"Felt I was failed by CMHT"

About: Adult mental health (Lambeth)

(as a service user),

I was assessed by the Streatham CMHT who didn't agree to take me on, I felt they completely ignored that I was suicidal. My GP asked for me to be seen within 3 days – I waited 2 weeks. I was told I could not be taken on by the CMHT, and felt it was because I was working and well-dressed. What I found worse, was that I had to call them to find this out as I was never told of the outcome of the assessment.

I tried to tell a team member I was seriously suicidal and at risk of doing something but it is very, very difficult to talk about these things and I was scared of being sectioned. They did not give me the impression of taking the suicidal thoughts and intent seriously but was dismissive and told me that because I had said the thoughts were lessening, I was safe although I clearly said I wasn't. I ended up making 2 attempts within 2 weeks.

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Response from Su Glazier, Head of Improvement, Innovations and Involvement, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Human Being not just another patient,

This is one of 3 stories you have recently posted on Patient Opinion which appear (although I could be wrong) to make a continuous story of a recent journey you made through our services.

I am really sorry to hear that you have generally had a poor experience of our services although you found some staff to be good. I will forward your stories to the services concerned so they can make a fuller response to you.

In order for me to forward them to the right services, ideally I need to know whether you were seen by the Assessment and Treatment team or the CMHT (or both) as these are two separately managed services at the same address in Streatham. If you know (and I am not necessarily expecting that you will know) I would be really pleased if you could email me at su.glazier@slam.nhs.uk.

In the meantime, you might like to talk though your upsetting experiences with our Patient Liaison and Advice Service (PALS); you can call them on: 0800 731 2864.

Alternatively, rather than me forwarding the postings on to the relevant services, you may wish to make a complaint about your experience which would be formally investigated. If you email me with your name and contact details I could send your postings on to the Complaints department as complaints, if you wanted me to do this.

Best wishes,


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