"Mental health clinic in the middle of a shopping centre!"

About: Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I was referred to the Archway Centre in Lincoln. The mental health clinic has been put in the middle of a shopping centre which I think was not a very good idea. I over heard several people making derogatory comments about it being a "loony bin" etc. You can't walk straight in and I feel I have to undergo the humiliation of standing outside waiting for someone to answer the door after I have rung the bell. I saw a mother pull her child away from me and made a rude comment about “nutters” while I was waiting to be let in.

I find the place very noisy as well with the continual noise of traffic and people distracting you from therapy.

The person I saw was cold and distant and I felt was very hard to talk to. I was limited to six sessions only and I think discharged despite being no better.

I would like to see more sense shown in the future and please, please don't put mental health clinics in such off putting places.

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Response from Caroline Hainsworth, Service Liaison Manager, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

I am sorry that you have had a poor experience of services and thank you for providing us with your feedback about this clinic.

The move to the Lincoln Archway Centre has been generally very well received by service users. Those who moved mid-therapy from the old base to this building expressed a feeling of being valued by the Trust, by the provision of such high quality accommodation. Over the last six months, of 578 service users who returned their routine feedback forms, only eight made varying suggestions about how accommodation could be improved, referring to fifteen locations around the county.

The move aimed to make services more convenient and accessible to all but if this isn't the case for you, we would always be happy to arrange appointments at an alternative venue. We understand that this new location may not suit everyone but we believe that this is a giant step in the right direction in terms of improving access and convenience and destigmatising mental health care in the long term.

I am saddened to hear that you heard members of the public making derogatory comments and that you felt humiliated. This is unacceptable and I am disappointed that people would behave in such an ignorant way. Just to make you aware, no concerns have been raised with us about the general public in the shopping centre and an automatic door now ensures that people can access immediately. We hope that where mental health care is based in the community and becomes a part of every day life in the same way that receiving care for a physical health problem would be, stigma such as this will be significantly reduced.

You mention that you felt the person you saw was 'hard to talk to' and that you are now discharged but do not feel better. If you still have unresolved issues and would like to speak to us, please contact our PALS team on 0845 602 4384 and they will help.

Thank you again for sharing your experiences with us - it is very useful for us to have this feedback.

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Update posted by nyr (the patient)

I was interested to read about the "routine feedback forms". I was never given any feed back form and have asked several other people I know who attend the Archway centre and they have never had one either. There is definitely no automatic door - you still have to ring a bell and wait for someone to open the door for you. I did ask to go else where and was refused. What is the solution for all the continual traffic noise from out side? This makes therapy very hard.

I no longer need help thank you. I had a diagnosis of severe depression and after my discharge from the Archway I went to a stay with a relative in Yorkshire.I was seen by the Mental Health Trust there. They follow NICE guidelines and I had 20 CBT sessions at weekly intervals as recommended by NICE (I was only seen fortnightly at the Archway) and am a million times better now.

In my view it would be an idea if your staff started following NICE guidelines in this area.

Response from Caroline Hainsworth, Service Liaison Manager, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your further comments. I will be happy to forward your feedback regarding the automatic doors and the routine feedback forms to the appropriate manager to look into. We have never had any complaints previously about the traffic noise from either staff or service users but this is something that we can be of aware of in the future.

Whilst we are sorry that your experience of services by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust did not meet the high standards we would normally expect, we are pleased to note that you have been able to achieve a satisfactory level of improvement and wish you well with your continued recovery.

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