"Confusion over my sisters treatment for PTSD"

About: Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as a relative),

My sister has been treated for PTSD for several years. Now we are totally confused as to what is going on.

She was told by an OT that she had been discharged from the recovery team. Then she saw a psychiatrist who said she had not been discharged and she would get her further support. (There was no mention of discharge at her last review). She has heard nothing since.

I have phoned the recovery team and no-one has replied to my calls. My sister has phoned - no response either so we got an advocate from Total Voice. She has phoned, left messages etc with the recovery team and as far as we can tell is being ignored as well.

I am disgusted at the lack of simple manners and the very poor professional attitude being shown.

If the Trust deigns to respond to this can you clarify the following

1. How is someone discharged from the recovery team? I would have expected this to be discussed fully at a review meeting with all concerned members. My sister was not consulted about this and neither was the psychiatrist.

2. Are your staff not expected to answer calls? I can understand maybe one call not being passed on but when three different people phone on several occasions and all fail to get a response I feel it shows a complete lack of respect and care by the staff.

We are unable now to clarify what is going on as no-one will speak to us.

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Response from Caroline Hainsworth, Service Liaison Manager, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback about the difficulties your sister has been experiencing in relation to her discharge from mental health services provided by our Trust.

Your feedback relates to the discharge process and lack of response to telephone calls to the recovery team. Without having the specific details of your sisters care team we are unable to provide any specific explanation to her concerns, however, as a general rule we would of course expect staff to make contact with callers unless there were specific circumstances that prevented them from doing that. We would also expect service users to be consulted in their care planning which would also include discharge arrangements.

If your sister would like to leave her specific concerns with our advice and liaison service (01522-222265) will be able to look into this matter further.

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Update posted by millie3 (a relative)

We have tried to resolve this issue informally and my sister eventually managed to speak to someone from the Sleaford recovery team. They promised to look into the matter and get back to my sister.

She waited 2 weeks and no-one contacted her so she phoned again. She spoke to a receptionist this time who promised to get someone to phone her - we are still waiting.

There seems to have been a complete breakdown of communication here as my sister's GP is adamant she is still under the recovery team as he has never been told of any discharge - on the contrary a very recent letter clearly states that further help is being sought from the recovery team.

The recovery team however are adamant she has been discharged but have told no-one else they have discharged her - not even the psychiatrist. This is why decisions like these should be discussed at review meetings so everyone knows exactly what is happening.

It seems to me that one person in the recovery team have made the decision to discharge my sister and have done so off their own bat without informing anyone else - not even my sister. Can I suggest you look at the NICE guideline on what patients can expect from adult mental health servcies - then pass the guidelines on to the recovery team at the Willows who I feel have shown a complete lack of manners and professionalism in this matter.

I did try phoning the number above but got an answer machine from the complaints department and as I said we are trying to resolve this informally. Do you have the correct number for PALS?

Response from Caroline Hainsworth, Service Liaison Manager, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for keeping us informed. I am sorry that you have not been able to make contact with the Complaints Team which incorporates the advice and liaison service. We are a very small but committed Team in the Complaints Team but any message left on the answerphone will be picked up and responded to. Our role is to try and achieve a resolution to concerns in the least formal way possible so please do contact us on 01529-222265 and leave your contact details. We are also making arrangements to change the answerphone message so that it is clear that the first point of contact within the Complaints Team is the Trust’s PALS service. As a Trust we are also keen to receive patient feedback to inform services which is why we value the opportunity for people to “tell us their stories” on the Patient Opinion website.

I would be happy to look into your sister’s individual case myself so please do not hesitate to contact us.

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