By the summer of 2022 I felt sufficiently distanced from the experience and confident that I had recovered from an episode of depression triggered by the cancer diagnosis. I began to process what had been done to me and to read about the treatments that I had been given. Instead of being given compassionate help at the time of my diagnosis, and early treatment, I had been left on my own, then when I was admitted to hospital I was given a combination of powerful drugs normally reserved for serious mental illneses like schizophrenia and manic depression, then deemed to lack insight into my condition and given forced electroshock with no warning.
In July 2022 I submitted a formal complaint to NHS Grampian in a 7-page letter. I sent it as a PDF email attachment and by recorded delivery post. I didn't receive any acknowledgement or reply, and they later said that they had no record of receiving it. I didn't follow this up, firstly because I didn't have any confidence in the complaints process, and secondly because I had discovered that I could make Subject Access requests to NHS Grampian, NHS Shetland, and the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland. I decided that I would wait until I had received and read copies of my medical notes before deciding how to pursue the complaint further.
After getting copies of my notes I discovered more serious irregularities in the way that I had been treated, particularly that Dr David Rooke never met me or spoke to me before giving what was supposed to be an independent second opinion, that the ECT doctors under Dr Leah Drever wrongly recorded that there was legal authority for forced ECT, and that Dr Hannah Badial arranged for the ECT to take place but must have deliberately decided not to tell me beforehand what was about to be done to me.
I was angered by my discoveries and frustrated that my complaint to NHS Grampian had been ignored. I decided to write directly to Dr Hannah Badial and Dr Leah Drever at the Royal Cornhill Hospital, to see if that would provoke a reaction. It did. I had letters from a Service Manager at the hospital asking me to direct my complaint to the Complaints and Feedback Team at NHS Grampian. I sent the complaint, revised after seeing my notes, reproduced below, and received a reply that: 'The issues raised are unfortunately outwith the time limit.' I wrote back on 13 February 2023 disputing this and had no acknowledgement, until over a month later they wrote saying that they required more time to consider the complaint. To my surprise, I did get a response. Unsurprisingly, they did not uphold the complaint. I will add more information about this once I find the mental strength to go through their letter in detail.