"Too much management and a loss of care "

About: South London And Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

I have been a user of SLAM services for many years and I'm fed up with the way things are for me as a patient and the way they are presented to those outside. I've had various admissions which have for the most part been on wards which are poorly staffed, and where care seems to be the last thing on offer. Rather we are contained and the aim is to discharge as quick as possible "because we've no beds and people are in private".

This has left me terrified at ever needing hospital again. That means that the thing I am told could keep me safe if I relapse is actually scary in itself, also we are told all the time how there are no beds, well where are the beds? might you need a trip to IKEA?

My community team was always a constant but these changes to CAGs only serve the perceived world class reputation of SLAM, there is a whole side to this that is so sad.

A team called 'support and recovery' sat easy and felt nice and hopeful. The changes meant I and many of my friends had a change of nurse and now a team called 'psychosis'. The focus now seems to be on discharging as soon as possible. Getting better can't happen by changing things all the time, surely a world leading institution would see the value of consistency?

I wish that the people in charge would deal with the things that really affect us, make inpatient care a place to get better, staff it properly with nurses, feed us healthy food, please make sure that when we are detained by you that you have the staff to enable us to take a breath of fresh air or go to activities.

When we are discharged give our Community teams the freedom to support us until whenever we are ready, rather than placing time frames on when they are under pressure to discharge us. They are the people that know us, In the long term you will not only save money but you may earn your reputation.

I hope I won't need your services for too much longer but please make them for patients and not management targets.

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Response from Bill Berry, Patient Experience Manager, Patient Public Involvement Team Organisation and Community Directorate, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust


Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. my colleague Lou Hellard is preparing a response and I will post it in due course.

Kind regards

Bill Berry

Service Improvement Manager

Patient and Public Invovlement Team

M: 07825180472

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Response from Bill Berry, Patient Experience Manager, Patient Public Involvement Team Organisation and Community Directorate, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Laurie

Thank you for taking the time to put your feedback in writing to us. I am sorry that you have had such a difficult experience of Psychosis services.

As I am not sure from your post which inpatient services you are referring to, I can only respond in general about the acute inpatient pathway in this response. I would be more than happy to discuss more detail regarding your experience if you would like to and you would be welcome to contact me via my PA Fi Myrie on 020 322 82917 to arrange a time that is mutually convenient for us to speak.

It is true that there is a national bed crisis currently but this should not affect how long a person remains in hospital. If the clinical team think that an individual can be cared for in their own home, they will usually recommend that the individual receives support from community based services such as the Home Treatment Team or one of the Community Mental Health Services. In the Psychosis Clinical Academic Group, this would be the Promoting Recovery Team. I understand that change can be difficult for everyone and your point about the importance of consistency is well made. Staff do change and our teams have been working hard to try to ensure as much continuity of care as possible within the community teams.

In inpatient services, we have been reviewing staffing and looking at roles, protected time with service users on the ward and other initiatives, in an attempt to improve the services that we deliver. All of the Borough inpatient services are currently working on action plans from themes that have been feedback by our service users with an aim to improve and we will be reviewing progress with service users later this year. This will provide an opportunity to ensure we do more of what is working well and make changes to our plans where we need to make further improvements. The areas of focus for these action plans are varied between Boroughs but many of them reflect your experiences so your feedback is perfectly timed.

I do hope that I have gone some way to addressing your comments and would like to reiterate my offer to speak with you about your specific experience should you wish to do so.

Best Wishes


Lou Hellard

Deputy Director: Inpatient and Complex Care services. Psychosis CAG.

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Psychosis CAG| Maudsley Hospital | Felix Post Unit | 5 Denmark Hill | London | SE5

Telephone: 020 3228 6393 Internal: 86393 Fax: 020 3228 2643 Mobile: 07969587391

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