"The Cawley Centre"

About: South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

(as a service user),

I received a letter from the Cawley Centre saying that I had been referred to them and I should ring within 2 weeks of the date of the letter to arrange a suitable date for an assessment. I rang them exactly a week later in May to arrange a date.

The woman who I spoke to had a really bad attitude and said she would get someone to call me the next Monday, which would have been 5 days later. Monday came and still no call. Don't tell someone your going to call them on a certain date and then don't. Fair enough there may be a lot of other people on the waiting list that you need to get through, but just be honest and say we'll get back to you when we can, it may take a couple of months but we haven't forgotten about you. Don't just lie about it. My social worker kept asking me if I had a date for the assessment and I said no, so she rang multiple number of times trying to find out what was happening and no one actually cared enough to bother finding out.

7 weeks later I get a call, with no apologies giving me a date for my assessment, and was told I would receive a letter confirming this during the FIRST WEEK of August. It's two weeks into August and I still haven't heard a thing and my appointment is apparently next week. Not only don't I have a letter confirming my date I wasn't even given a time for the date. Am I suppose to turn up at 9am for a 4pm appointment? ! How thick does someone have to be to give a person an assessment date and not tell the person what time to turn up, and when I tried to ask I get the phone put down on me without so much as bye. I tried to ring today to find out my time as my assessment date is fast approaching, and I kept getting told that someone would call me back. I explained that I keep getting lied to and I get told one thing and it doesn't happen so I wanted to speak to someone who could just give me my time, and she just said someone will call me back and put the phone down.

Obviously SLAM NHS Foundation Trust need to rethink their staff members within the Cawley Centre and get people in who can actually do the job properly, and this is only the receptionist, I dread to think what the professionals are like, but according to most people it gets worse. No wonder so many people kill themselves, when you have people working in the mental health industry who don't seem to care and give them the support they need. I have heard/read so much bad reviews about the Cawley Centre so didn't want to bother but I was told to give it a go and make up my own opinion. I haven't even stepped foot in the place and I'm already sick of it.

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Response from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Dear RCS11

Firstly, I’d like to say how sorry I am that you’ve felt cause to complain about the Cawley Centre. Your experience sounds awful and I can only imagine how let down and disappointed you must feel.

I know that sometimes, especially when the doctors change over here in the summer, that we are not always in a position to send out dates for initial assessment meetings as quickly as we would like to, as we’re not always aware of their timetables and of when appointments can be fitted in, until they actually start here. That being so, we do try and let clients know what the hold up might be. It’s clear that this has not been the case for you and that when we have had contact with you it’s not been straightforward. I will talk to the team here about putting clearer strategies in place so that we can be sure that clients hear from us sooner about how long the wait to be seen will be.

I am horrified to hear that a member of my staff has been rude to you on the ‘phone. The staff here are generally highly professional in their approach to clients and spend a lot of time speaking to clients on the ‘phone for lots of different reasons. I have spoken to my unit administrator, who was very upset to hear what had happened to you and I can only apologise again for you feeling so angry and upset about the whole issue.

It sounds now, from what you have said in your complaint, that you have since met up with us and started the process of initial assessment. I hope that that experience has been okay and that we can start to get to know you and hopefully begin the process of engaging you in treatment here.

I would very much like to encourage you to come and talk to me at the Cawley Cenre about any concerns you may still have, either at this stage or when you have started here. I am always very happy to do this and to try and resolve any problems face to face.

I wish you well.

With kind regards, Jann.

Jann Oliver

Service Lead/Psychotherapist

Cawley Centre

Maudsley Hospital

Denmark Hill

London SE58AZ.

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