"The waiting list for one to one therapy"

About: Tiverton Hospital / Silverlea Community Mental Health Team

(as the patient),

I had 6 months CBT last year for depression and anxiety but having had limited effect it was agreed that I needed step 4 one to one therapy for my problems. I have been waiting 5 months to have a preliminary assessment with psychological services and then further in depth assessment with a clinical psychologist to determine which therapy would be best for me. Meanwhile I've been having regular meetings at Silver Lea while waiting for a care coordinator to become available. During this time I have continued to suffer a great deal from my symptoms while trying to hang on to the hope that the help I need will be on its way in the near future.

Last week, after my 5 month wait, I had the 'initial interview' with psychological services to discuss my current options. It seems that as I am unable to attend weekly groups in exeter because public transport, groups, strange rooms etc trigger my anxiety and panic attacks there wasn't anything to discuss at all - in fact I was on the phone a maximum of 10 minutes. Furthermore I was told in no uncertain terms that the waiting list for the level of therapy that I need is 18 months to 2 years! I was almost speechless with shock at the time but now this news has hit home it has triggered a severe worsening of my depression. Life has been so restricted for so long and waiting another 18 months - 2 years before I even start to get the treatment I need is just not an option for me. I am fearful about my future which now seems very hopeless.

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Responses

Response from Devon Partnership NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Thank you for sharing your feedback.

We are genuinely sorry that you are unhappy with the service that you have received from our organisation. Would you be happy to share your contact details with us so that we can see if anything further can be done to help and support you?

If so, please email us at dpn-tr.Info@nhs.net.

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Update posted by prettydesperate (the patient)

I supplied my contact details to Devon Partnership Trust as suggested but as yet have heard nothing more than an out of hours acknowledgement of the email.

I don't know whether to be overly encouraged by the 'preparing to make a change' logo as I'm not sure if that relates to my own personal situation or is a more general remark about mental health services.

I remain very anxious about what I can do and depressed about the future.

Response from Devon Partnership NHS Trust

We are doing everything we can to reduce waiting times for our services, where they exist, but fully understand the concern that can be caused by the prospect of a delay of any length in receiving care and support.

We understand that your feedback has been followed-up by the local team involved in your care and trust that this has been helpful and productive.

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Update posted by prettydesperate (the patient)

The prospect of waiting 18 months-2 years has been very damaging to my already fragile mental health - especially as I have already had to wait 5 months just for a care co-ordinator to become available!

I have now had my first appointment with her and she has some helpful sounding ideas and suggestions but is the first to admit that she is not a psychologist. I will be seeing her every fortnight for some focused work on my 'recovery plan' but that was already going to happen anyway even before I wrote on this website. That in no way reduces my need for 1:1 therapy to start to get some help with deeply entrenched core beliefs that affect me so negatively.

Meanwhile I have been informed by the psychological services that I am now on their waiting list and that the list is in excess of 12 months. It has been suggested that perhaps the initial 18 months -2 years is a projection intended to put some of us off!