"Providing Adequate Care for Mental Health Patients"

About: Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as a relative),

My husband has been ill for over three years now. In September 2011 he was referred to a consultant psychiatrist in South Tyneside, a service provided by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. Since then, he has been under the care of three psychiatrists, one after the other. One of the these consultants had quite a negative effect on my husband - we tried through an advocate to move away from him.

At the end of 2013, my husband saw the replacement locum consultant, who after that one appointment diagnosed my husband. He changed his medication and gave another appointment for March 2014. However, the locum left South Tyneside at the end of December, and as there has been no replacement, we understand that mental health patients due to be seen from the beginning of January are now on a waiting list, to be seen when a new consultant is in place. My husband has no chance of being seen in March.

It is an absolute disgrace that the care for mental health patients in South Tyneside is so poor! With the proper care my husband, and no doubt others, could be in a much better place after this length of time. For nearly three years now my husband has been unable to work because of his illness, and I believe he is suffering for longer than necessary. We also have two children - this affects the whole family!

I am aware that a consultant has now been appointed, but it will take time for him to transfer from his current post. When he does transfer, he has a backlog of patients who have not been seen since the beginning of the year.

The Foundation Trusts priorities published on their website: -

"Our Trust has seven clear priorities, these are:

Modernise and reform services, in line with local and national strategies and the needs of individuals and communities, providing first class care in first class environments,

Be a sustainable and consistently high performing organisation,

Be a Model Employer, an Employer of Choice and an Employer that makes the best use of the talents of the entire workforce,

Fully embrace and support service user, carer, staff and public involvement, including our membership, in all aspects of our work,

Provide high quality evidence based and safe services supported be effective integrated governance arrangements,

Improve clinical and management decision making through the provision and development of effective information.

Be an influential organisation which supports and enables social inclusion;

I see no evidence of this!

I am absolutely appalled - in no way has this been a positive experience, and has actually caused more stress and anxiety to someone who is already suffering with mental illness. And to make matters worse, we believe Bede Wing is expected to close within a few months, leaving mental health patients to travel outside of the area for treatment.

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