"Lack of human contact on Acute Medical Unit after overdose"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Acute medical admissions (AMU)

(as the patient),

This is the second time I have been admitted to the AMU after taking an overdose.

The support for mental health patients is terrible on this ward, I didnt feel like a human, nobody spoke to me and I was just left to brood on my feelings on my own in the corner. This has happened both times.

This time one nurse actually made the effort to spend time with me, she was really kind and I would like to say a huge thank you to her so if someone could pass that on I would be very grateful.

I understand how busy the ward is and now especially with all the cuts its a lot worse, but with those who suffer from mental health issues leaving them on their own to go over the same horrible thoughts probably isn't the best thing.

Even if a nurse had just smiled at me or said good morning, how are you feeling today etc just to make me feel more human, it would have been very much appreciated.

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Responses

Response from Rebecca McGuffog, Patient Engagement and Experience Officer, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

We would like to apologise for the experiences you have had whilst on the AMU. We are constantly working with the mental health team to improve the service we provide for patients. Unfortunately we cannot provide staff to work exclusively with patients with mental health issues, but do appreciate that a smile goes a long way. We will be sharing your comments with the team to support their learning and improve the care of patients in the future. The Senior Nurse for this area would be happy to meet with you to discuss your comments in more depth if you felt this would be helpful. If you would like to do this, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01392 402093.

Thank you very much for your positive feedback regarding a member of the team. We will ensure that she is made aware of your kind comments.

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Response from Peter Brain, Volunteer, Healthwatch Devon

Dear 'blue butterfly'

The comments and responses on the web-site of Patient Opinion are shared with us at Healthwatch.

Thank you for responding through Patient Opinion to what was a difficult time for you. Please follow up the suggestion of contacting PALS as they can be very supportive and understanding.

More generally we are building a picture of the provision of services in Devon and these comments should help the NHS and other providers develop and improve their services.

If you wish to discuss any health or social care issues with us in confidence, including seeking advice or information about services, please call 0800 520 0640, or email info@healthwatchdevon.co.uk or go on-line to www.healthwatchdevon.co.uk.

Yours sincerely

Peter Brain

Volunteer

Healthwatch Devon is the consumer champion for Health and Social Care in Devon.

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