"Let down by psychiatric services"

About: Coventry And Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust / Adult mental health Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health (inpatient)

(as the patient),

The Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust have provided me with psychiatric care services for several years. I am informed by my treating consultant psychiatrist my mental health diagnoses include bipolar affective disorder & PTSD. I attend regular outpatient clinic appointments with consultant psychiatrist approximately once each 3 months. The community mental health team visit me at home once each fortnight however visits maybe less frequent. I am visited by named community psychiatric nurse & social worker.

From late October 2013 to March 2014 I experienced mental & physical ill health – elevated mood, sleep disturbance insomnia, respiratory problems. Local community mental health team CMHT know I have experienced recurrent chronic mental ill health for several years. They visit me to monitor my mental health status to ensure I remain in satisfactory mental health living in community. My community psychiatric nurse CPN wrote to my general practitioner in January 2014. CPN recognised I had respiratory problems & compromised physical health which she attributed to my keeping pets. Community psychiatric nurse did not comment on my mental health in this letter.

In late March 2014 I attended appointment with independent consultant psychiatrist employed by Nottinghamshire mental health NHS Trust. A close friend accompanied me to appointment who contributed information about my past behaviour during psychiatric consultation. I have known this consultant psychiatrist several years. Independent consultant psychiatrist’s report detailed that over previous 3 or 4 months I had experienced hypomanic illness. Supporting evidence: insomnia; over talkative; irritability; overspending. I purchased children’s toys for my pet parrots & relatively cheap jewellery from eBay. This was first time I had purchased any items from eBay.

In January 2014 I took out 4 bank loans to continue to finance my spending as I had used up my savings. At the time, I did not consider how I would repay loans, I was just happy banks had allowed me to borrow money even though I was not employed. I struggle to make loan monthly repayments as I am not in paid employment. Independent consultant psychiatrist at appointment gave me advice regards management of my debt recommending I contact a debt management charity – Step change – for free advice. Independent consultant psychiatrist gave me other useful information regards management of my mental health & financial circumstances. Independent consultant psychiatrist suggested he write me a letter to give to banks detailing loans were taken out at times of mental ill health.

I have experienced mental health difficulties which were immediately recognised & addressed by independent consultant psychiatrist. In contrast my treating psychiatric team Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust provide me with no support regards management of my financial debt.

After independent consultant psychiatrist recognised my financial difficulties were attributable to mental ill health I tried repeatedly unsuccessfully to gain support from Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust staff. Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust staff instructs me financial debt is (a) my responsibility, (b) loans were taken out with my consent knowledge whilst I had mental health capacity, (c) staff do not live with me so cannot control my finances (d) my situation is better than living in Syria (it is not clear how this analogy equates to my circumstances) (e) staff knew I was ordering parcels on line & considered this my normal behaviour – staff continued to state this knowing my car was full of parcels as house had become full parcels. In my view Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust staff did not address other changes in my behaviour that they commented on such as – (a) I started smoking I do not usually smoke (b) I spent more time on line on social forums & a few gambling websites. I do not usually use gambling websites.

I tried to gain support from Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust staff via

- Contact CMHT staff

- Contact crisis team staff

- Email consultant psychiatrist

- Contact complaints department via phone & email

I have received some supportive advice regards management of my situation from local Coventry police, rethink charity, step change charity, general practitioner & my Councillor which I appreciate. Otherwise my attempts to gain support are futile.

I have requested Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust discharge me from further follow up with psychiatric services. It is unhelpful for staff to instruct me I chose to take out significant debt which I cannot repay. I have never been in debt in my life & find my situation overwhelming, degrading. I do not want to receive any further psychiatric care from Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust staff who I find judgmental, critical, and non-empathetic. Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust provide a service that is unfit for purpose

Conclusion-In my view:

(1) Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust have redefined definition of hypomanic illness. Overspending is no longer a symptom of bipolar affective disorder.

(2) Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust practice & deliver mental health services to patients "out on a limb". The services delivered by Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust vary considerably from those provided by other NHS trusts

(3) Provision of support for mental health service users is becoming increasingly difficult to access perhaps in part due to financial cuts by coalition government

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear rightsawareness

We read the posting about the services you describe where you mentioned our Trust and I am sorry you feel let down by them. The services you refer to are not run by us, but by Coventry and Warwickshire, so I am afraid we cannot respond to the points you have made.

We wish you well for your future and your ongoing care and treatment.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Update posted by rightsawareness (the patient)

Thank you Nottinghamshire health care NHS trust for taking time to respond to my patient account. Repeatedly since year 2000 Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS trust has failed to provide me with adequate &/ or required psychiatric health care I needed. At these times a consultant psychiatrist recently retired from your trust's employee list has provided me with necessary advice & support I needed. I greatly appreciate the time this consultant psychiatrist makes available to me.

Response from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for responding.

We are pleased to hear that you have found some advice and support and wish you well.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust

Updates, changes and questions related to this story