"Lack of support from the Crisis Team in Leeds"

About: Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

I have been referred to the Crisis Team in Leeds on several occasions over the last few years as I suffer with severe depression and can have suicidal ideations, which I have acted on in the past on at least 9 occasions. I am a proud individual who does not find it easy to accept help and who comes from a family background where it was deemed weak to ask for help - a culture of "pull yourself together and get back on track". Consequently, I only shout "help" when I am absolutely desperate and cannot carry on along with my thoughts. I had a home of my own, a good career, and I am a University graduate. I did not invite depression into my life. I cannot help suffering from depression.

I do not feel I have been treated with empathy by several members of the Leeds Crisis Team. In my opinion, I have been treated as if I was a nuisance, I believe I had the telephone slammed down on me on two occasions when I was too unwell to respond straight away when the Crisis Team answered the phone, then seemingly sarcastically called "love" by a male nurse when I phoned back and complained. I feel as if I am a pest and I also feel that they are not interested in my case nor in treating me, nor do they seem to be bothered to talk to me and reassure me at what is sometimes a very frightening phase in my illness. I do not feel able to approach them any more. I am concerned that if measures are not put in place to monitor the induction and further training of nurses who work in the Leeds Crisis Team, there will be many more patients who will end up either in hospital or, at the worst, dead.

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Response from Leeds and York NHS Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Phoenix from the ashes,

I am genuinely sorry to hear that your experience of contacting the Crisis Team has felt unhelpful, but thank you for bringing it to our attention. Your personal feedback in this situation is invaluable to us in our attempts to try to improve the service we provide.

My name is Adrian Elsworth and I am the Clinical Operations Manager for the Crisis Team in Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

I am disappointed and sorry to hear that you were left feeling like you were a nuisance by some members of the crisis team when you telephoned. When people telephone in crisis we always aim to speak to them with compassion and to take the time to listen to their concerns and I’m sorry you feel this did not happen, particularly in relation to being called “love”.

The need to help people in crisis is important to us and an area to which we pay particular attention, so I will ensure that staff remember to use people’s names respectfully at all times when on the phone or in person.


I am also concerned to hear that you feel unable to approach the team anymore. From your posting it’s difficult to know how recently you were in contact with the crisis team and if you are currently in distress. If so, it would be helpful if you could contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be keen to help facilitate contact with me for you. PALS can be contacted on 0800 0525 790 or at pals.lypft@nhs.net.

I would hope that in the unfortunate event such a situation arises again, you would now receive a response more suited to your personal requirements. However I completely appreciate that the occasions you refer to above were clearly very significant ones for you, and I'd like to again apologise for your experience of our crisis care.

I sincerely hope the current situation has improved for you and thank you again for taking the time to post here on Patient Opinion.

Yours sincerely,

Adrian Elsworth

Clinical Operations Manager - Crisis Team

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