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"Lack of support"

About: NHS 24 / Breathing Space (Phoneline)

(as a service user),

The person who I spoke to from Breathing Space had an unhelpful tone and appeared disinterested, poor at making quick rapport leaving long gaps of awkward, not therapeutic, silence. Repeatedly said they did not understand what I was talking about, it made me not want to disclose any further after the poor attitude and a very unwanted comment that I actually went back around to because I was very taken aback by it. No sympathy or empathy, I always show people this with comments such as ‘I’m sorry this is happening to you’ ‘that sounds like it was very hard’ etc. I didn’t want comments filled with attitude or advice, which is what the website said I wouldn’t get, I wanted someone to actively listen and say ‘what an awful time you’re having, you’ve done well getting though it’ or something of the likes that’s encouraging, open and therapeutic instead of being asked to call back when I "know what I want to talk about".

I did want to talk which is why it took me 40 minutes to call in the first place. I was taking my time and was continuously interrupted with comments and they then lead the conversation way of course to the point I felt very uncomfortable discussing my stressors (the reason I called which I never got to) with them. Very disappointed and left feeling worse, I’ve never experienced something like this, especially when distressed.

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Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Experience Manager, NHS 24 2 weeks ago
Shona Lawrence
Patient Experience Manager,
NHS 24
Submitted on 06/04/2021 at 12:54
Published on Care Opinion at 12:54

picture of Shona Lawrence

Dear thubantd66

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of using the Breathing Space Service. I read your story with concern and I am very sorry to learn you were left feeling disappointed and indeed, feeling worse. Please be assured this is not the sort of experience we wish for callers. I see from your feedback that it took you some time to even make the call in the first place, therefore I can only imagine how this poor experience left you feeling. I am sorry for this. Please be assured that I will share your feedback with senior staff within Breathing Space.

It would be good to speak to you directly about this if you felt willing and able to do so. You can contact me on 07814 299944 or by email at

I understand your poor experience may mean you are reluctant call Breathing Space again. I would encourage you to do so if needed. However, just to make you aware that NHS 24 has a dedicated Mental Health Hub where callers can speak directly with a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. This service can be accessed by calling 111 and selecting option 1 on our telephone menu.

Thanks again for getting in touch. I do hope to hear from you further.

Take care meantime.


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