There is a lady called Bethan – that’s not her real name but the name she likes to be called because she doesn’t like her real name.  Bethan lives in Somerset and is 82 years old.  She has no family.  She lives alone.

Bethan sometimes phones the society’s office to seek clarification on certain things as she has Pernicious Anaemia following major stomach surgery in the early 1970s.  She has been receiving monthly B12 injections for the past thirty five years.  It was her surgeon who prescribed the monthly injections.   Two years ago she was told that she could only have the injection every three months.  She ‘phoned to tell me this when her treatment regime was changed.  Unfortunately there was nothing that I could do to help. She phoned a few times since complaining that she was deteriorating.

On Tuesday she telephoned me in quite a state.  She hadn’t had an injection for over a year – “they told me I didn’t have Pernicious Anaemia any more”.  Bethan was telephoning from inside a Psychiatric Hospital.  She had been forceably admitted under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act.

She was lucid, coherent and frightened, very frightened.