"Bassetlaw Crisis Team- philosophy and communication"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Adult Mental Health Services - Community (County)

(as the patient),

Yesterday, I felt the need to be seen by someone as I was experiencing difficulties in my mental health. I was at the time, and still am very aware of my own symptoms. Having had the opportunity of doing a peer support course and having enough support around me to indicate that I needed help, my only hope was to phone the Crisis team in my time of need. I knew that my name was on the system as being "flagged" by my CPN in case I needed this support. This (I think) means that if I should call, I will be known to the crisis team and my background information being understood.

So, that said... I really hoped that I would be received and understood well when I consciously made the call. First, I had been passed onto somebody else! Why! ?

Secondly, I tried to begin to explain that I needed help. This was not heard in my opinion as I was over-ridden in the one-way conversation. Not only was I made to feel like a little entity, but I was feeling at the time a little confused to say the least.

My confusion is a result from me not taking my medication on a regular basis. Feelings of paranoia, anxiety, uncertainty and the rest.. I had to interviene at some point as I thought (in my mind) that I wasn't going to be listened to at all. My understanding is that this "individual" that I was listening to- (without a clue! )... -was on a serious power trip before I could say boo! I may be over- emphasizing this, but if you can play back the recording and listen as to how the conversation all went, you'll understand.

So, to pick up from power trip, it was an uncomfortable battle (for me as a patient! ) to try get heard before even being understood! I believe I gave this particular person grace by keeping my cool- which is not easy, as I hate confrontation, which was so obvious once the phone had been passed over. Adrenaline starts pumping and thoughts start racing, and all yes, because I am actually classed as a vulnerable person.

I decided to hang up the call, as I was told effectively that I was not going to be seen by anyone from the crisis team that night - no particular reasons given (like how dare I ask...). This person had no clue as to why or how I knew what I knew.

I also knew/ know that Crisis do NOT have a "appointment" system. This is why I was confused. I was in a time of serious need, and I felt as though I was dealing with a person who was, in my opinion, coming across as a psychopath to put it mildly.

I had to interject at times and try my damnedest to remain "focused" - which is not easy when medication plays it's tricks.

The real joy of the ending is even better. I had to call again, after a "cool off period". I was still adement I needed this help from the crisis team! - I thought maybe I would have been talking with somebody else within the team at that point. No! I was seriously so wrong in my presumption. I explained very quickly that I "had" to hang up. Before I could continue with any sort of worldly sense of being a vulnerable patient that was in need of help.., This person decided (I think it's a choice)- to bulldoze their way through the entire conversation up until the point where they hung up on me.

What lead to that is that I challenged the fact that I needed to be seen by somebody and and that I was even prepared to travel to the hospital to be seen. I thought that was a fair compromise (as if it was even needed). And I also thought that the person concerned would "click". - I was in need of some help. Even at this point, the only thing that was known, or said was my name and how I wished to be seen. The second challenge amongst this horrid conversation, was that I interjected my thoughts and my evaluation of it all. I said withing the last 2 minutes, that I thought they had used their judgement before even knowing what the problems were and that they was on a power trip. This made things a LOT worse. I now was dealing on a very personal level. They admitted finally after being told off like some school boy, that they was unable to continue the call, even though I tried to get it back...(role reversal or something), I knew I had been judged without proper knowledge.

My feelings now make me think that they have outside issues that need to be dealt with. I really hope that the NHS looks after their team and keeps them sane- well, more sane than their patients for a chance, not excluding any individuals.

I did indicate that I would go to the A+E department to them. They expressed that I would recieve a phone call from someone else in Crisis Team. That only happened about 2 hours after they hung the phone.

If that wasn't enough, I managed to ask my neighbor to come along with me. And arrived to A+E without crashing my car.

I have done nothing but praise Bassetlaw, and I will not let just this stupid incident change my perceptions. Everyone involved in my care knows this. So do others in the NHS.

I would like to know:

1) has this person been taken out of Crisis

2) Are they alright mentally, stress maybe?

3) If I do speak now and for others, will this be heard - and I seriously hope it is heard by the right people in position of good judgement and power.

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Response from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

I am really sorry to hear that you found your experience of contacting the Bassetlaw Crisis Team unhelpful at a time you needed support and would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention.

We are happy to discuss your concerns individually to try and understand further your experience and, hopefully, learn to improve our service for the future and to ensure that you are now in receipt of the help and support you need..

If you would like to do this please contact Beth Grimditch, CRHT Team Leader on 0300 123 1804 beth.grimditch@nottshc.nhs.uk

or Sarah Bradshaw, Service manager on 0115 969 1300 ext. 13803, sarah.bradshaw@nottshc.nhs.uk