"We are probably only seeing the 'tip of the iceberg'"

About: Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

From being told to make a self-referral to counselling by my GP in Leeds I have had nothing but trouble. I called the service on New Years Eve and the offices were closed despite the answer machine message saying they were open Mon-Fri except on Bank Holidays (since when has NYE been a Bank Holiday?).

I went through Primary Care assessment, passed onto Secondary Care and had a first appointment where the nurse turned up late, didn't offer an apology and talked to me like I was a 'number' not a person. The second person I saw was excellent and is still helping me today with issues I am having with the Psychology Department.

I seemed to wait an 'age' for an appointment, when this came through I was discharged by CMHT as I was changing services. Little did I (or my GP) realise that it would take four assessment sessions for me to be told that he was willing to offer me therapy but thought it would be more beneficial to see a colleague. This colleague sent an appointment through with 'trainee' in the job title which did little in the way of boosting my confidence in the service. I spoke with management and we agreed that we would meet to see if I felt that I had confidence in this therapist which I did and thought that I was beginning my therapy.

I had a bad time one afternoon and was in crisis, the support was non-existent and I ended up extremely disillusioned with the service. On my next appointment I was told that they were going to have a meeting about me shortly and then invite me to attend one with them. Two and a half weeks later my meeting took place, the therapist called me by the wrong name and said I hadn't made him aware of what I liked to be called (after four hours of assessment? ). He told me that I was aware that the therapy was not being offered and to 'top it all' said that he had never offered me therapy.

I now have to wait 8 weeks to go through another assessment to try and access therapy and they had to have a discussion with me in the room about how they can work it so I don't have to go back through the initial waiting period - surely this could have been discussed and sorted prior to the meeting?

I didn't want to go to the effort of writing all of this but having read the other comments I believe this does need addressing as we are probably only seeing the 'tip of the iceberg' and will find that the Mental Health Services are indeed in 'crisis' themselves.

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Responses

Response from Andrew Howorth, Head of Patient Experience, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Beanie,

Thank you for the considerable effort you have taken to write about your experience of mental health services.

We are sorry that you are still experiencing dissatisfaction with the services you are engaged with. We are committed to working with you to resolve your concerns and to learn important lessons from your experience.

We would welcome the opportunity to address your concerns directly with you to improve your experience.. I would encourage you to make contact with the Psychology and Psychotherapy Service Lead via our PALS service (0113 305 6620), to discuss these issues so that we can get a better understanding of the problems and address your concerns.

You wrote that the second person you saw in secondary care was excellent and is still helping you with the issues you are having. I am pleased that this has provided a good experience of our services. If you prefer you may wish to seek the support of this excellent worker to ensure you are directed to the right person to discuss your concerns.

We are sorry that your experience of mental health services has been unsatisfactory and distressing to you. Whilst we hope that you will be encouraged to contact us to allow us to address your concerns directly we assure you that your comments are valued and that learning from your comments does help us to improve patient experience in future.

Thank you

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