Worried about husband

You are correct Charlesh47, in a way I am thankful that my husband is not at the other end of the country or even out of county. I am also grateful that I have been included in the Teams meeting today.


I have visited my husband, and I am a little concerned that no-one seems to be kept in the picture about what is happening.

I have checked with information from Mind’s website about who should be contacted if a person is being sectioned, transferred to a different hospital or changed ward. In these cases, the person would be the individual’s ‘nearest relative’.

My husband and I have been married for 25 years. We have not lived together for seven years due to a complex family situation, but we are not legally or in any other way ‘separated’. I have seen him every day, live a couple of streets away form him, and have communicated via text, phone call and e-mail every day (prior to his hospitalisation).

However, I was not informed that he was being sectioned. I was not informed that he was being transferred to a different hospital, and I was not informed that he was being moved to a different ward.

I have been invited to a Teams meeting, which was his admission meeting, and I have visited and been given information about my husband’s wellbeing when I have phoned, and I was promised by two doctors (one at the general hospital and one at the psychiatric hospital) that I would be called regarding background information that may be helpful because my husband is quite confused.

Yesterday, I write a six page letter relating my husband’s past MH difficulties, ASD and the matters relating to our living arrangement. I also listed myself each of our sons and his mother as nearest relatives (in that order). I handed this in to the office, and I will check that it has been read and received tomorrow, when regular staff are on duty.

Everyone is pleasant to me, when I communicate or when I have visited, but I was a little shocked when I saw my husband yesterday. He has lost weight, he was unshaven, he had the same clothes on that he had when he was admitted, and he could not tell me what he did during the day.

I know he is not well at the moment., and I hope that now he has some clothes to change into, he will be able to enjoy wearing something different. I also know that shaving may be difficult on a ward where self harm may be a risk.

The hospital has a CQC rating as ‘inadequate’ and there was an inquiry a year ago into ‘preventable deaths’ that occurred there, so I am a bit wary, although I want to avoid being too judgemental in what is a fluid and complex situation.

Anyway, I just wanted to check with people if I am right in assuming that I am actually my husband’s nearest relative, despite the fact that we live apart, and that perhaps my fears are a little unfounded.

Janet, according to rethink

now your husband is sectioned, you need to tell the hospital you are your husband’s nearest relative.
Please read the information this link provides.

I think you are doing the right thing keeping in regular contact with the hospital, research all you can and ensure they know you are knowledgeable.

It must be hard to not be easily able to visit as often as you’d like.

Whilst shaving poses safety challenges the activity can be risk assessed and supervised (would your husband cope with an electric shaver if needs must?) and not having more clothes was also an issue, the hospital should have spare
stuff as many patients will be admitted as an emergency. Are they aware he is losing weight? Does he need prompts to eat?

It isn’t acceptable to be unkempt unless these activities are causing significant distress.

I do recall a parent /carer on the forum who rang around the local mental health services to see where/ when vacancies were to have her teenage/ young adult child moved closer to home.

I’m dismayed that they haven’t asked anyone for clean clothes! Can you buy him a couple of sets of track suits and some T shirts from Sports Direct and take or send them to him?
My late husband was always clean shaven, there is absolutely no excuse for this being neglected, I’m sure your husband hates being stubbly if he usually shaves. Does he have an electric shaver at home? Could you get it for him?


Yes, I was a bit surprised. When I saw him on Saturday, I brought him a large bag of clothes (jogging bottoms, underwear, shirts and tops). These were itemised and put in his room. He has been a bit confused yesterday and today, but I think he has changed his clothes. I will ask tomorrow about the shaving situation. He does not have an electric shaver, but I can bring one on Saturday if the staff cannot help him shave before then.

Staff have told me that he is isolating himself in his room, but they are popping in to see him. In the notes I left on Saturday, I explained that he may need a bit of support to socialise. However, from what I saw on Saturday, most of the men on the ward are quite a bit younger than him. If any people are in crisis, I think my husband will isolate himself.

There is another meeting on Thursday. I am not able to attend, but I will be sent a Teams invitation. I am sure my husband should have an advocate, and preferably one who understands his communication needs.

Definitely. Also needs to be someone with experience of advocating for someone with autism that listens and advocates for your husband’s actual wants and needs.

I agree, S (has autism) finds other people in crisis very upsetting and becomes very anxious himself.

Do they have any activities that your husband would be interested in that could give him a focus outside of his room?

I went to see my husband again yesterday. He seemed to be much less confused, but his mood was low. Staff told me that he spends most of his time in his room. To be honest, I don’t blame him. The ward is very noisy with music booming full blast from the lounge down the corridor and people shouting. We spent our time in the group room (which was empty) and my husband kept saying he wanted to go back to his bedroom.

However, he got the opportunity to speak to his mother on the telephone and wish her a happy Mother’s Day, and he spoke to our youngest son, which was really good to hear. I will put our eldest son on the phone today.

There was a review meeting on Thursday, but for some reason the link was not working for me, or no-one let me into the meeting. I was told someone would call me back to let me know what was said, but that did not happen. Ward staff have told me that my husband has an advocate, but they were not sure if he had met the advocate yet.

My own opinion is, my husband needs to be out of the hospital as soon as possible after his section ends, and there needs to be a meeting prior to his discharge about where he will live. He needs more support than he has been accessing in his lodgings, and he has told me he wants some kind of sheltered accommodation (rather like the supported living our eldest son has).

So, I am going to ask when the next review meeting is scheduled as make sure I attend (it was a six hour round trip yesterday, but then the trains were not running).

Hi Janet,

What a terribly exhausting journey that must have been for you.

Glad your husband seemed less confused. No I don’t blame him either, the ward sounds awful for most people let alone for someone with autism. Not good that staff think it’s ok to be like that. No wonder patients are experiencing crisis.

Not good re mess* up over the last meeting.

It’s good your husband knows what he needs, will he be able to communicate that to the advocate?

Discharges from ATU’s can be held by a lack of suitable accommodation/ provision in the community and some hostel type places are rather like the ward - noisy and chaotic. Might be worth having an idea of what set up might work for him as a bridge between hospital and a new home.

PS I typed :rooster:but the forum wouldn’t allow it …

Thank you Melly.

I had to laugh at the icon. I have an application form from a sheltered housing provider that we were inquiring into prior to my husband’s admission. They need extra evidence to support his application. I am sure that evidence will now be available.

I gave my husband the form (it was addressed to him) yesterday and he said he would like to apply. If he can work with a hospital social worker, to complete the form, then maybe the application process could be started prior to discharge. I will call someone tomorrow, and see if I can actually speak to someone who will get things going.

My husband’s section ends the week after next, so it may be time to start thinking about next steps. The accommodation is in our local city and in the same city that our eldest son lives in. I can visit very easily, so from my point of view, this would be great.

Sounds ideal, Janet. Keeping :crossed_fingers:for you both.