"Not getting the care needed"

Over the past 12 months I feel the standard of mental health care in Worcestershire has failed my wife and ultimately our family.

My wife suffers from bulimia and since moving to the UK from Spain has become progressively worse. As you are no doubt aware there have been several incidents where she has been admitted to the A&E department of the hospital due to taking an overdose of tablets and alcohol.

We have been desperately trying to get her referred to a psychiatrist but the best we have managed is a referral to the Eating Disorders team. This is just not helping the situation at all. She is given things to read, things that she is already aware of and told to keep a journal of what she eats.

The last time she was admitted to A&E the duty doctor asked why she wasn’t seeing a psychiatrist and said they would make a recommendation that she was referred. This was in early December. We followed the A&E doctor’s advice and made an appointment with a GP a couple of days later.

Our GP agreed with the A&E doctor and made a referral that she is seen by a psychiatrist. We found out this week that the referral had been refused by the Eating Disorder team on December 24th. We were never contacted to be made aware of this decision and have been hoping that an appointment was imminent.

I am left with the feeling that mental illnesses are not seen as a priority to the Worcestershire NHS nor are they being addressed to any level of satisfaction. It isn’t just my wife that is suffering, her behaviour is having an affect on everyone in her life, myself, her 8 year old son and her ex partner in Spain. All of us are worried and concerned that if she doesn’t get the help she needs she may well die.

Visiting our local practice is also like playing Russian roulette, our GP was very sympathetic and seemed to understand bulimia where the most recent doctor we saw could only suggest we go private, as if it was something we hadn’t considered or something we can afford, which we can’t.

If a prescribed medicine doesn't work you are prescribed an alternative, this doesn't seem to be happening with mental health.

My wife’s illness is ruining the quality of her life and the lives of those around her but nobody seems to care. That is my true appraisal of the situation.

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Responses

Response from Wasely High Autism Base

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience, firstly we are really sorry to hear of the concerns you have raised about your wife’s experience of our Eating Disorders Service.

The Patient Relations Team would really welcome the opportunity to speak with you further about the concerns you have raised.

Please be assured that the Trust treats all issues shared with us seriously and we value feedback from patients and their families.

Therefore please can I ask that you contact us directly either by telephone on 01905 681517, email to WHCNHS.PALS@nhs.net or by writing to Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Isaac Maddox House, Shrub Hill Road, Worcester, WR4 9RW, as we would welcome some further information from you.

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