"All I want is to keep my psychotherapy sessions until I'm well, and the person treating me agrees"

About: Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Adult community mental health Specialist mental health services / Personality disorder service

(as the patient),

I feel I have been messed around by the Mental Health Services (so called) in Taunton for at least 10 years. I feel I have been pushed from pillar to post, and now I have a good and understanding Psycho Therapist they want to cut down my sessions with him. It seems that whatever I say makes no difference.

I got so desperate 2 years ago that I jumped off a viaduct and broke 7 bones. It just seems the NHS would rather have helicopters up searching and police here there and everywhere looking for me, but I suppose that is not out of NHS budget. I am sure they are waiting and praying I will actually commit suicide and I would be out of their hair.

I never seem to actually get what I am offerred, that includes residential placement, scheme therapy to name only 2.

What I want to do is keep my sessions with my psychotherapist until I feel better and the person treating me agrees because it always seems to be what the 'suits' have to say, never mind the patient.

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Response from Lucy Nicholls, Development Officer, Somerset LINk


The Somerset Local Involvement Network is a patient-led group that keeps an eye on health service provision in Somerset. We read all the stories that are published on Patient Opinion about health services in Somerset in order to help us with our work.

I'm really sorry to hear about your experiences of mental health services in Somerset. It's great that you have found a good psychotherapist who is helping you but I'm sorry to hear that your sessions are being reduced.

This week local Wells MP Tessa Munt has raised the issue of Somerset Partnership's cutting of services for mental health service users (more information on her website here: http://www.tessamunt.org.uk/2011/12/14/tessa-munt-mp-questions-county-council-over-axing-of-day-care-services/#more-2321).

This is something that we are obviously concerned about and stories such as yours illustrate why it's so important that each person is properly looked after with the right services for them. We are keeping a close eye on these developments.

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that the Somerset Partnership will respond to your concerns shortly.

Best wishes, LUCY

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Response from Karen Howard-Grenville, PALS, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Rosina

I am sorry to hear of your distress. Firstly I wish to reassure you that we would never wish for any patient to commit suicide.

I am glad that you have experienced a good and understanding therapist. In Somerset Partnership, we do adopt the practice of having contracts of therapy and session limits. We have found that having contracts and a planned ending has meant that patients and therapists can have a clear focus and work through the sometimes difficult issues regarding endings in a planned and manageable way. We can offer extensions where this is appropriate and only ask that the therapists discuss this in their supervision. I cannot comment on the specifics of your treatment, but please be reassured that if your therapist considers that an extension of therapy would be helpful to you, then he or she can discuss this in their supervision. If you would like to discuss further, please contact the PALS service on 01278 432022 or pals@somerset.nhs.uk

I wish you all the best in your treatment and therapy.

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