"Social services failing in my friend's hour of need"

About: Inpatient mental health care (Lambeth) Lambeth

(as a friend),

My friend and ex partner was admitted to Lambeth hospital after a nervous breakdown. Within a few days a helpful and proactive consultant identified that as well as his mental issues, he required help with housing and benefits. However his social worker has at best been incompetent and more likely an actual hindrance to these efforts. They made numerous factual errors on a referral form so that the council refused to help him. Now three weeks on the hospital are discharging him with the advice that he should sleep on the street to gain access to a rough sleeper charity.

When I asked for the details of the Patient Advice and Liaison Service for SLAM to complain about this, I was provided with details for the Samitaritans to call.

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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 HobbesLondon

Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with us. Your friend and ex-partners experience sounds very distressing and the advice on discharge slightly worrying. Regarding the social worker issue, although an integral part of the multi-disciplinary team they are employed by the local authority in this case Lambeth. If you wanted to take this further (which is well within your rights) you would need to call 020 7926 5555. I'm sorry you were given the samaritans number instead of our Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS), you can contact our PALS service on (freephone) 0800 731 2864 or by email at pals@slam.nhs.uk. If may be best to start by contacting my colleague in PALS in the first instance and should you wish you can contact me directly on 07825180472 or email me at bill.berry@slam.nhs.uk.



Bill Berry

Service Improvement Manager

Patient Public Involvement Team

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Maudsley Hospital

Denmark Hill

London SE5 8AZ

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