"Still waiting for help from April House"

About: April House

(as the patient),

I was assessed for April House last June/July and accepted onto the waiting list. However, almost a whole year later, I am still waiting. After hearing nothing for such a long time, I phoned and asked how long I had left to wait, and was told I was still not at the top of the list. April House have made no attempt during this time to contact me.

Having had an eating disorder in one form or another for 10 years and having had inpatient treatment in the past, I feel really let down. I am aware this is not the fault of April House itself, but if there is such a demand for a service that it creates a year long waiting list, why is this service not being expanded? It seems to me that April House does not have the sufficient resources at present to deal with the amount of people that need help.

Thankfully I am to some degree managing alone, but I feel very sad that I have had to manage for this long on my own, and feel very lucky that I have been strong enough to do so.

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Response from Ben Prior, Complaints and PALS Officer, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the delay in responding to the post which you kindly took the time to write.

I would be keen to discuss your concerns regarding the delay in being treated by April House.

Although our treatment waiting list is currently approximately 6-8 months, your delay seems longer than we would expect. As an organisation, we are keen to improve the services that we offer to all service users and therefore your feedback is invaluable.

As we have recently appointed an additional Therapist (who has started in post) and are advertising for another full time Therapist, it is expected that waiting times will be reduced as the remit of both of these Therapists will focus entirely on reducing the waiting times.

We would also advise anyone who feels that their situation is deteriorating, whilst they are on our waiting list, to see their GP for a further review who can then liaise with our service again.

As mentioned, please contact the Complaints and PALS team on 02380 874065 or via email at hp-tr.Complaints.nhs.net so that we can investigate the delay you are experiencing.

Kind regards

Ben Prior

Complaints and PALS Officer

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