Helping Ava

What was the person’s situation before working with Advocacy Focus?

Ava was a 26 year old woman detained under the Mental Health Act on a specialist hospital ward, Ava’s baby was able to stay with her in hospital and staff supported Ava to care for her baby. Ava was Muslim and chose to cover her hair when in the presence of adult males.

As Ava was on a specialist ward for women, staffed by women, she did not cover her hair on a day to day basis in hospital. 

Ava told me that due to staff shortages, a male nurse had recently been working on the ward. He had knocked on her bedroom door and come in a few minutes later to give Ava her medication. Ava said that this had not given her enough time to cover her hair. Ava said that she understood that sometimes she will be treated by male staff members, however she was uncomfortable about being seen without her hair covered and also having a male in her bedroom. 

What did you do to help the person?
I supported Ava to speak to staff about this. It was arranged that Ava would be informed ahead of time when there were male staff working on the ward. It was also arranged that when only a male was qualified to give medication, Ava could have medication in the office instead of her bedroom. It was arranged that male staff would only come into Ava’s bedroom in a genuine emergency. 

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