"No ongoing support."

About: Lanarkshire Community Services / Adult Mental Health Services NHS 24 / Breathing Space (Phoneline) Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance University Hospital Wishaw / Adult Mental Health

(as a carer),

Several weeks ago my partner took an overdose. I discovered this at 5.30am. The ambulance came really quickly and the crew were really calm and efficient. I had 2 of my children in the house - both older teenagers. It was hugely distressing for them.

We followed the ambulance to Wishaw General. My partner was admitted to the Ambulatory Care ward later that day (a Saturday). My partner was seen by the CPN prior to discharge but then they decided to keep her in overnight for further IV treatment.

The care and treatment in hospital was good except for conflicting feedback about my partner's medical status. My partner does have a significant mental health condition and has had input from the local Crisis MH team before.

There has never been any offer of sustained support - of course self management is key - but trying to do this without a consistent (ie same people to be able to build some kind of trusting relationship within which to do this) supportive contact or team is pretty difficult. So when this happened we were all in crisis not knowing where to turn.

At no point did the CPN (or any other staff) ask if I was ok? Or if the kids were ok. Despite them being in obvious upset. My partner had a phone call the day after discharge (Monday) and an appointment on the Wednesday of that week. She has had one other appointment and been told that she is discharged. The issues that led to the overdose have not been addressed.

There is no ongoing support. I asked my partner to ask what support there might be for family members - partner, children etc. She was told that there was nothing on offer and we would need to find our own support. They didn't offer any info/advice. We have been left floundering- struggling to come to terms with what happened. Struggling to deal with the impact. And no support is available. Well, we could go to our GP, but they’re pretty stretched and I’m not convinced they would have anything to offer given my partners experience to date.

I know that the government want to put mental health on the same footing as physical health. And that the Carers Act means there is a duty to look at carers needs. I know this specifically relates to social care - but are we not supposed to be all joining up (integrating)? And putting people at the heart of everything? I feel I don't know how to cope. And have nowhere to turn - I phoned Breathing Space which was a helpful ‘out’ for my feelings. But there is nothing for carers or families - the local Carers Centre did give us some information a few years back to use talk to the children about their Mum's mental health. That was good. But there is a dearth of family support. I am extremely disappointed. Thankfully I do have friends I can talk with. And the kids and I have talked it through again & again - helpful for them. But we needed (and need) help as a family. And there is nothing there.  

Responses

Response from Dawn Orr, Nurse Consultant, Telehealth and Telecare, NHS 24 16 months ago
Dawn Orr
Nurse Consultant, Telehealth and Telecare,
NHS 24
Submitted on 22/03/2019 at 11:20
Published on Care Opinion at 11:56


picture of Dawn Orr

Dear MissG19,

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback at which must be an extremely difficult time for you and the rest of your family. I am glad that you found the Breathing Space service helpful. I will ensure that my colleague who is actively involved in establishing a new mental health service within NHS 24 is made aware of your feedback and the concerns you raised related to ongoing support. I wish you and your family well.

Thanks again for getting in touch.

Take care

Dawn Orr

Nurse Consultant, Telehealth and Telecare

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Response from Alan Martin, Patient Experience Manager, Corporate Affairs and Engagement, Scottish Ambulance Service 15 months ago
Alan Martin
Patient Experience Manager, Corporate Affairs and Engagement,
Scottish Ambulance Service
Submitted on 25/03/2019 at 07:55
Published on Care Opinion at 14:48


picture of Alan Martin

Dear MissG19,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback with us all on CareOpinion. I am very sorry to hear about what you and your family are going through. cute episodes of Mental Health crisis can be as terrifying as they are unpredictable and as you so rightly mention, exceptionally difficult not just for the patient but for the family, carers and loved ones. I think you raise a really valid point around the supporting of carers and loved ones.

I am really pleased however, that in all of this you have highlighted the ambulance crew as being calm and efficient. In the service we are dealing with a lot more Mental Health Crisis's and if I can talk from my experience, this can be extremely challenging. As you know every person has individual needs and these can be different for each episode. Sometimes being calm and listening is all an ambulance crew can do and it can be hit or miss in its success.

I do hope that things are getting a bit more back to normal now and that you do have some success in your search for support and maybe a fix. If there is anything I could ever help with please do not hesitate to contact me at alan.martin2@nhs.net.

I wish you and your family all the very best.

Kind Regards

Alan

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Response from Margaret Serrels, Service Manager Mental Health Services, North East and Learning Disabilities, University Hospital Wishaw, NHS Lanarkshire 15 months ago
Margaret Serrels
Service Manager Mental Health Services, North East and Learning Disabilities, University Hospital Wishaw,
NHS Lanarkshire
Submitted on 01/04/2019 at 09:03
Published on Care Opinion at 11:04


Dear MissG19

I am sorry to hear about the negative and stressful situation your family experienced following your partner's discharge from hospital. It is very concerning to hear about the negative and unhelpful experience your family had from our community mental health services.

I would like the opportunity to discuss this in more detail with you and would ask that you contact me on 01698 366760

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Update posted by MissG19 (a carer)

Thank you for the responses.

Alan - thanks for your message of support - it meant a lot.

Margaret - I would be happy to provide more detail - and give feedback about what would have helped. I wonder if you could contact me by email instead of me phoning? If you could give me an email address to contact you at that would be helpful. Thanks

Response from NHS Lanarkshire 15 months ago
Submitted on 09/04/2019 at 12:16
Published on Care Opinion at 14:10


Dears MissG19

Thanks for your reply and offering to provide more detail around your experience. My email address is Margaret.serrels@Lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk

regards

Margaret

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