"Counfusing And Contradictory Exclusion From Services"

About: Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I referred myself to Healthy Minds several times over the years and heard nothing. This is a service run by Pennine Care in which people suffering from anxiety etc can self refer for services for low mood, anxiety and wellbeing. They advertise it regularly in the local press as being open to all. Except I have found that it is not.

After trying numerous times I eventually I got an appointment with the service only for it to be cancelled by Healthy Minds themselves. The last time I referred myself was Sep 2014 and I heard nothing. I complained and received a letter recently saying I was barred from accessing Healthy Minds as I am already in secondary care mental health services. However I do not receive any secondary care services. I had wanted to access some stress management and relaxation courses as I am managing a lot of chronic health conditions on my own with no help.

I complained to the Health Ombudsman who also agreed I couldn't access the Healthy Minds service. Then out of blue, I got a call from someone at Healthy Minds offering me a place on an 'Arts on Prescription course' at a local adult learning college. The only thing was the course was part way through and only had three weeks left to run. They informed me the course was 'drawing owls' something I hadn't asked for.

I asked after all this time 'why now' and why after referring myself back in 2014 and then being told I couldn't access 'Healthy Minds' were they now telling me 'yes you can come on this course, but only as it is nearly finished'. Were they just looking for someone to fill up numbers? What benefit would it be to me to do something that has nearly finished and everyone on the course would know each other and bonded. Hardly conducive to people suffering severe anxiety and not in keeping qith the stated course aims which said on the letter was to `build up social networks'.

As it was, the week they told me to start I had a day of hospital appointments and couldn't attend. I then got a letter saying they were discharging me back to my GP. No offer of an alternative course, or indeed where this referral had come from as presumably it wasn't becasue of my refferal after all this time. Their policies seem contradictory. It seems some people can access services and others cannot.

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Response from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Hi Mungo at the Crossroads,

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on Patient Opinion.

We are sorry to hear about your experience and understand there has been direct contact with our complaints team about this issue, and they are working to investigate your concerns.

Many thanks.