"Lack of communication between different bits of the NHS (Mental illness, Hertfordshire)"
About: Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust Adult mental health AL3 5TL NHS Herts Valleys CCG NHS Herts Valleys CCG AL8 6JL
Posted by resolution (as ),
I am a carer for a paranoid schizophrenic - we have been friends, and now neighbours, for nearly 20 years.
I cannot remember the number of times changes in his prescriptions takes ages to 'travel' from consultant to doctor and then to pharmacy. Recently we saw a psychiatrist & he agreed to some changes in his medications - this was in a brand new Community Mental Health centre in Hetfordshire. About ten days later, I went to collect his latest prescription in Morrisons - they hadn't altered his medications. They kindly phoned up his GP. They knew nothing about the changes either. We phoned my friend's CPN to see what was happening. He phoned me back, and said, 'They're just writing the letter [at the CMT] to his doctor now, and I'm going to take it over there in person. ' [Suggesting that the psychiatrist's secretary hadn't written the letter until my friend's CPN asked where it was! ]
In the meantime, because of my friend's agitation about this & other issues, he had to go into hospital. There his medication was changed slightly again. Four weeks later, he has come home with about a fortnight's supply of medications. I checked in at Morrisons - his surgery had continued sending the old prescription for 4 weeks while he was in hospital. They claimed never got the letter that my friend's CPN said he had delivered to the surgery a month ago. This meant that I had to phone up my friend's CPN, and also leave a message at the Crisis Team who are responsible for looking after him in the immediate post-hospital period.
This happens all the time. A letter detailing changes in medication goes from the mental health professionals and then disappears into thin air. Both the mental health teams or the doctors' practices are incompetent. It's quite wrong that patients with mental health problems should be treated this way. Why does it take a fortnight or over a month (or never) for a matter of some importance to 'travel' within a small city in Hertfordshire? Why does a carer (who also mental health problems) have to chase up these things?
What could be improved? Proper computerisation in the NHS.