"No help for people suffering drug addiction"

About: Totnes Hospital

Do not attend Totnes Community Hospital if you are wanting to receive Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for depression and anxiety etc whilst also suffering with drug addiction. I had been advised by my Key Worker (Drug worker) and GP to try CBT, and after reading information on how CBT can help with depression, anxiety, stress...plus all types of addiction, I booked an appointment and was looking forward to receiving help as my depression had been getting rather severe and I was feeling completely hopeless. However, it was made very apparent by the therapist after my assessment that they had no interest in helping me at all. The reason, which was made very clear, was because 'I am on a methadone programme', and it isn't in their policy to help people who suffer from addiction (drug addiction anyway) but I could return for help when I complete my methadone programme (which could take years). I had never felt so stereotyped or discriminated against in all my life. I am a sensitive person and the whole experience, especially after speaking of my childhood abuse, left me feeling extremely rejected and tearful to the point of being suicidal. It seems society still has a long way to go before the stigma that goes along with drug addiction can be removed, even amongst professional therapists. Fortunately not everybody shares the same policy or opinions as Totnes Community Hospitals CBT service for I have found and contacted a different CBT service based in Torquay who are more than happy to help me with my problems and are very shocked at the way I have been treated. I can only hope that in the future these types of services will not ostracise addicts and become more tolerant and understanding of people who suffer with substance abuse, so they can ask for the help they need and deserve without fear of discrimination.

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Responses

Response from Patient Experience Lead, Patient Quality and Safety, South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group

Dear Patient,

I am really sorry that you have had such a bad experience and for any distress and upset this has caused.

The service you are talking about is provided by Devon Partnership NHS Trust, I would be happy to feedback your comments to them directly so that they can look into what happened here, if you would like me to. Alternatively, you may want to contact Devon Partnership NHS Trust yourself, they can be contacted on 0800 073 0741 or by email to dpn-tr.pals@nhs.net

Should you wish to contact our Patient Experience Team, you can do so by calling, 01803 652 578 or by email to patientfeedback.sdtccg@nhs.net or you can fill in a feedback form on our website: www.southdevonandtorbayccg.nhs.uk.

Thank you for taking the time to feedback your experience.

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Response from April Gradwell, Feedback, Engagement & Care Governance Manager, Professional Practice, Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for providing feedback. As explained above the service is provided by Devon Partnership Trust. I have contacted my colleague at that Trust and they have asked me to post the following on their behalf:

Thank you for posting your experience of our CBT service. We are really sorry that you did not have a positive experience. We would encourage you to get in touch so we are able to look into your case more specifically as, routinely, we do work with people who are stable on a methadone programme. Email us at dpn-tr.pals@nhs.net We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Response from Totnes Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback about your visit to Totnes Community Hospital. The services that you have referred to are provided by Devon Partnership Trust, I have contacted my colleague there and they have provided the following response: Thank you for posting your experience of our CBT service. We are really sorry that you did not have a positive experience. We would encourage you to get in touch so we are able to look into your case more specifically as, routinely, we do work with people who are stable on a methadone programme. Email us at dpn-tr.pals@nhs.net. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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