"For Others"

About: Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

As a mental health patient I felt it is right to write a review for this trust based on my personal exp for the sake of others.

The inpatient/outpatient experience within the trust for myself and for my family has been extremely poor and needs drastic improvements.

As a vulnerable individual suffering from depressive episodes, it is a frightening experience going through a mental health crisis on its own without adding a poorly run NHS trust to the mix. A distinct lack of empathy as well as a terrible level of neglect is prevalent within the system. There are fortunately some good professionals within this trust, but the bad outweigh the good.

Low staff levels lead to lengthy waiting times in acute situations and poorly trained available care when it is given. Mental health treatment is distinctly different in its medical approach as well as its holistic approach, but inpatient care resembles more of a prison setting than an assessment unit. The outpatient care doesn't fare much better, littered with rude individuals who should not have taken up this role as an occupation. The lack of insight some of the employees show to people's illnesses is of concern as well as a lack of knowledge of individual's health records, with some actually mixing patients up.

The lack of professionals in my experience was clear with one of the 'care team' on an NHS ward I stayed in overnight watching tv for most of the night. No one was treated with respect and patients were dismissively spoken to as if they were a sub species. On my never again voluntarily admission one night I sat for the course of two hours waiting for someone to acknowledge my arrival in the communal lounge. Whilst sitting quite scared, I was subjected to inpatients who were clearly very unwell and were completely unattended and unsupervised. This made me feel extremely uncomfortable and led me to try and find someone in the empty hallway. All I found was a staff member enjoying a random tv programme in their booth and blatantly ignoring me. Luckily for me, a cleaner showed me to my room! The room was the most stark cell like environment and that night is something I would never want to repeat in my entire life. From neglectful and uncaring staff to poor facilities, it is a complete disservice to the public under this trust.

The whole mental health system both acute and community based needs to be drastically improved. The employees both in the inpatient and outpatient setting need to be trained and monitored to a better standard as well as being able to speak the english language coherently. A massive overview of how this trust operates and its standard of care should be the highlight of your annual review!

There have been some lovely people during my time under this trust who did go above and beyond their job spec and for that I am truly thankful. However, the bad outweighs the good so much so, I could not leave this unwritten for the sakes of vulnerable individuals under this system

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Response from Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

We are sorry to learn about your poor experience and can reassure you that we do not condone the behaviour of staff members that you describe.

It is important to us that we find out which service(s) you were in contact with and, if you are willing to provide us with more information to enable us to investigate further, you can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01707 253916.

Please quote PALS reference 13906.

A Trust senior manager would also be happy to meet with you so that you can discuss your experience in more detail and this can also be arranged by contacting PALS.