"Care for my autistic son at CAMHS"

About: Livewell South West

(as a parent/guardian),

My son was diagnosed with ASD at the Terraces a few years ago. The nurses and teachers, assessors were all lovely, helpful, professional and warm. This is where our praises end unfortunately.

Each time we met with psychologists, I felt as if we were being under investigation for child abuse! The atmosphere seemed staged and cool. There was no natural warmth or compassion from those who dealt with us. Even behaviours which are clearly stated in autism behaviour books, such as 'Jekyll and Hyde' personality, verbal and physical outbursts from those with ASD, manipulative characters, were seemingly denied by the CAMHS psychologists, and I left feeling that we were abnormal.

One DR, even suggested I might be unstable as I had mentioned being on anti-depressants for 6 weeks a few years earlier!

We left and transferred to Child development centre at Scott Hospital. The treatment we received from the doctors here was very different to that at CAMHS. They were attentive, sympathetic, knowledgeable about ASD and keen to support. The effect has been amazing, and my son was keen to attend and bonded well with the psychologist in charge.

I would hope that CAMHS will reassess the way in which patients and families are dealt with, using common sense and taking a holistic approach in dealing with families going through this very difficult process. We come for help because we are a low point and broken and in despair. The last thing we need is suspicion over child abuse!

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Response from Claire Gatehouse, Patient Experience Manager, Livewell South West

Dear Very Unhappy Mummy,

I am very sorry to hear about your experiences described in your posting.

We would very much like to look into the issue but in order to do so we will need your son's name and date of birth. If you can e-mail these to me at claire.gatehouse@nhs.net then I will pass them on to the CAMHS manager and we will then be able to liaise with you directly.

If you would like to make a formal complaint then please e-mail customerservicespch@nhs.net or call on 01752 435201

I apologise for the delay in responding but I had to have my access rights reset after some leave.

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