"Being let go."

About: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

When I first moved to Cambridge I had already been suffering from an eating disorder for over a year, with gradually worsening behaviours. Before that I had been self harming for over a decade. Even then I was unwilling to seek help, as I know many in similar situations are, however being pushed by friends, I made tentative contact with my gp, who diagnosed me with depression and sent me off with a prescription for flouxetine.

After another year in which I returned to my gp at intermittent intervals, not finding the prescription particularly useful, I eventually was referred to the adult eating disorders service. After a wait of approximately 6 months, I had an assessment, diagnosing me with bulimia nervosa. I then waited for 2 years on the waiting list. With no support whatsoever in the meantime.

When I finally as contacted again, I had a few sessions alone with a therapist, before that therapist left the service and I was transferred to a different therapist. A few sessions after that change I was included in a new eating disorders group. None of this particularly helped, and once in the group I had little further contact alone with the therapist. After some 20 sessions, the group dissolved anyway, and my time allowed in the service was up. No attempt was made to really assess me as to whether I had actually improved, and no further contact encouraged after discharge. Any attempt by me to say that I hadn't improved was met with the comment that many people don't actually improve until after the therapy has finished. Which felt rather like a 'so what? you'll be out of our hair'.

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Response from Patient Opinion

Thank you for your feedback. I was really concerned to hear of your experiences and would really like it if you could contact me directly so we can work with you to help move things forward.

We are also going to come back with a fuller response to your feedback, once we have looked into the issues you raise in more detail.

My contact details are: Marie McKearney-PALs Team 0800 3760775


Marie-Pals Team

Response from Marie McKearney, Pals Manager, Cambridge and Peterborough Foundation Trust

Dear Fremma,

I have now been able to speak to one the Trusts Consultant Clinical Psychologists about your experience. She was very sorry and concerned to learn of the events which you had described.

The Psychologist I spoke with explained that within the service they aim to see urgent referrals within 5 working days and non urgent within 28 days for assessment. The service providers try to offer some treatment within 18 weeks, or sooner if urgent, if possible. I am afraid that the teams do not always achieve these targets but are working hard to make improvements in this area. After an episode of treatment the team will review all patients and try to decide with them what the best course of action is. I was sorry to read that this did not appear to have happened in your case, particularly given that you described being somewhat hesitant regarding obtaining help in the first instance.

I would again encourage you to contact me at PALS so that I can gain a fuller understanding of what happened and ensure this matter is investigated in order that we can avoid a similar situation happening again. That said, I am very grateful to you for the feedback you have given already via Patient Opinion. I do hope this response is of help.

Kindest regards


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