"Still waiting to see the psychologist, nearly two years later"

About: St Helens Hope and Recovery Centre / CMHT North

(as the patient),

I have phoned Peasley Cross about the psychologist appointment, and it seems that my appointment was due in 18 months to 2 years, but 18 months was definitely told to me, not up to 2 years.

When I phoned last year, I was told to call back at end of Jan as that would have been the 18 month deadline. Therefore, the 2 year limit seems to be a new limit which was not in place when my referral was made in July 2007 i.e. it has been shifted but this is unacceptable.

They have advised me that the amount of patients is increasing but there is only one psychologist there. It is obvious therefore, that people like me who are not deemed to need immediate treatment, will keep being pushed backwards, unless more psychologists are taken on. This is not rocket science.

In the meantime, depression will go on having its way, since it cares not about anything else. It worries me that people like me, and I'm sure that there are lots like me, learn to cope so that we just about get by, but do not achieve fruitful relationships, or achieve our full potential since we are just coping with day-to-day life.

On the other hand, those who are able to get by much better i.e. who have received the help they need or do not suffer from mental health problems, go on to much better things. This is not an even playing field, and as far as I am concerned, is discriminatory.

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Response from Maria Slater

Thank you for your feedback about the impact on individuals around small services that are in high demand, which unfortunately have no other alternative but to use waiting lists in order to manage the volume.

We do feedback to our commissioners with the experiences of our service users, like yours. Following this I am pleased to share, that during 2009, we have received a significant increase in investment in psychological services.

A recent recruitment drive has resulted in an additional 4 posts to our Enhanced Day Therapies Team and they should all be in place by September 2009. Work will then commence on reducing the waiting for therapy time from referral and acceptance.

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