"Loss of Wig service"

About: Basildon University Hospital / Dermatology

(as the patient),

I attended the local Dermatology Department after waiting over 4 months to be seen regarding the issue of two new wigs that I so desperately need, to be told that the NHS trust at (Basildon Hospital) was issued with a letter a few days before my appointment and without informing me before my arrival that, the department were no longer going to issue wigs. I was devastated.

I have suffered from alopecia of over 10 years and until last July 2014 was not even made aware that I was able to find some peace and joy from using the wig service. This service was invaluable to me as I was able to find a new confidence and integrate back into the community and start living again and with higher self esteem which was good tonic for my mental health as well, as that went on the decline after my alopecia/autoimmune conditions got worse. My new lease of life has been taken away and I am back to hiding away in the house once more.

Wigs change lives of people suffering with medical conditions and it not just a cosmetic prop. The wig centres that help are a far cry from the busy impersonal beauty shops that are intimidating, disconcerting and do not have the skills, expertise to make one feel comfortable, instill confidence and privacy and confidentiality of the beauty shop therefore confirming that the supply of wigs in not a beauty prop but an essential medical need which I liken to my medication, treatment of my other conditions as the wigs relate to health and well being and management of symptoms.

The budget is a concern which I understand however, so is the devastating emotional and psychological effects that withdrawing them from a patient causes. The impact may also increase the budgets and put a strain on the psychological department and services as the devastation is felt by us patients in need of medical help for the many conditions, disability, illness's as well as cancer that causes hair loss.

I complain and appeal and ask for others that are affected by the budget cut to engage in positive communication, policy and decision making, and consultations to understand the loss of this medical need and reinstate the service.

No one in the trust has thought about providing practical or psychological help to patients with this huge loss.

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