"Wonderful service, petrifying time, frustrating but necessary"

About: Patient Opinion Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

I had felt consumed by all time lows, highs had disappeared, constantly crying, constantly forgetting, losing things. No longer felt in control. 4 self-inflicted admissions to hospital within a period of 5 days. GP services/staff all brilliant and liased relevantly and regularly.

Mental health centre trying to help me, but me unable to listen. Lost control, suicidal, negative, everything a problem, a fight, mental health centre hearing but not seeming to listen. After inpatient stays though, dynamics changed and mental health centre hearing and listening.

A psychiatrist at St Richards suggested Crisis Resolution Team (CRT), and best move I ever made; non-judgemental, heard and listened, quick to respond. Provided options, and I am taken seriously. They helped me on the phone til appointment same day, agreed with me, prepared to go anywhere in Sussex voluntarily. One day and one night at Meadowfields. Day and night staff brilliant, helpful, treated as a person. Plan of action made.

Graylingwell equally helpful (signposts to site could be better, especially from College Lane direction). Both wards helpful, especially Orion Ward. Good, encouraged to take part. When not being safe, one-to-one on offer, and when things OK, one-to-one on tap! Choice of activities good. Choices of theoretical/practical therapies good.

Intros to wards - in terms of where rooms are, lounge situated - could have been sooner (more so, Mercury Ward). At the end of corridor I fell/collapsed; 45 minutes before heard (but hourly checks are done, reassuring).

After 2 weeks, 2 days, discharged gradually. 'Home Leave' and CRT support (seen psychiatrist twice and plan agreed). Fantastic support and care. Care Plan shared. Medications brought by CRT. Nothing too much trouble: should be, I would suggest, automatic policy, checking medications, ready to be taken from ward to person.

Surprised still mixed wards amd voluntary/involuntary on same ward but kept safe. Think visits should be limited but allowed to request this. Wonderful service, petrifying time, first time psychiatric wards inpatient, frustrating but necessary. Glad I had option of anywhere with space in Sussex. CRT overwhelmingly and fantastically brilliant.

Thank you Patient Opinion. Vital and proactive service. Heard and listened to.

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Response from Rachael Kenny, PALS and PPI Manager, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you very much for letting us know about your experiences and I am very glad that you are feeling better now. I have passed your comments onto the Crisis Home Treatment Team who were very pleased to get such positive feedback out of a situation that was clearly very difficult. I have also let the Estates department know about you comments about the sign posting from College Way. Regarding your inpatient stay - it is always our aim that you feel safe and supported while you stay in one of our wards - you are right to highlight some of the challenges in providing a good service to everyone who needs it particularly around the mixed sex wards issue. Orion and Mercury wards have are 15 separate bedrooms, each have an en-suite toilet, 5 of the rooms also have an en-suite shower in them. Each ward has several day rooms with a dedicated female only lounge. Plans for the trust around same sex accommodation are described in more detail on our website – here is the link: http://www.sussexpartnership.nhs.uk/public/patients/dssa/ I have also let the Service manager know of your comments about the introduction to the wards.
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