"Disappointed with the crisis team"

About: Mersey Care NHS Trust / Crisis resolution and home treatment team The Royal Liverpool University Hospital University Hospital Aintree

(as a relative),

I contacted the Crisis Team at the Royal Liverpool Hospital to ask for some advice for my relative, who was suffering from several mental health problems such as psychosis, depression and severe paranoia and had told me that he was frightened he may harm himself or someone else.

The person on the phone who I was put through to told me that as my relative drank alcohol the crisis team would not see him until he had been seen by the alcohol specialist at the Royal. I was told that a note would be made to say we were on our way in and to prepare my relative that they may have to spend the night in hospital.

After lots of reassurance that they would get the help they desperately needed my relative and I went the Royal, were we sat for four hours in the middle of a chaotic ward were my relative was clearly struggling.

When we were eventually seen by a Dr my relative opened up and told the dr how frightened he was of the voices he heard and the things that he saw, stating he drank to access so he could fall asleep and be free for them. He also told the dr how he was so tired of battling everyday and struggling and needed help before he hurt himself or someone else. The Dr. who was very understanding apologised that I had been told to come down by the Crisis Team because there was no alcohol specialist working weekends and even if they were in they would not have seen my brother, the Dr said the Crisis Team had given me the wrong advice and information, but they would speak to them regarding my relatives mental distress.

The crisis team refused to see my relative because they said he had not engaged with services in 6 years and was ultimately discharged from them, although they did state (without seeing him) that he did have capacity therefore if he did harm anyone it would be a criminal matter.

I could not believe their response, people with mental health problems often struggle to engage with services due to their problems in my relatives case his paranoia affected his ability to engage as he was often too afraid to leave the house and attend appointments. They also seemed unaware that he had numerous appointments with his GP regarding his poor mental health and had actually had his medication tripled in recent months.

I feel very angry about the poor service he received and that asking for help can a very difficult thing to do for people with mental health problems, therefore when they do attempt to access services they should not be dismissed so easily. I found there was no person centred care from the Crisis Team and they had no up to date information regarding my relatives mental health. and made the assumption that a lack of recent contact with them meant he obviously did not need their support.

Very poor service at the Royal, in my opinion,  with a Crisis Team that tried to pass the buck, gave poor advice and refused treatment or even assessment because their records showed no contact for over 6 years, when I believe what this should have highlighted was someone who had continued to struggle with their mental health and had deteriorated to the point of self medication to try and escape their daily struggles.

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Response from The Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Thank you for your comments. We are sorry to hear that you didn’t have a good experience in our Emergency Department. We would like to find out more from you so we can investigate your concerns properly. If you would like to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), they will be able to help. You can contact them by phoning 0151 706 4903/4908/4909 or via PALS&complaints@rlbuht.nhs.uk

The Crisis Team is managed by Mersey Care NHS Trust. If you would like to pass your comments onto their Patient Advice and Liaison Service, their contact details are tel: 0800 328 2941 or 0151 471 2377 email: PALS@merseycare.nhs.uk or complaints@merseycare.nhs.uk. Thank you.