Patients prevented from using toilet at the Dene
Patients prevented from using toilet at the Dene

Blanket toilet ban at the Dene

It’s early in the morning at the Dene in Hassocks, a West Sussex mental health unit. Patients are getting up and as with most people in the morning they want to go to the toilet.

But staff are not letting them. Two patients were suspected of sharing medication. The Clinical Director of the Dene agrees that our daughter is not one of those suspected but she needs to defecate and his staff are refusing to allow her.

This blanket ban on letting patients use a toilet first thing in the morning is indeed another abuse of human rights at the Dene run by Partnerships in Care Ltd. It is inhuman and degrading treatment contrary to Article 3 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

There is surely a better method to control a possible sharing of medication by a small number of patients than to impose a draconian and sadistic blanket ban for all patients on defecation first thing in the morning.

Our daughter is taking laxatives to counter the constipating effects of Depakote. That means that when she needs to go, she needs to go. If she was to defecate or to pee in her clothing she could be put into seclusion or segregation for protesting. She is distressed and this antagonising of patients is rife at the mental health unit.

Staff make up arbitrary rules like this ‘toilet ban’ and then watch as the patients become more agitated. If a patient reacts to the degrading treatment or complain they are segregated or worse, they are locked in the ‘padded cell’ of solitary confinement.

Is this treatment?
Is this care?

If a customer is a hotel or restaurant was treated like this there would be uproar. You would read about it in newspapers. Why should it be any different for a mental health patient? Why are their human rights any less than our own?

Would you like to think that your loved ones are being abused in this way when they are at their most vulnerable?

It happens all the time at the Modern Asylum.



  1. If this is indeed true. This a criminal offence. Get the police involved . Get their care license revoked. Also get the care commission involved, though they are not very useful from my experience. However, it does show you have tried every and all avenues.

  2. Dr Harriet Garrod

    I am very saddened and not surprised to be reading this. My prayers are with the patients and their families. I have unfortunately seen similar regimes and most staff are also bullied and are entirely powerless to challenge those at the top. This woman runs hospitals like a dictatorship and anybody who challenges this usually has a hard time of it.
    I am heartbroken to hear such vile behaviour towards other human beings who are vulnerable and deserve love, care, self respect and decent treatment for £165,000 a year per patient!
    I am more than happy to offer anybody support and de-briefing and can also support families who have experienced this. Please get in touch 0776——-.

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