had occured (it hasn't) - blanket policies aren't allowed it has to be per patient individually.

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UndertheCedartree Tue 23-Jun-20 20:31:14

@Gimmecaffeine - the rule here for informal patients is you have to have been seen by a nurse before you first go out and then you can come and go as you like.

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UndertheCedartree Tue 23-Jun-20 20:26:11

@Darkestseasonofall - doesn't really work like that here that I can negoiate to be discharged today and it will be filled with another patient! It is a long term unit. By the time I've negotiated it I'll already be discharged! I am well within my rights to not want to fill in a form that I don't need to and just because I am a psychiatric patient doesn't mean I should put up and shut up. I have ASD and due to that this kind of thing really bothers me.

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Gimmecaffeine Tue 23-Jun-20 19:22:29

I do not want to be questioned each time I want to go out

This we have to do, though, unfortunately.

Gimmecaffeine Tue 23-Jun-20 19:17:54

I'm a ward manager for a MH ward.

This is really weird. It is the staffs' role to risk assess, not yours. I imagine (generously) they're trying to introduce some kind of collaborative risk assessment that promotes individual responsibility. But there are so many more human ways of doing this than paperwork for patients. Less generously, this is a knee-jerk response to something that has happened (perhaps elsewhere in the Trust) and it has been introduced so they are seen to have done 'something'.

Honestly, if I was in your position and objected I'd go along with it but raise it in the available avenues: advocacy, a complaint, PALS, feedback etc. Refusing to complete them will just delay your leave and alienate you from the ward staff, who won't have introduced this.

Darkestseasonofall Tue 23-Jun-20 19:09:12

Informal doesn't mean you can come and go as you please. You are part of an agreement with the ward, even if this is not a written agreement. You will avoid certain behaviours and engage, they will do their best to keep you safe.
If filling in a form is too intrusive or laborious then maybe negotiate to be discharged today, there'll be plenty wanting your bed I'm sure.

Chocolatethief Tue 23-Jun-20 19:03:29

In the first hospital I went into when going on leave we had to fill a slip of paper out saying what time we were going, how long we would be, where we were going and what we were wearing but it wasnt a section 17 leave form infact even when sectioned it other hospitals over never filled one out other than signing the piece of paper granting me the leave they set out for me. I wouldn't do it either if it was just for a smoke in grounds. You are also correct in my opinion the worst thing they can do is stop people from smoking when in psych hospitals it doesnt help at all and I thought that before I smoked.

acquiescence Tue 23-Jun-20 18:51:24

It sounds like it is local policy and they have changed it. Unfortunately risk assessments and ‘arse covering’ are necessary.

I’m a mental health nurse and have worked on the ward when informal patients have left the wards and killed themselves. It’s possible that there has been some sort of incident which means they need to be more vigilant about informal patients taking leave. Nurses don’t generally like doing paperwork but will get in trouble if it’s not completed. I would suggest completing the form, it doesn’t sound like a massive deal, and enjoy your leave.
All the best with your recovery.

dexmorgan Tue 23-Jun-20 18:45:30

I was an inpatient on an voluntary basis back in 2018 and I never signed anything. So I don't actually understand d the scenario fully. I was given leave a couple of times and never signed a thing

UndertheCedartree Tue 23-Jun-20 18:40:08

@letmethinkaboutitfornow - so anyone in a psych ward should just put up and shut up even when their legal rights are being eroded? Ok then. No they are not following guidelines as explained I am an informal patient. As you yourself said I should be able to leave. Restricting that right is not helping me. And yes, my smoking habit is not their fault but since everyone here smokes it makes sense to have a sensible policy otherwise the nicotine withdrawal affects people's mental health and then the staff have to deal with it. Not everyone is as calm as I am.

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UndertheCedartree Tue 23-Jun-20 18:34:32

@Kurololi - it is a risk assessment for sec 17 leave - it has to be filled in everytime leave is taken - I've never come across it before and as you say doesn't apply to me as I'm mot on sec 17 leave!

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letmethinkaboutitfornow Mon 22-Jun-20 22:02:39

YABU - you could just leave so someone else could use your high sought after place 😔
They are following guidelines, your smoking habit is not their fault!
You are informal, you can leave. I assume you are there for a reason, maybe you could focusing on that reason. People there trying to help you

Kurololi Mon 22-Jun-20 21:55:15

What does the form actually say? I've never heard of patients having to sign anything before "leave" though as you say it's not technically leave as you are informal!

UndertheCedartree Mon 22-Jun-20 21:51:42

I am an inpatient on a psych ward and I'm due to be discharged at the weekend. Recently they have been trying to get people who are informal (not sectioned) to fill in a sec 17 leave form before going on leave despite us not having sec 17 leave as this is only required if you are sectioned. Literally this hospital loves paper work and it is purely a tick-box and arse covering exercise dressed up as a risk assessment. This has not existed at other hospitals I've been at.

Am I unreasonable to avoid filling these forms in? I am informal and therefore they need to let me out if I want to go out. I do not want to be questioned each time I want to go out. If I'm ok to be discharged on Saturday (with no support due to Covid) then I can go into the grounds for a smoke without filling a bloody risk assessment each time I go out! I don't generally break rules but this has really got to me because they are doing something incorrect and it means waiting much longer to go on leave!

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