"No help from the crisis team"

About: Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust / Crisis resolution

(as the patient),

Rang crisis team in Camden as was suicidal. Was told that as they did not know me they would not speak to me and to talk to my GP.

It was during the night and the out of hours GP had already told me to ring the crisis team. Tried to explain this but was told to go to A&E. I had never asked for help and was too scared to go. I didn't understand what would happen.

The telephone conversation lasted about 1 minute and the man at the end of the phone was so rude and brusque that I felt that I shouldn't be asking for help. I was told they were too busy to talk. I was suicidal and could barely pick up the phone.

I was not well enough to get to A&E. I could not get there I did not feel safe in the street. I took an overdose and was admitted to hospital to intensive care and then admitted to St Pancras hospital. If someone had just listened I don't think I would have done this as I just needed someone to talk to and as a woman I would have preferred to speak to another woman.

When I was discharged from hospital I was told to ring the same Crisis Team if I needed help but I will never trust them again as they were so dismissive. While I was in hospital I heard many similar stories from other women.

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Responses

Response from Karl Heidel, Head of Communications and Engagement, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

We apologise that you have not been happy with your experience of our Camden crisis team. We are also sorry that our response has taken so long to publish. We are in the process of reviewing our complaints policy and processes, and the websites we monitor to ensure we capture and respond to patients and service users in a responsive, timely and proportionate way.

We are sorry that you have been disappointed with our services. You say that changes in service provision have affected you personally. You also say that there has not been an effective plan of care established between your GP and the services that we provide.

Your comments are from February 2013. It is true that services in the Trust have undergone restructuring, but we still have a responsibility to ensure that there is responsive, 24 hour care available to people in crisis.

Your comments about our crisis team have been taken very seriously and your comments have been shared with the team. We encourage you to express your concerns to our Complaints team, should you wish to take this complaint further. We welcome comments from service users to help us to improve our approaches to care.

In your case, we clearly did not offer you the help you hoped for. We have not been responsive when you've needed help and it's clearly not acceptable for us to treat you in this way.

There are several next steps you can take from this point, should you wish to follow our complaints processes. You can contact us to leave feedback and to make a comment, compliment or complaint or leave:

Tel: 020 3317 3117

Email: Feedback@candi.nhs.uk

You can write to the Chief Executive at the Freepost address below. No stamp is required:

Advice and Complaints Service

Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust

Freepost First Class (LON12613)

London

NW1 0YT

Our Advice and Complaints Service is available between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. If you wish to meet with a member of our team please phone or email to make an appointment. We also regularly visit wards and other Trust services.

You can contact our NHS Complaints Advocacy Service which is provided by Voiceability. This is an independent body that can help you to make a complaint. To contact the service please call 0300 330 5454 or email nhscomplaints@voiceability.org. Further information can be found on their website www.nhscomplaintsadvocacy.org

If your complaint is unresolved locally you have the right to ask the Health Service Ombudsman to investigate your complaint. To do this you can contact them directly by telephoning their complaints helpline on 0345 015 4033.

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