"The Laurels, Exeter and obtaining treatment"

About: Devon Partnership NHS Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

Honestly, I had nothing but praises to sing for the clinic up until September 2013. I admit, I was frustrated with how long it was taking to receive treatments, and I was frustrated at the invasive questions I was asked in psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, which I don't think I needed at all, however I respect that there isn't a known better alternative diagnosis process for Gender Dysphoria.

So I twiddled my thumbs and dealt with it, up until I couldn't afford to deal with it any more. In September 2013, my partner and I ran out of money and I could no longer afford the travel costs to get to the clinic - especially considering my appointments were all very close to midday, meaning I'd have to get on a train at 8am to have any chance of making it there on time. And on several occasions, I was somewhat late as a result of this.

After being unable to afford the travel, we made this clear to the clinic and tried to arrange alternatives so that I could still receive treatment. I had been diagnosed and assessed properly all that I needed the Doctors at the clinic to do was look at my bloodwork and provide my GP with support and a recommendation of my treatment. My GP was fully cooperative with this. The Laurels however, refused me at every turn, and despite diagnosing me and signing sheets confirming the completion of my assessment they denied that I had completed the assessment and said until I did I could not receive treatment.

I asked for answers and continued to try and arrange alternatives, yet I was treated rudely, and dismissed. I have since escalated the complaint through PALS and now its at The Ombudsman stage. However it took from September until May for that to happen as The Trust has dawdled with sending emails and correspondences to each other and myself.

As it stands, I have been risking self-medication and my confidence has taken such a beating with being denied by the organisation who are there to help people like me. It's been nearly a year now since my assessment was completed.

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Response from Ruth McClelland, Communications & Engagement Officer, Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Dear Squeaker

I'm sorry to read about your experience and the time it has taken to deal with your concerns. Please can you advise if you would like me to arrange for someone to contact you from the service? If so, please send your contact details to dpn-tr.communications@nhs.net and I will arrange for someone to talk to you.

Best wishes.

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