"There is a need for long term therapy"

About: Inclusion Matters Sefton

(as the patient),

As crisis intervention it was invaluable for me. However, I need long term therapy which is not available in the NHS/IM. There is a void/gap between short term programmes for crisis intervention and patients who have to be committed to an institution. I’m in that gap. IM/NHS and the UK government have to understand, address and provide a long term therapy service.

The cost of “not” providing such a service is vast – not only to the patient who needs it but to tax payers who foot the bill elsewhere. Ethically and morally it is the right thing to do regardless of the financial implications directly or indirectly.

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Response from Fiona Patterson, Sefton Manager, Inclusion Matters Sefton

Thank you for your feedback which raises some important issues.

IMS is commissioned to provide time limited therapy to patients with mild to moderate mental health difficulties. The length of therapy provided depends on a number of factors but you are correct that it is not 'long term' if by that you mean that it can continue indefinitely. Whilst we aim to help people who often feel they have reached a critical point in their lives we don't provide a crisis service. In Sefton that service is provided by Mersey Care and can be accessed through a number of routes including your GP or local A&E Department. Mersey Care also provide treatment to people who have more severe and enduring mental health problems, the vast majority of whom are treated in the community and do not need in patient treatment.

I'm sorry to hear that you feel yourself to be falling into a gap in service provision. IMS does invite patients to refer themselves back to the service is they feel that a further course of time limited therapy might help them and I'm sure your GP would want to discuss your mental health needs with you to see if you might benefit from the services Mersey Care provides.

Mental Health Services in Sefton are commissioned by the South Sefton and the Southport and Formby Commissioning Groups (not IMS) and you may wish to raise your concerns about long term therapy provision with them directly. Please contact either me or your GP to obtain their contact details.

Thank you again for raising these important issues.

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Update posted by Slight136 (the patient)

It seems that even when a referral for long term services are in place there is no intermediate therapy available either. I've now had a psych. intake but I have to wait for at least 4 to 6 months before therapy begins yet I'm disqualified from sessions with IM in that time. For identified mental health needs by all its, my my view, dangerous at the very least and Russian Roulette at worst. I think this protocol is not defendable nor does a bad law/policy make the protocol right. Thank you.

Response from Fiona Patterson, Sefton Manager, Inclusion Matters Sefton

I'm glad to hear that you have been accepted for treatment by secondary care services. I hope that their more extensive degree of expertise and resources will be of benefit to you in due course

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