"It takes a lot to pick up that phone when your feeling low"

About: Wakefield House / Primary Care Mental Health Team

(as a service user),

I rang Wakefield house crisis team for advice regarding my medication. I am diagnosed bipolar 1 and have had 3 medication changes in 2 weeks. One being an increase in anti depressants (which can cause agitation and mania) the other being an ADHD stimulant which can also cause the same and also started oral steroids which are known for causing mood swings in people in general never mind people with a mood disorder. I was presenting with symptoms of extreme agitation to the point I couldn't even keep my clothes on because they were irritating my skin, sweating ridiculous amounts even though I was sat in front of a fan, couldn't stop biting the inside of my mouth as my jaw was swinging as if I had taken an illicit substance and I wanted to cry because I felt that irritable. My insides were shaking I couldn't focus on anything and I felt like I was about to murder someone.

I had been under the crisis team the week before with suicidal thoughts and been discharged a few days earlier because my mood had picked up, maybe a little to much as my partner and mum were concerned about my mood being elevated but not to the point where I was mentally poorly, the person on the phone told me if I was as bad as I was saying I should just go to A&E and that I was obviously not a risk to myself.  They told me they would not keep repeating themselves, that I had already spoken to their colleagues about my medication and that they would end them phone call. They said other stuff which I can't remember properly as I was so agitated at the time. I am also agoraphobic so going to a& e really wasn't an option and considering I'm not exactly dying I didn't want to waste emergency department NHS time on a  weekend sitting in a& e which would be jam packed and make the situation a million times worse to be wasting everyone's time sent home with an appointment with the crisis team and nothing else because it's not a medical emergency.

It takes a lot to pick up that phone when your feeling low and the attitude of the person I spoke to and their tone of voice was enough to make anybody feel 10x worse and put a downer on their day. They are supposed to have a duty of care.

I didn't want to be Molly coddled or for them to wave a none existant magic wand and make it all go away but a bit of compassion, advice and a letter in the post for a meds review really wouldn't of hurt would it? I appreciate the NHS is over stretched and all that but their attitude was atrocious 

Responses

Response from Katherine Earlam, PALS Officer, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust


Hello

Thank you for the taking the time to post your comments.

My name is Katherine Earlam and I am the complaints manager for the Trust.

I was very sorry to hear of your experiences and I would like to offer my apologies.

I would like to assure you that this is not the level of service we expect as a Trust.

Your comments will be passed onto the team and I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you so that I can help to resolve your concerns.

My contact details are:

Number: 01925 664450

E-mail: complaints@NWBH.nhs.uk

My hours of work this week: 9.00 am – 5.00 pm

Once again I would like to thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. We sincerely value your feedback as this will help us to improve our services for other people in the future.

Kind regards

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