"A horrible experience made a whole lot easier"

About: Collective Voice: North West Standing Conference Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

Last year I became depressed. Luckily I already had a social worker so I just rang her up and she saw me later the same week.

I was so depressed that she instantly referred me to the crisis team who came to see me the very next day. This was so good - such a quick service from starting to feel ill to being picked up and held by the crisis team all in the space of a few days was brilliant. On one day the crisis team came to see me 4 times, they were a huge help to me.

Then when I got even more ill they arranged for me to go into Kentmere ward at Westmoreland General Hospital close to where I live. It was really quick - I’ve never had such a quick admission before. It made a horrible experience a whole lot easier. The ward was really nice - clean and bright and the nurses were lovely to me, very respectful and caring.

The only criticism I’d have of the whole system was that no–one looked out for my partner who was acting as my carer and finding things quite tough. Other than that I was very impressed with everything from my social worker to crisis team to ward and back to crisis team. They all did a brilliant job.

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Response from Mick McKeown, Principal Lecturer in Mental Health, University of Central Lancashire

My name is Mick McKeown and I help to support the Collective Voice network. It is really heartening to hear that you had such a positive experience of services. Collective Voice exists to support people like you to have their say and bring forward collective views. A really good way to improve services across the board is to highlight examples of good practice as you do here. You also point out that even though your personal experience of support was really good, you feel that your partner's need for support wasn't picked up. I feel that this criticism is probably true of much of mental health services across the region and the rest of the country. For this and other reasons Collective Voice is committed to calling for more holistic services including, crucially, better support for families and carers.
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Response from We are preparing to make a change

Dear Ousted202,

Thank you for your positive comments; it is good to hear that services have been coordinated and responsive to your needs.

I am very sorry to hear that we didn’t pay as much attention to your carer as needed. Carers’ rights and the needs of the carer is something which we are going to be promoting during Carers Week 7th – 14th June.

Mery Taylor,

Network Manager, South Cumbria

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