"Now we don't feel alone"

About: Ward B2 Bassetlaw Hospital

(as a carer),

After struggling for 20 years caring for our son Adam the system suddenly found us as carers. We were picked up by Andrea Emmens (Family Interventions Co-ordinator, Newark and Bassetlaw MH Hospital) about 9 months ago. Now, we don't feel alone. We are not sure how Andrea got our names, we guess it was through our son's re-referral into Mental Health Services!

Now we meet once a month at the Carer's support group at Asda in Newark. As a positive outcome of this group we recently attended "The Trauma Informed Services" 1 day conference at Trent Vineyard in Nottingham - the future of mental health. From this event, we have reflected on the personal stories told which we found both moving yet inspiring, and for us mental health is about getting rid of labels and finding out how to find out what the root cause is rather than just treating it with medication. Talking therapies are the key! We like the carer's information pack entitled "Do you look after Someone? " because the title makes you want to read it as it asks a question and it's not preachy either.

We feel the Nhs is riddled with jargon and Andrea has provided us with a list of acronyms associated with NHS Mental Health Services. However, we still often get confused. We enjoy the support of the other members in the Newark group because we don't feel alone anymore. We share our stories and that helps. Our son doesn't live with us anymore. He lives in Newark, but it still helps to know that we can use this service and Andrea has been a great source of information and we are sure that should we need to re-refer our son (he's now been discharged) to mental health services in case of a relapse, then we know we could count on her for support.

Some good points

Not feeling alone anymore

Outside speakers at the support group

There is a car park near by

Trauma informed services conference

Some bad points

upstairs and often noisy

Most NHS buildings are not appropriate

No lift in ASDA- needs to be on ground floor

No reception area in Newark Northgate

NHS is is riddled with jargon

No out of hours crisis team in Newark

Nowhere to sit at reception areas

We are only a small group-how could we advertise this?

The room we meet in is not private

The time we meet is at lunch time

Use warm colouring in reception area

We would like to thank Andrea Emmens and Sue Clipson for their support.

: )

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Response from Gill Pickersgill, Communications & Engagement Officer, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comments. Even though the service is based on site at Bassetlaw Hospital it is actually provided by Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust. I have forwarded your comments on to Andrea Emmens and I am sure she will be delighted to hear such positive feedback.

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Response from Andrea Emmens, Family Interventions Co-ordinator, Adult Mental Health Bassetlaw, Nottingamshire healthcare NHS trust

Thank you so very much for taking the time to write this feedback, it is really appreciated. I was so pleased to hear your son has now been discharged from services and is progressing in his recovery.

Your comments will help us to continue with the positive points you mention and review how we can make changes, as we continually strive to improve our service delivery. I am so pleased to hear that you and your wife no longer feel so alone and that the conference was so beneficial to you, that you were inspired and moved by it.

I will ensure your comments regarding the carers group and the Trauma Conference are passed onto the relevant people. It is great to hear that you have found the carer's information pack entitled "Do you look after Someone? " so helpful and easy to read. I will ensure my colleagues in Social Care are made aware of this.

Thank you again for this wonderful feedback and I am so pleased that the Family Intervention Service were such a positive support for you. Take good care and may I send my warmest wishes.

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