"Services at Kingswood on Union Street"

About: Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I have been a patient with this service in excess of 12 years. Not one of those years has been good. My very first appointment was with a consultant who failed to show up, I sat anxiously in the waiting area for an hour. I asked the staff where the doctor was and what was happening. They did not know and they did not seem to care. This consultant told me at the second and last appointment I had with her, that she had misplaced all my notes from 7 years of work with a psychiatrist in London. Those notes were never found.

And it went downhill from there. A series of poor locums, infrequent appointments, no care team put in place, Finally there was a particular doctor. He stayed for a while. Except he cancelled some 70% of our appointments due to either illness or holidays. I felt like the other 30% was spent with him complaining of a health complaint. His lack of native level English and ability to listen to me, his patient was sadly reflected in the laughable letters sent to my GP after the few appointments he turned up at. My condition continued to deteriorate. I became more housebound, more anxious, more depressed, more suicidal.

Then I had one doctor who was a brief ray of light. He held my hand and promised to help me manage my condition - to help me improve life. He listened, he asked the right questions, he started putting a care team in place, I was given a CPN, he was bright and so patient centred. Then he left to go to another trust. My CPN went off sick. I was left wondering where he was and when he would be back. I could get no answers from Kingswood. I had no CPN and no consultant. The CPN came back - for one appointment and then disappeared again. I have not seen him since. I made phone call after phone call to Kingswood, Where is my CPN or a new one? Who is my consultant now? No replies. I finally asked my GP to write a letter.

She got a response from someone at the trust who finally rang me. We will give you a new worker when she arrives in a few weeks. So this worker of some sort (I never did find out what) arrived to see me at home. I found her manner awkward - very passive-aggressive towards me. She did not ask the right questions or very many at all in fact, She made me anxious and uncomfortable. We made another appointment. She cancelled. She wrote to tell me she had set up a review with a doctor I did not know. I received the letter on a Saturday for an appointment the following Tuesday. Problem - I already had a meeting for that day. I rang Kingswood. Please let my worker know that I need to postpone this appointment - I have another on that day and the notice is just too short. I receive an accusatory voicemail message, "You didn't show up at your appointment with the doctor". It seems that once again - my message had not been passed on.

Then the worker left another message cancelling our meeting set up in a local coffee shop. She said it was against protocol. Well in that case my CPN had been breaking with protocol for over a year I pointed out in a message back. I had enough. I had been left without any care for unacceptably long periods and I feel like the Trust had failed me miserably. My illness was made worse by their care. I left 4 messages in the past 2 weeks for the person at the Trust that rang me previously to arrange the new worker. In the a last attempt, I wanted to change my worker and try to get things set in place. No response, no response, no response.

Today I get a letter from the worker. You don't try to engage with us. You did not go to the appointment. (I think this is a load of rubbish and bile because I have kept the logs of every phone call made to Kingswood. ) We have no choice but to release you back to your GP.

I feel like I have been abandoned yet again. It feels like inadequacies and lies are all they offer. How do I feel? Well I will not be calling the out of hours service even though I need them because my trust, hope and hard work to improve - all gone. Shattered. There are tears and hopelessness left.

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Response from Nicholas Dent, PET Manager , Patient Experience Team, Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust We have made a change

I am really sorry to hear about your experience at Kingswood. While we wouldn’t want to disclose personal information on the website, if you would like to discuss further please contact the Acting Service Manager, Buba Cooper on 01622 766900. I would like to assure you that we take complaints seriously and Ms Cooper will be looking into this. We aim to improve the quality of our service and the quality care. Your feedback is crucial to this. There have been many changes in the Maidstone Community Mental Health Team since January 2014:

- Robust system in place for when care coordinators on long term sick leave.

- Senior member of staff over seeing allocation of case load.

- Robust dedicated duty team.

- New permanent consultants appointed.

- New management structure.

- Community teams in the same building, psychology, rehabilitation and Early Intervention Service which has improved communication.

Patients are at the centre of everything we do and Ms Cooper hopes that she will hear from you so that she can reassure you of the measures we now have in place.

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Update posted by Lotus (the patient)

It has gotten worse since January 2014. A formal complaint has been laid.