Brogan was 16 and living in a low secure Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) unit. Brogan took part in an advocacy group run by Jeremy, a POhWER advocate, at the unit. During the group chat Brogan mentioned that she had been refused leave for Christmas. She was clearly very upset by this. She told the group that she really wanted to see her parents and her younger siblings, and that this was traditional for them at Christmas. She was upset that this couldn’t happen for her, especially as she had missed out on her last home visit too. She said that the reason it had been refused was because she had been non-compliant with one of her medications. Brogan said that she didn’t want to take that medication, but that this medication has now been changed anyway. 

Jeremy asked Brogan if she had explained this to the doctor and she said that she had, but that the doctor would not listen. Jeremy asked Brogan if she would like him to speak to the doctor on her behalf and try to put her point of view forward. Brogan said that she would.

Jeremy spoke to the doctor about Brogan’s leave. The doctor explained that he felt Brogan would not be safe to have unescorted leave. She had self-harmed recently, and not been on the new medication for long enough. Jeremy asked if there was anything that could be done to make this possible as Brogan was desperate to spend Christmas with her family.  The doctor suggested that it might be possible for her family to come and spend the day offsite with Brogan if she was escorted by a staff member, and said he would look in to it. The doctor also told Jeremy that Brogan’s family were not able to visit due to financial constraints. Jeremy asked if there is any help available with this, if it helps with her recovery. The doctor said he would look into this as well.

A few days later Jeremy spoke to the doctor on the phone and he confirmed that the hospital was able to provide some financial help for Brogan’s family to come and visit her for a day. Risk assessments had been carried out and Brogan would be escorted by two members of staff.

Brogan was really excited that she would get to see her family.

Jeremy spoke to Brogan after Christmas and told him she had a lovely day offsite with her family, escorted by staff. She said they had a really nice time, she had played games with her younger siblings and her and her family had eaten a meal together and exchanged presents.

Brogan made great progress following her facilitated family visit. There were no further instances of self-harm and she was happy to take her new medication daily. In the New Year, her multi-disciplinary team started making plans for her discharge from hospital. Brogan requested Jeremy’s support with this and he ensured her wishes and needs were taken into account.