"CAMHS services terrible, fantastic A&E/Bluefin..."

About: Worthing Hospital

About a year ago, a very close teenager to me took an overdose and was taken by some fantastic ambulance paramedics to A&E, where she was put on a drip and kept overnight. Excellent support and understanding of anxiety and fragility from all bluefin staff members and A&E staff!! However, the next day, after answering a few questions with someone from camhs about how she was feeling, she was told she was a 'medium risk' and sent home, very unstable and suicidal, with no coping mechanisms as to how to keep safe, and the same rocky emotions as before. Poor girl shouldn't have really been allowed to go home so quickly, let alone return to school the following monday. She was visited a few times by camhs at her home, and was given an initial assessment, in which she tried to speak up (she has issues with anxiety, especially around speaking to people, so i can't imagine it went too well), and after a few weeks with crisis, she was discharged and told she would be contacted soon about further therapy and support. HoHowever, a year later she has still received no support from anyone around her, and hasn't heard so much as a whisper from camhs, and has spent the last year going through the same things as before, without any help or safety net. Extremely disappointed in the NHS, the girl was clearly at a very rough place in her life at such a young age, and should not have been released to her home so quickly and then dropped without any support. I understand that there are huge strains on the NHS, especially with mental health services, but a simple phone call every now and then would have been better than completely abandoning a teenager who was suffering with numerous problems with food, anxiety and suicidal tendencies, and anyone would have thought that after trying to take her own life, she would have finally got the support she needed. Just sad to watch children go through problems alone, and I'm sure she's not the only one. Something needs to be done.

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Response from Worthing Hospital

Thank you for your kind comments about this patient's care in A&E and on our Bluefin ward.

The CAMHS service is managed by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

We are sure the PALS department there would be happy to help and the telephone number is 0300 304 2198 or e-mail sussexpartnership@nhs.uk.

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