"Crisis Team not involving carer"

About: Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust / Crisis resolution

(as the patient),

My husband was told by his GP that he was severely depressed recently and placed on anti depressants. The same day as his diagnosis, the GP arranged for the crisis team to visit him in our home - such was the concern for his wellbeing and safety.

They arrived within 90 mins after his return from the GPs and frankly I was still in a little shock at the diagnosis. I knew he was down but didn’t realise he was that bad. My husband was waiting in the lounge and I let them in. I asked if they wanted me to come in for the talk with my husband but they said they didn’t think they did and I said I would wait in the kitchen and that if they wanted me to give me a shout.

Around 25 minutes later I heard my husband letting them out the front door. I quickly went into the hallway in absolute astonishment. I asked did they not want to have a word with me? One replied, “not really, did you want to have a word with us?” I replied that under the circumstances yes I did. I thought they looked rather put out to be honest and I felt they tried to stall it by asking if my husband minded. He said he didn't. I found out later that my husband actually asked if I should be present when they entered the room as he would have quite liked me to have been there. They didn't make much of it he said.

I was furious when they left. I felt as if they had had no intentions of asking me anything or telling me anything. I totally understand confidentiality guidelines but my husband had absolutely no issue with me being present. My husband was not well but I learned that he felt suicidal about an hour before they arrived and I was very concerned. Of course I naturally assumed they would want a quick chat at the very least if only to give me their number if I was worried about my husband. Nothing. I had to ask for it and even then I felt like I was putting them out.

I made a complaint directly to their manager and I am pleased to say retraining is now taking place, or at least I am told that it is. I do hope so because I think this should just not be happening to families and carers.

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Responses

Response from Nick Arkle, Patient Engagement/ Psychosocial Interventions Lead, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Bridie,

thank you for taking the time to offer us feedback about the services the Trust provides. I am very sorry if you experienced any distress through any action or inaction of Trust Staff.

I can assure you that the Trust highlights the need to work collaboratively with carers wherever possible and takes the views of carers very seriously.

Best Wishes,

Nick

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Response from Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Bridie,

May I take this opportunity to apoligise on behalf of the service for any distress caused to you and your family by this omission and say thank you for taking the time to share your experience with the crisis team.

National Guidance, which all crisis resolution services should follow states that interventions should include family/carer support and gives the following as key elements:

'Ongoing explanation to family/carers'

'Education about the crisis and the service user's illness'

'Arrange practical help as needed'

However, if the service user witholds consent, this would prevent this from happening.

You should be offered a carer's assessment of your needs as a carer, which does nor require consent from your husband. This would probably not be offered on the first visit, but should be offered as part of the future interventions.

The Team Manager of the Crisis Resolution Team confirms that he has spoken to all staff to share your experience and to reinforce to them the vital role that relatives and carers play in caring for people. The importance of involving carers in the assessment processand gaining important background information was one of the key themes studied on the development day the CRT has been on.

I am pleased that you were able to speak directly with the Team Manager and he will be able to use your constructive feedback to improve services for other users and carers of the service.

Dave Scarrott

Service Manager

Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Services.