"getting in is the hardest part..."

About: Wonford House

The work that wonford house does in the cedars unit is nothing short of miraculaous. The food, hygiene levels and standards of care are top notch. Getting referred there and seen by either an out reach worker or mental health care worker is a massive problem. The computer operating systems are not aligned and so a booking on one computer (say at your doctors surgery) will not show up on the bookings screen of your appointed mental health care worker (at wonford house), or at the venue at which the appointment is supposd to take place (i.e rethink centre in exmouth). So wrong dates, times, missed appointments, frustrated clents and staff ensues. This is compounded by the fact that people who are homeless (or no.fixed.abode) are impossible to contact because they cant afford a mobile phone or the the mobile is out of credit. Communication can only be made via e-mail at unsecure public access sites. Possible solutions: outreach worker takes the homeless person to the meeting, assessments are done by a qualified GP who specialises in mental health care problems. Updating computer systems is not the solution, all operating systems have bugs and can be infiltrated via back door programmes and hacks. Back up systems using good old fashioned pen and paper appointment cards would solve this problem and prevent any further anoymosity between mental health care workers (who think the homeless are lazy and need 'tough love') and the homeless who want someone to champion there cause, show they care and be treated fairly (just because we dont have dependants, doesnt mean we dont need help and suffer continual prejudices from 'do-gooders' who will happily let us starve to 'teach us a lesson'.

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Response from Wonford House

Thanks for your feedback about our services - both positive and negative. We are sorry to hear that you have been having problems in accessing our services and we would like to discuss these issues with you. I am sure that we will be able to find a better way for you to make appointments. Please would you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on freephone 0800 073 0741 or by email dpn-tr.PALS@nhs.net so that we can find a solution. We look forward to hearing from you.

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