The father of an autistic teenager who says that his 17-year-old daughter has been detained in a psychiatric hospital in a psychiatric hospital for two years, takes the NHS for torture & # 39; his child and robbing her basic human rights.
Betanie, 17 years old, was kept in a 12 by 10-foot cell in an evaluation and treatment unit (ATU) in Birmingham for 23 months.
Her father Jeremy said that the first time he saw the circumstances in which his child was being held, he thought it was "a scene of Hannibal Lecter & # 39; used to be.
Bethany has not been allowed to leave her cell – which only contains a chair and mattress – and her parents, who can only come once a week, must address her through a door in the door.
They have not cuddled each other in two years.
Jeremy, pictured right, his autistic daughter Bethany, pictured left, has not been able to cuddle since two years since she was placed in an isolation cell in a psychiatric hospital in Birmingham
He said that Bethany, pictured here shortly before she was segmented two years ago and placed in St Andrews in Birmingham, & # 39; like all 17-year-old girls & # 39; is when her severe anxiety is not triggered
The cell contains a small bathroom, but no door, so that staff in the center can always see it. She has passed her food on a tray through the hatch.
Bethany, which is segmented under the Mental Health Act, was moved to the isolation cell shortly after she arrived at the institution, run by St Andrews Healthcare, because she struggled to cope with the other patients.
But Jeremy says that the small space is designed as a short-term measure to isolate those who undergo a massive emotional break, not for long-term care.
Bethany left the venue last Friday after her case received massive media coverage when her father spoke to BBC Radio 4, but Jeremy – who fears she will soon return to the cell – complains to her carers.
He starts legal action against NHS England, Walsall Council, St. Andrews Healthcare and Walsall CCG, citing a violation of Beth & # 39; s human rights, the right to freedom from torture and the right to privacy.
He told Metro.co.uk: "We demand changes in Bethany's conditions in which she lives. We want changes in the lack of privacy and dignity. & # 39;
He insists that the institutions propose a clear plan of care to bring Bethany into a more integrated, less remote environment, and better consider its views on its own care.
He said that social services promised that Bethany's stay at St Andrews would be too short and that she would have access to therapy, but that she would instead "move from environment to environment." was moved, which put her in trouble.
She could not manage to live with other young people like her, so Beth was nursed in isolation from anybody, "he said.
Bethany has her food passed to her on a tray for almost two years through a hatch in the door of her twelve-meter-long space. Her father now pleads for improvement of her care
Bethany is 12 years old in the garden of her grandparents. When the family approaches their third Christmas day separately, she is not allowed to keep any gifts they give her
She is being held at St Andrews Hospital in Birmingham. The institution said in a statement that it has the highest priority to provide the best possible care for patients
"That was then a month in a remote cell that is a room of 10 meters by 12 meters with nothing but a plastic-lined mattress and a plastic-covered chair.
& # 39; Those spaces are designed so that people who are in enormous emotional degradation states can be safe somewhere for a short period of time. To keep them safe while overcoming their anxious state or meltdown.
& # 39; They are not intended for long-term nursing. Beth has been there for 23 months. & # 39;
"They say that if Beth is removed from the cell, it is likely that she is too angry to go back, which would be a challenge for the nurses, so they do not open the door." ;
Jeremy told the subway that St Andrews does not understand the situation of his daughter and does not treat it properly.
Bethany has made a difficult journey to her current circumstances.
She moved from the parental home to her first residential school with other autistic children at the age of nine, but struggled to reach the limits and the placement collapsed.
Her fears spiral and a total of 17 different positions, all autism specialists, failed before she was moved to St Andrews.
She is especially prone to sensory overload and if that happens, her behavior can be extremely challenging & # 39; be, said her father.
Jeremy says that St Andrews carried out an assessment on Bethany eighteen months ago, which concluded that she should be in the community, but neither she nor the Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group has facilitated that step.
Bethany enjoyed a Christmas grotto five years ago, with her father in happier times. He claims that the NHS and other health care providers have violated her human rights
On 30 November, the government responded to a petition calling for the cessation of the detention of people with autism and learning disabilities in ATUs.
It said: "We agree that people with autism and learning disabilities should not improperly be held in psychiatric hospitals. The CQC will assess the use of long-term segregation and isolation. & # 39;
To be debated, the petition, which has nearly 20,000 signatures, must reach 100,000 before it is eligible for debate in Parliament.
The truck driver from Harbourne said that St Andrews used Beth's condition under the Mental Health Act to remove her rights.
The only relatives allowed to visit Betania are her parents, who are divorced, the partners of her brother and her parents. She has not seen the rest of her family for two years and missed the funeral of a grandparent.
He explained: & # 39; In that cell she is now institutionalized. She wants friends, but because they are not on the approved list of visitors, she has no one who talks to imaginary friends like that.
