"Poor Crisis Support"

About: Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust / Crisis resolution

(as other),

My neighbour used to get a lot of support and she has severe mental health problems. Then all the services were cut and she stopped getting visits and the GP didnt know that all the support had stopped.

She has got very ill again ( last year she was in hospital 3 times). The police come. The police and the ambulance call the mental health crisis team who don't come out as they are too busy. She wont go to A&E and the police can't make her, so they have to wait for the crisis team, who don't come or leave her.

We are very worred and we rang Camden Council, who told us to ring the Crisis Team in Camden, who told us that as she does not have a worker or a team they will not see her. Apparently people who are very mentally ill cannot see the crisis team if do not have a community team. They know her because people keeps telling them and she has been in hospital. And she neglects herself and there were 2 fires in her home because she was very very ill.

The police say the crisis team refuse to come out because our neighbour refuses to work with them or mental health workers and she has complained about them.

The police now come and don't call them sometimes as the police say they are useless and better the police calm the situation rather than call mental health crisis teams who don't come as she then disappears.

She is very unsafe sometimes and is letting strangers in to her home who take her things and then she gets paranoid and refuses to let anyone in. We are neighbours and so no one listens to us. Her family say they gave up asking for help as even when she was hearing voices telling her to kill herself they contacted this mental health Trust and no one came out (this happened lots of times and when they were children trying to care for her).

Now she is ill again. Her friend had to remove dangerous items from her flat. There are people taking advantage of her. the mental health trust know this as we know people have contacted them. The police know and say mental health services are useless. Her family think mental health services at this trust are dangerous. Camden Council know because someone in the street had to contact them to make her home /garden safe and told them she was in need of help.

She has tried to kill herself 3 times and nearly died on other times when too unwell to know she is unsafe.

I feel that the crisis teams in camden and in this trust are useless and dangerous. To tell someone they have to go or take someone to A&E is appalling and dangerous and how if the police can't make her can anyone else?

She thinks mental health workers are trying to kill her. This community thinks they will by being neglectful of her.

I now believe that they won't change -it's been like this for a long time around here.

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Response from Head of Communications and Engagement, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Ccrisis

Thank you for getting in touch and sharing this information with us, and indeed for caring for your neighbour. However, from what you write it is impossible for us to know who you are talking about.

We want to help this person urgently and to understand better what has happened, so can you please ring our Camden Crisis Team on 0203 317 6333 (North Camden) or on 0203 317 6850 (South Camden) and provide us with further information.

The teams have been briefed and are awaiting your call. In addition, having spoken to the team they are shocked that somebody has been excluded. They explained that if somebody has no ties or links with known MH services, then the team would be even more likely to attend and assess, so they are extremely disappointed that this may have happened.

Please get in touch on the numbers above so we can help your neighbour as soon as possible.

In response to the rest of your posting it is difficult for us to comment on its particulars with any great specificity as we would need further information, however we can talk in general about the care provided by our Crisis Teams.

I hope the points below may be helpful for you, and for anybody else who reads this posting as patient care and safety is our top priority.

- Camden Crisis teams (both North & South) accept referrals from service users, carers and families.

- It isn't necessary for a service user to have a care co-ordinator or be cared for by a secondary care mental health team, or a community team in order to make a referral.

- The Camden Crisis Teams work with people who are in an acute phase of their mental illness, and all referrals will be judged on their own merit based on the clinical and social factors associated with the individual case.

- The Crisis Team will NOT exclude someone from care because the individual refuses to work with them. It can be difficult to treat someone if they do not consent to receiving care. However, in these circumstances the Crisis Team will work with the carers, families and other professionals to arrange alternative treatment if it is required.

- The crisis team will not exclude someone from care because they have made a previous complaint about services or about any individual worker.

- The crisis teams work closely with the police. Should the police come across an individual who is mentally unwell and in their own home – they can make a referral to mental health servicea (including the crisis steam) who will respond to the referral. The response to these referrals is swift and we work extremely closely with the police on these issues.

- It is common for neighbours to raise the alarm should they be concerned about an individual by calling the Housing Office, the police or indeed an ambulance or social services.

I really hope this is helpful and please contact our teams on the numbers above.

Thank you