"New Service Model in North Lincolnshire relating to home visits"

About: Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as a friend),

I support a close friend who has suffered from mental health problems for many years. Until recently they had a visit at home from a support worker employed by the Trust. When the New Service Model was being introduced, there was no mention of home visits stopping.

Before Christmas my friends worker told them they were no longer going to come to their house for the visits. Instead my friend was told they would have to go to 344 Ashby Road for appointments. My friend was very worried about this, but I reassured them that they would still get the same quality of care and it was only the venue changing. I have been shocked to find out that each time my friend has been for an appointment they have been seen in a different room.

Sometimes a meeting room, sometimes a consulting room, sometimes someone’s office and the most shocking was a room that consisted of a stack of boxes of files, piled up. I cannot see how these appointments can be therapeutic with this range of rooms that are not warm and friendly from their description.

Another concern I have is that my friend took a turn for the worst and was not really safe to be out crossing roads or catching buses, yet they were still made to attend 344 Ashby Road for support.

There also seems to be some confusion in my opinion as to the criteria used to select patients who get home visits and those who are expected to go to 344 Ashby Road. Through talking to a range of other carers, I was shocked to learn that a number of patients who spend the week driving themselves around in their own cars and leading very active lives still get home visits. There are also a number of patients who have never had home visits even when unwell.

I am a project manager with a wide range of experience and feel that the Trust clearly has not planned this project well. If you are going to change a policy and expect patients to attend a centre for appointments of this nature you should make sure that there are appropriate facilities in place first. Also there should be clear protocols for decision making on who gets home visits and at what stage a home visits is more appropriate than putting a patient’s life at risk by expecting them to travel a long way on buses and crossing busy roads to get support.

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Response from Nick Arkle, Patient Engagement/ Psychosocial Interventions Lead, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Harrassed,

I am sorry to hear of the experiences that your friend has had. I would like to offer an apology for any distress that this may have caused.

You have raised some important issues and I shall forward this to the appropriate senior manager so that they can offer a further response.

Decisions regarding home visits or attendance at a clinic should be agreed collaboratively, based upon the current needs and circumstances of the individual.

Should your friend wish to do so they can make a complaint by writing to the Chief Executive or contacting the Patient Advise and Liaison Service (PALS).

Information regarding complaints can be found at https://www.rdash.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/DP3249s-Your-Right-to-Complain.pdf or PALS can be contacted on 0800 015 4334.

I hope your friend has progressed so that they are now able to travel and able to be safe when going out.



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Response from Nick Arkle, Patient Engagement/ Psychosocial Interventions Lead, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Harassed,

Please accept our apologies for what you have described.

We have identified that there are not enough suitable consulting rooms in which to see the service users in our service. As a consequence, we are currently having some refurbishment of the building which will create an additional two consulting rooms. We are also having service user areas decorated to make them more welcoming. Our local service user group have had involvement in the colour schemes.

In addition to this, we are also having some refurbishment work undertaken at Barnard Court so that service users who live in the Brigg / Barton area won't have to travel to Scunthorpe for their appointments.

We do accept your comments about the criteria used for home visits and this has also been raised with us by our local service user group. Through our local collaborative group, we will undertake a piece of work that would identify clear and transparent criteria.

If your friend would like to talk through some of these issues, please ask him / her to contact either Jackie Taylor, Team Manager or Tania Linden, Service Manager on 01724 275959.

Dianne Graham

Assistant Director

Adult Mental Health Community Services

Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

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