"My daughter's experience at CAMHS"

About: Lanarkshire Community Services / Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services Royal Edinburgh Hospital / Adolescent Psychiatry Stobhill Hospital

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter attended CAMHS (Cumbernauld/Airdrie) due to mood disorder symptoms and was referred by our G. P and the Mental Health Team at Monklands Hospital.

Unfortunately the initial psychiatrist we saw, refused to listen properly to my daughter and us which resulted in my daughter's mental health deteriorating considerably. A CAMHS clinician was however very helpful during this period. We found the initial psychiatrist was rude, arrogant, extremely unhelpful. and made a difficult time much worse. We were told that genetics were irrelevant and a family history of depression was unimportant. The consultant believed solely in psychotherapy as a treatment for my daughter's diagnosis of "low mood". After 6 months of getting absolutely nowhere we eventually were able to change psychiatrist but my daughter was by now so ill she had to be admitted to the CAMHS inpatient unit at Edinburgh Royal.

The staff there were wonderful, particularly, Dr Brown. My daughter was then transferred to Skye House Adolescent Unit (Stobhill Hospital) where she spent 8 months and was diagnosed and treated for Bipolar Disorder. The staff at Skye House were fantastic especially Dr Discombe and Karra.

My daughter is now with a different CAMHS team (Bellshill/Coatbridge) and it has been a revelation in the difference in approach, care and expertise. They also referred my daughter to the CAMHS Intensive Treatment Team (CITT) who have been great and very helpful.

It would have been beneficial for my daughter to have been seen by them prior to her hospital admission.

Chris and Peter (both CITT) were great with my daughter even though their approaches were quite different.

We encountered a poor example of what CAMHS has to offer but also some very good examples of how it should be done.

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Responses

Response from Richard Burgon, General Manager, North East Unit, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Richard Burgon

Dear Darwin

Thank you for reflecting on the care and treatment of your daughter by the NHS Lanarkshire CAMHS Teams. I am extremely sorry that your initial experience of the service was negative. The diagnosis of emerging conditions does sometimes require periods oh hospital admission and I am glad that the service which your daughter received in both the Young Peoples Unit in Edinburgh and Skye house were both positive experiences.

I am delighted that you have positive reflections on the CAMH Service which you are now receiving from the Bellshill and Coatbridge and the CITT inputs to your daughter and I will pass your comments on to these teams.

I can only apologise on behalf of the CAMH Service that you initially received a level of input and outcome which fell below the standard which we would wish to deliver. I sincerely hope that, with continued input from your current Team, your daughter continues to make good progress to full health.

Richard

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Response from Customer Relations and Feedback Team, NHS Lothian

Dear Darwin

Thank you for the positive comments regarding the CAMHS staff at Edinburgh Royal and particularly Dr Brown. I will ensure your comments are passed on to the team and Dr Brown.

I appreciate you taking the time to provide this feedback and I do hope your daughter is continuing to do well.

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Response from Jamie Hepburn, MSP, Jamie Hepburn's Office, MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth

Dear Darwin,

I'm sorry to hear that about the difficulties experienced both by you and your daughter in accessing appropriate treatment. I am also glad to learn that it is now the case your daughter is receiving appropriate treatment from CAMHS. I am pleased to see that the health services concerned have responded so quickly and hope that improvements can be made where necessary.

If you would like help with the concerns you have about your daughter's previous care on your behalf or indeed if I can be of assistance with any other issue, please feel free to contact my office by calling 01236 453 969.

Yours,

Jamie Hepburn MSP

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Update posted by Darwin (a parent/guardian)

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your response but I feel that further input is required regarding the staff member we had an issue with as the consequences could have been much worse. I feel that they have to change the way they operates or this will happen again. I don't believe they intentionally meant to cause harm to my daughter but did and I'm not sure they can see that. I know child psychiatry is a very complex area and there are many different viewpoints but in any area of mental health you cannot afford to follow one mode of thought and refute other evidence based views. It should be all about what approach is right for a particular patient and he should listen more (actively not passively ).

Yours sincerely Darwin

Response from Paul Cannon, Head of Administration, Acute Services Division, Greater Glasgow & Clyde NHS

Dear Darwin,

you mentioned in your posting that the staff at Skye House were fantastic, especially Dr Discombe and Karra. I will ensure that their attention is drawn to your posting.

I am sure they will be thrilled to read your comments and on their behalf I would like to thank you for taking the time and trouble to do so. Like colleagues, I also hope that your daughter is continuing to make good progress.

Paul

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Response from Richard Burgon, General Manager, North East Unit, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Richard Burgon

Dear Darwin

Thank you for your reply to my earlier response.

My expectation would be that all the staff members involved in the care of your daughter, including the Medical Staff, would reflect on their role in her care, assuming that they can identify her case from the details which you have provided.

If there are specific issues which you feel should be raised with the Consultant involved in her care perhaps you could contact our patient services department on 01698 858292 to discuss these issues in more detail.

Richard

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Update posted by Darwin (a parent/guardian)

Having met with the Clinical Director of CAMHS in NHS Lanarkshire, I am happier now that my daughter's experience has been given serious consideration and that measures have been taken to improve the overall quality of care provided in the Cumbernauld/Airdrie CAMHS. Hopefully this will be of benefit to other young people and their families who attend this service in the future.

I would like to thank Duncan Clark for his patience and understanding in this matter and for listening carefully to my concerns.

It is important however for any service users who are unhappy with the care provided to make their opinions known as nothing will change until they do so.

Updates, changes and questions related to this story