She has missed being close to her brother because he has never been there. He finds it so shocking because he wants to be close to her, but he can not. They have not cuddled each other in two years. & # 39;
He was horrified at seeing the living conditions of his daughter for the first time.
We walked through the hallway to Beth locked in this horrible room, behind a glass window and she was so sad, sobbing. It was a Hannibal Lecter scene.
& # 39; You see your child in that environment and there is no reason for it. Walsall tried to silence me as soon as I started talking about her treatment at St Andrews. They said it was to protect her rights to privacy, but that is just ridiculous. & # 39;
Outraged by how his daughter was being treated, Jeremy launched a social media campaign two months ago to "liberate" her, but the Walsall council demanded a ban to prevent him from sharing details about her.
He fought the order and it was withdrawn by the council on October 11, which was also ordered to pay the court fees of Jeremy, according to charity Mencap, who supported the family of Bethany.
He said: "I only had two days to prepare for the court's judgment and I was completely angry and worried that this could lead me to stop seeing Bethania or talking about her.
& # 39; When Beth gets angry, she wants to run away or show challenging behavior. If she can not, she harms herself.
Statement from St Andrews
In a statement, health care provider St Andrews said: "Unfortunately, without patient consent we can not respond to a specific patient, their care or treatment with St Andrews.
& # 39; We are a provider of specialized mental health services to the National Health Service (NHS), which refers patients to us where there is a lack of capacity or relevant expertise within the NHS.
We have an important task and our focus and priority is to provide the best possible care to our patients.
& # 39; All personnel decisions are based on the care needs and safety of our patients. When patients find interaction with other patients, every effort is made to reduce this through the use of tailor-made environments with permanent staff.
& # 39; For those patients who are referred to our hospital environments at a time when they are most vulnerable, our role is to provide the best possible care and proactively advocate on their behalf when we think it is good for them to continue to go. The needs of our patients can and will change over the course of months.
& # 39; All patients are regularly followed up by their health care team. This team consists of a number of professionals from organizations, including the NHS, St Andrew & # 39; s and local care teams.
Their role is to monitor progress and make decisions about ongoing care, every step of the way from admission to transfer and discharge.
St Andrews is only intended as part of a patient's care process and we are fully committed to transforming care and supporting our patients in the community as quickly as possible.
& # 39; We proactively work with the NHS England and the wider care teams to find specialized community placement. However, due to the national shortage of suitable community internships, this can sometimes be challenging. & # 39;
A nurse on duty gave Beth a biro and put it in her arm and stayed there for six weeks.
St Andrews knew it was there, but under their risk assessment they said it was too difficult to remove and said that Beth needed anesthetic or general anesthetic and that they had no plan to take her to a hospital to to facilitate that.
& # 39; They did not consider the pen in her arm as life-threatening, so they did not remove it.
& # 39; Only after the media campaign that caused another staff member to enter her room within two days, give her a local anesthetic and stop it.
I only found out and I was shocked – if you put a dog in a cage with a pen in it, there would be national outrage, but because it's a child in one of these ATUs, have they forgotten. & # 39;
As the family prepares to spend their third Christmas day separately from their daughter. They plan to meet weekly visiting limits, because Jeremy is going to visit her on Christmas Eve and her mother and brother visit her on the 25th. They plan to take food and & # 39; togther & # 39; to eat on either side of the hatch in her cell door.
He said: & It is absolutely horrible to have to do that. Beth will have a kind of Christmas, but not the Christmas she wants. & # 39;
He said that when Betania has no fear, she & # 39; like any other 17-year-old, you would not know that she is autistic. She has a brilliant sense of humor, loves to sing, make up, loves to do crazy girlish things, she is an absolute pleasure. & # 39;
But her isolation means that he can not give her the gifts he would like.
He explained: "She can not leave anything in her room because you are limited in what you can bring.
& # 39; You can not take any metal parts, batteries, anything a 17-year-old would want to make up, nail polish, because the rules do not allow it.
& # 39; I do not even have an updated photo of my daughter because you can not bring a camera. & # 39;
Bethany & # 39; s care currently costs the NHS £ 13,000 per week. Mencap says that if she goes to the community, Walsall Council should cover the costs.
Jeremy hopes that a solution for Beth will soon be found and insists that there is no reason why she can not continue to have a normal life like everyone else.
A spokesman for the NHS England said: "It is an absolute priority for the NHS and local commissioners to find a safe and suitable healthcare environment for Betania that best meets its needs."
Tonight Jeremy told MailOnline: "I'm trying to work with all those involved to get Bethany from St Andrews, this has not worked until now, but I sincerely hope that it will happen soon.
I would like to be involved and be positively involved in moving things forward. & # 39;
Betania went to St Andrews on December 20 for two times. Her father said that when she has no fear, she & # 39; like any other 17-year-old, you would not know that she is autistic. She has a brilliant sense of humor, loves to sing, make up, loves to do crazy girlish things, she is an absolute pleasure. & # 39;