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Teenager forced to travel 176 miles from Wales to Derby for mental health help

today17 September 2022 1

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A mother from Wales has claimed that her teenage daughter is at “greater risk of self-harm” after having to move from her home in Bridgend to Derby to access specialist mental health support.

Alisha Stott, 19, who was an inpatient at the psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Princess of Wales Hospital, was transferred to Cygnet Hospital a low-secure mental health rehabilitation facility on London Road, Derby, on Wednesday, September 14, after an assessment.

Now her mum Zoe, who visited Alisha in hospital almost every day, says she was “devastated” to learn that her daughter would need to be moved more than three hours’ drive away from her family and friends across the border. She has therefore set up a petition to try and stop vulnerable women from having to be transferred so far away for treatment.

Zoe, Wales Online reports, added Alisha has been in the mental health system since she was 17 when she was admitted to the Ty Liddiard unit at the Princess of Wales Hospital. She had been at the unit for around a month when she walked out in a distressed state and tried to take her own life, suffering a broken back in the process.

Read more Derbyshire health stories

Ever since Alisha has been an inpatient for her emotionally unstable personality disorder, spending time in a facility in Ebbw Vale before being moved to Princess of Wales’ PICU in May to continue her care as an adult. Zoe claims she was given just half a day’s notice of her daughter being transferred 176 miles away to Derby.

“I got told on Tuesday this week that she would be transferred on Wednesday morning,” she said. “The whole thing is heartbreaking for us both. I used to see her practically every day in Bridgend unless I was working.

“Alisha is devastated and she feels like she’s let us all down. I think she’s going to have big problems because of the distance there is between her family. I worry that she’s going to deteriorate.”

Zoe admitted that she cannot afford to see Alisha in Derby regularly and will have to make do with speaking to her over the phone. “She’s got to go where someone will accept her,” she added. “I want her to get the help she needs but I also want there to be change for units in south Wales so other families don’t go through what I’m going through right now.

“It’s knocked my own mental health for six. I have issues sleeping and I’m just crying all the time. My other children have also missed out on lots with her.”

Zoe added that Alisha, who legally changed her first name to Riley, said her daughter still has issues with her back following the incident in 2020 but has made a good recovery. But she admitted she has a long journey ahead when it comes to her mental health. “I’m always fearing the worst and waiting for my phone to ring,” Zoe added. To sign Zoe’s petition please go here.

The Welsh Government and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board have been approached for comment.

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