"Access to psychological services"
About: NHS Borders NHS Borders
Posted by Frustrated but a fan (as ),
Since 2003 I have had on and off episodes of mild to moderate depression. Last year 2013 I received excellent support from a Clinical Associate at the clinic in Galashiels (NHS Borders). I said at the time that I felt that I may need access to a telephone consultation from time to time and she said she would put this on my file.
Earlier this week I telephoned as I had a question about something that I was confident could be dealt with over the phone. I was told this was not possible, when I related my story I was told that because it had been over a year I would need to see my GP and get a referral. When I questioned the wisdom of this and that it was not meeting my needs as a patient I was told that there was a waiting list and this was the process to be followed.
It occurs to me that many other people will find themselves in a similar position to me and that a 10minute conversation will be enough to deal with many patient questions. A good clinical psychologist can stop the consult at any point if it is felt a more detailed and/or face to face meeting is required. I believe this would remove the pressure on waiting lists and also help GP's who are having to provide 10minute consultations to patients only to then refer them.
What I am effectively proposing is a triage system similar to A & E. Patients are not "jumping" the queue in that example and modes of delivery such as minor injury units are all examples of considering a challenge through the eyes of the patient.
Just because something has always been done in a particular way does not make it correct and you may have what you consider to be a stable system delivering outcomes that patients are not happy with.