"The longer I was there the worse I was feeling"

About: Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust / Liaison psychiatry (A&E and general)

(as a service user),

I had a mental health problem and needed to see the liaison mental health team at Northern general hospital. I have to feel at my worst before I ask for help so going to ask for help was a big deal for me. I was in very serious mental health state and needed to talk to someone asap. I was sat waiting to see the mental health team for over 10hrs. I appreciate how busy they must be but having to wait that long was disgusting, I ended up having 2 bad panic attacks while I was waiting because I panic been around a lot of people and the longer I was there the worse I was feeling. When I finally saw the liaison team I was too mental knackered to communicate properly. The experience wasn't good at all and the service needs improvement.

Responses

Response from Julie Sheldon, Acting Service manager for liaison mental health team (liaison psychiatry) and perinatal mental health, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust

Hello there

Sorry I don't know your name.

My name is Julie and I am the team manager.

I am very sorry you had a bad experience of coming to the Emergency Department (ED) and the long wait that you had to see our team.

We try and see people face to face as quickly as we can but the number of patients to see often exceeds our available resource which results in long waits.

We are hoping to implement a face to face triage system in the very near future (weeks rather than months) which will mean that people coming to ED receive an initial assessment of their needs within one hour. This will allow us to get a better idea of why people are waiting, who needs a more in-depth assessment and also prioritise more accurately according to need. Many people who wait could be quickly seen and signposted to other more routine services and we are hoping that the triage process will enable us to see people in priority of need but also that some people will be happy to leave the department after a briefer assessment which will reduce waits.

I am very happy to speak to you face to face if you would like to discuss your experience further or allow me to tell you about our plans for improvement in more detail.

I am contactable via SHSC switchboard or you can email me (or I can call you if you want me to and are happy to share your details). Please let me know what you preferred method of communication would be.

Best wishes and sincere apologies for your experience of our service on this occasion.

Julie

Julie Sheldon

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