Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Unsettling Reading

Medical staff at a secure hospital unit for psychiatric patients have been forced to alter breath tests after alcohol hand gels were found to produce results equivalent to drinking a pint of beer.

Clinicians at the Orchard Clinic in Edinburgh have revised strict breath tests after they found that the 80 per cent proof fumes from the disinfectant rubs could yield "false positive" results among inmates.
It’s not that – disturbing as it is – that makes such unsettling reading, though.

It’s this:
The unit - which houses "mentally disordered" criminals from across Scotland - has asked clinical staff to "delay" the use of breathalysers or use soap and water instead after a female patient complained when she failed a routine check.

Despite insisting that she had not "touched a drop", the unnamed inmate tested positive for alcohol after returning from a period of weekend leave - and feared losing her privileges as a result.
So she was cleared to leave the hospital – a secure mental hospital – for a weekend’s leave, but not allowed to drink? And this would be checked on her return by use of a breathalyser?

She was, presumably, free to watch what she wanted, eat what she wanted, read what she wanted…but not drink what she wanted?

Now, I can see why this condition might be imposed if alcohol conflicts with medication she may be taking, but if not, how the hell do the medical authorities justify this?


Stitch's Master said...

More to the point, what are mentally disordered criminals from a secure hospital doing being allowed out for the weekend?

Richard said...

Damn. I was going to say exactly the same thing, but decided to make a cup of tea first. Always the bridesmaid ...

subrosa said...

Stitch has just said what I was about to say. I suppose it's something to do with integrating in the community. A pub is part of a community.

subrosa said...

Now I have to include Richard. Where did he spring from?

mad for a drink said...

Maybe alcohol sends her even more bonkers and is why she ended up in the clinic in the first pace. A trip to any weekend city centre at night would confirm this might be the case.
Drinking alcohol might put back her rehab by a few months.

Macheath said...

Oh dear, oh dear! We've got to use the hand gel and we've got to breathalyse everybody; so many targets, so little time!

You can't possibly expect us to worry about whether our rules make sense as well.

Mummylonglegs said...

The 'what are they doing out' point has been covered but my question is this. Allowed out or not, if alcohol is banned why do they allow alcohol hand gels in these places. It is well documented that an alcoholic will happily drink hand gel (mixed with orange juice) which is why so many alcoholics will call 999 and demand to be taken to the local hospital.

Just asking.

Mummy x

p.s No ociffer, I never dropped a touch, honest. T'was the gand hell what caused a palse fossitive.

Macheath said...

MLL, I suspect it's to prevent us all getting swine flu - the order went out that everyone entering or leaving an area had to use gel and nobody's bothered to stop the juggernaut since.

I can understand the need for more care in, for example, post-surgical hospital wards or A&E but it seems to be a blanket rule for all NHS establishments with patients - sorry, clients - in.

Richard said...

x clients x

Customers. Or was that the railways?

Richard said...

"Now I have to include Richard. Where did he spring from?"

Boing. Look up 'parthenogenesis', with specific reference to offspring of the Deity. :)

JohnRS said...

"how the hell do the medical authorities justify this?"

They dont. For they are agents of Gordon McNutter's state and must be obeyed without question.

English Viking said...


Close, but no cigar. Where did the egg come from?

Richard said...

Sainsbury's. They have a special on this week: six for the price of half a dozen.

JuliaM said...

Point taken about the dangers of releasing for weekend leave.

But, if judged to be OK to be released, she should be considered OK to take advantage of all the legal pleasures of freedom, medical issues notwithstanding!

"Oh dear, oh dear! We've got to use the hand gel and we've got to breathalyse everybody; so many targets, so little time!"

Another reasion to end the target culture!

"...if alcohol is banned why do they allow alcohol hand gels in these places."

As MacHeath points out, the news takes a long, long time to reach the NHS.

They only stopped ordering the red paint to mark the doors of those diagnosed with Black Death last Tuesday....