"I'm just appalled by the way that my husband has been treated in the last year"

About: Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health Berkshire West PCT

(as a carer),

At the beginning of last year, my husband decided to visit his GP to ask to be assessed for Bipolar. We attended the appointment together and was told, after many questions that the GP was 95% positive that my husband did in fact have Bipolar and that he would refer him to Prospect Park Hospital to get a diagnosis.

We left the GP practice positive for the coming months. 1/2 months later we received a letter from a local organisation who would carry out the assessment. We were a bit confused as we thought we would be going to Prospect Park (as they are the specialists in Berkshire West) but attended the appointment anyway. After being assessed by a counsellor, we were informed that we would receive a letter with their findings.

After waiting over 6 weeks, and still no letter. I rung the organisation to find out what was going on, I was told that the counsellor that was dealing with my husband case was on holiday and would send the letter once back. We did eventually receive this letter but it didn’t give us the news we wanted. We were told that they were unable to take my husband on as a client.

So back to square one..... We book another appointment with the GP, who didn’t suggest anything else. We left the practice disappointed. My husband continues taking his medication but up his dosage to deal with day to day life.

April we had a difficult month, the Bipolar systems were getting more prominent in my husband. He had to leave his job as he was unable to work, due to his moods and self-worth being so low. We eventually went back to our GP but choose a different GP - and I'm glad we did- The GP we went and saw was a trying GP who had knowledge of mental health. After speaking to us for 45 minutes, he like the first doctor was convinced that my husband was Bipolar and that he would write the referral letter to Prospect Park Hospital that day.

He did indeed and shortly afterwards we were invited to attend an appointment with a specialist. It was here that she confirmed that he was Bipolar and put him on a course of medication that would stabilise the symptoms.

Sadly our problems didn’t stop.....after a year of being on his medication, his GP (who as I understand it has no real mental health knowledge) wants to start reducing his dosage with the aim to completely removing from his medication. We personally feel that he has no expertise in deciding this and have told the GP exactly that.

After having a mini episode early this week, we found out that his psychologist has left Prospect Park Hospital (which nobody told us) and that if he wanted support from them, then we would have start the process from scratch!

I'm just appalled by the way that my husband has been treated in the last year. To us it feels like the GP doesn't want want to know about my husband problems, and now that we finally have a diagnosis, they're quick to remove him from his medication - something that gives him a quality of life because without them, I don’t think my husband would be here.

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