"Mixed mental health care in leeds"

About: Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health Leeds General Infirmary Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

(as the patient),

This is quite a long story. Basically I have long term mental health problems (recently diagnosed schizophrenia, following long term psychosis, and depression). I take anti psychotic and anti depressant medication.

I became very distressed a few weeks ago due to hallucinations and delusions and took an overdose. My friend phoned an ambulance for me. When the paramedics arrived I told them they had the wrong house then locked myself in the bathroom as I wanted to be left alone. They were very good with me - very professional, explaining that they had a duty of care so I went to hospital with them.

Whilst I was at hospital one of the nurses was very rude telling me I wasn't big or clever, so I discharged my self (by pretty much running away when no one was watching) I was extremely distressed and in leeds city centre, by myself, in the middle of the night. I managed to get a taxi home. The hospital then sent the police to pick me up. However I didnt want to go back and they couldnt make me as I wasnt under section. The police were very caring, unlike the nurse at Leeds General Infirmary who I feel was extremely rude and unprofessional.

Anyhow, I ended up being admitted to day hospital and was told I meet the criteria for schizophrenia. This has been a very difficult time for me. The experience was made less upsetting however, through the kindness of the paramedics and police.

Thanks for reading.

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Response from Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for sharing your story here on Patient Opinion. It certainly highlights what a difference compassionate services can make in a crisis, and how vitally important staff attitudes to people in distress are. I'm Ray Wallum, and I manage the five adult day hospitals (we call them Acute Community Services) that the Partnerships Foundation Trust has around the city. I realise you haven't commented directly on our ACSs, but I just wanted to thank you for posting and to acknowledge the turbulent few weeks it sounds like you've had. I know the LGI and Ambulance Trust monitor this site, so they will also see the feedback you have given them. 
 Obviously it's really concerning to hear that you felt that you had to discharge yourself from the LGI at such a distressing time - if you'd like to talk more about this then our PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) Team would be more than happy to get some more information from you. They can be contacted on 0800 0525 790, or by e-mail. Our Trust does have a small team at the LGI and so I cannot be sure if the nurse who you met was one of our staff, or belonged to the Teaching Hospitals Trust. In the event that it was a member of our staff I would be keen to raise your experience directly with them, as you should reasonably expect at the very least good manners from any nurse who is involved in your care. You might want to pursue this by asking ACS staff to arrange for you to meet with me to let me have a bit more information, or as I said the PALS team is at your disposal. Of course you're under no obligation to take the matter any further, but please be assured that we're ready to listen to you and to liaise with the Teaching Hospitals Trust if appropriate. Moving on, I'm sure the staff at the ACS will have told you about some of the out-of-hours support which is available to you. Just to repeat though, that if you do find yourself in crisis or having thoughts of wanting to harm yourself you can always contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647. I'm really glad your friend was able to get help for you from the emergency services. Alternatively, the Leeds Survivor-Led Crisis Service offer wonderful non-judgmental support through the Connect Helpline on 0808 800 1212 (which is open until 10.30pm every night) and in person at Dial House (which is open Friday to Sunday, 6pm til 2am). More details can be found on their website. I wish you all the best in your recovery, and I hope that any future encounters you have with services embrace the balance of professionalism and kindness which has obviously meant a great deal to you. Ray Wallum Clinical Services Manager