"Lack of primary care mental health services"

About: NHS 111 Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult Mental Health Services - Community (City)

(as the patient),

I have suffered bouts of mental health issues for a number of years. Though, happily, on the mend, a few weeks ago, following a period of unpleasant stress, I became worried I may be becoming ill again. It was a weekend, so could not go to my GP and wanted to talk to someone urgently-for reassurance as much as anything.

I rang NHS Direct and informed the nurse I spoke too of my concerns. She informed me that NHS Direct do not have services for people with mental health issues, though said she so happened to have been in psychiatric nursing in the past, and so had some insight. I was shocked that no such service had been built into the thinking of NHS Direct. I told the nurse I spoke too that I would post my thoughts on Patient Opinion. She agreed this was an important omission, and happily reassured me that I was not going "crazy" again.

May I say, the previous year, I reached a crisis. Because my case was not open too a psychiatrist at that time, the local "Crisis Team" were saying I could not access their service. My only alternative to getting immediate help was to go too the local A & E Department-not what I wanted to ( I hate hospitals, and especially psychiatric units), but felt? I had no alternative. A neighbour came too my assistance by offering that I could stay at her home until I felt better. Luckily, I was able to avoid hospital admission, but not thanks to any primary care emergency support out of GP hours.

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Response from Ruth Gadd, Acting Service Manager , City Crisis Team, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS trust

Thank you for posting your concerns, I hope that I can help explain about contacting a GP's out of hours.

You can ring your GP out of hours if you feel distressed and feel in Crisis, this service also includes weekends, if you ring your surgery out of hours you should be able to access out of hours GP support. If your GP is based in the Nottingham area this service will be NEMS, Nottingham Emergency Medical Services.

Alternatively you can ring 111 if you need urgent advice or treatment, this service can help to signpost people to the right service, including out of hours GP's. This is a free number from both landlines and mobiles.

GP's are also able to make a referral to the Crisis Teams in Nottingham if a person is in Crisis for further support, even if this is out of hours.

I hope this information is helpful and I am pleased to hear that you are recovering after experiencing a stressful time.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or would like to discuss in further detail, My email address is ruth.gadd@nottshc.nhs.uk

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