"I have completed the full course and yet still experience anxiety more than ever"

About: Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I was referred to The Archway Centre by my GP for help with my social anxiety. Having attended my maximum allowance of six sessions, I do not feel like this place has helped me at all.

For a start, the person I saw did not give the impression that they genuinely cared at all. I found them to be impatient and condescending, and I didn't feel they listened to what I was saying at all. They seemed to get angry when I tried to point this out which, as an anxiety sufferer, just made me withdraw into my shell even further. When you suffer from anxiety, you do need to feel at least some empathy (or at the very least a genuine desire to help) from the person who's supposed to be helping you, but I found them to be very cold indeed beneath what I thought was a "friendly" facade.

I would also like to echo what I have read in previous comments about this place being in the middle of a shopping centre. I can't believe that the NHS would put an anxiety clinic somewhere like this - I am sure that this will have put people off even attending sessions. I know people who live in the area and was terrified of seeing one of them each time I went up there. I have seen replies to suggest that there is an alternative option available in the south of the city, however I was never made aware of this despite having raised this point during sessions.

Overall, this has been a terrible experience for me. I have completed the full course and yet still experience anxiety more than ever. I hope the NHS will conduct a full review of this place and sort out problems with location and staff, as I think at the moment this place is counter-productive. Having read other reviews on this site, this seems to be the general consensus.

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Responses

Response from Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

I am so sorry to hear of your poor experience of our service. We would really like to address your concerns with the individual staff member involved. Please contact the PALS Officer on 01529-222265 if you feel able to provide us with some more information so that we can investigate this further.

We have had mixed feedback on the Archway Centre in Lincoln since it opened, mainly in respect of access across Lincoln and we do explore other options such as using GP surgeries and we are sorry that this was not considered during your contact with us.

In respect of your treatment; the recommended first step in the treatment of the kinds of problems that tend to bring most people into the service is to have about 6 sessions working with a Psychological Well-being Practitioner, either through a course or through guided self help. This is often sufficient to resolve the difficulty, but where this is not the case, then usually clients will be "stepped up" to other more intensive treatment. The Team Co-ordinator would be happy to discuss with you on a personal level any actions we may take to provide you with any additional support you may need.