Help get my son Eddie out of hospital

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Right now our family is forced to travel a 600 mile round trip from Bristol to Newcastle to see our beloved son Eddie who is currently detained in hospital under the mental health act due to his disabilities and his mental health.   

At 13 years of age Eddie's complex difficulties (which included an autism diagnoses, ADHD, dyspraxia, a sensory overload disorder, attachment difficulties and a learning disability) came to a head and it was decided by doctors and his school that Eddie needed to be treated in a specialist facility. This was the week my world ended.   

Due to his learning disability Eddie could not access any local hospitals or facilities. After a short placement in Northampton Eddie has ended up being placed in Newcastle - that’s a 600 mile round trip from our home. We either have to fly or endure a 5 hour train journey each way. With a job, 3 other children and no flights to Newcastle on weekends this isn’t a trip I can manage regularly.

As a result of this distance I have missed my son growing up. We were assured at the time Eddie would only be there for 9 months to a year for assessment and treatment, we are now 3 and a half years down the line with no progression. Eddie should not be expected to live so far from home in such an environment - family help aid recovery and with us on the other side of the country he can’t have that.

The hospital he is in now is very caring and child focused but this can’t replace a mother’s love or the care of a family. For 3 years I haven’t been able to be with Eddie, talk to him, reassure him, tuck him up at night, help him get dressed, meet his friends, share a meal, give a him a hug or a good night kiss.

I know we are not the only family going through this - I hope reading yet another petition about a child sent so far from home for treatment will encourage change.

The local commissioners, NHS England and Bristol Authority need to look at a bespoke placement For Eddie. It would be more cost effective to the tax-payer, it would free up a mental health bed, it would mean Eddie could have regular and well needed care and visits from family. I also want the government to look at a South West provision for children with needs like Eddie. It is not acceptable for families to be expected to travel 600 miles to see their child. There is clearly a demand for it.

I look to you all to sign this petition so the government have to at least see what they expect us to go through- It is not our fault our child is disabled - he is loved but even that must be hard for him to feel when he is so far from home.