"Chelsea & Westminster Burns Unit dealt very well with my mental health problems"

About: Central And North West London NHS Foundation Trust / Liaison psychiatry Chelsea & Westminster Hospital / Accident and emergency Chelsea & Westminster Hospital / Plastic surgery

(as the patient),

I was admitted onto the Burns Unit in early January 09 for about a month.

It was for a long standing problem due to deliberate self-harm which had become acute. I was a long way from home (I live in the Cotswolds) and pretty emotionally & physically poorly.

The A and E staff were brilliant with me - especially on a busy night with many other mental health patients to deal with. The doctors constantly checked how my pain levels were, how i was feeling emotionally and acted accordingly. They did not seem phased by me and were kind and respectful. I have had a lot of alternative experiences over many years, and they were by far, the best staff i have ever encountered.

I spent a long time on the Burns unit in Chelsea and Westminster needing a few operations. Mr Williams was an absolutely fantastic doctor. He was clear, coherent, caring and extremely thorough - leaving no stone unturned in regards to my mental health and physical health. I also have an eating disorder requiring me to be tube fed during this time - and the whole team made this a much less daunting experience. They seemed to have an excellent grasp on the complications of anorexia and self-harm and they were so insightful...i was genuinely amazed. It meant i felt safe and confident in my care.

Don't get me wrong - it didn't all go smoothly. I had some issues with the mental health liaison team, which i felt were leaps and bounds behind some of the medical staff in terms of their understanding of mental health issues - bizarrely enough. I am not the easiest person to deal with, especially when i am mentally unwell, but Mr Williams was very patient through some stressful moments.

I left prematurely - my decision as i began to feel my mental health was of more importance than my physical health - and that being back at home and near my mental health team would be of benefit. But that is no reflection on the extremely competent and caring burns unit team at C & W hospital in London.

I have been in many hospitals, especially relating to Burns, and they are by far the best - and with a tricky patient.

Thankyou for treating me as a whole person - not just a collection of problems. And for seeing that i am a person beyond my mental health difficulties.

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