"Not good enough care."

I've had mental health issues for many years now and been treated by Doctors at Beaconfield,i have for years found it hard to understand why once you've had your treatment there your not reviewed at least on a yearly basis,if your on medication like I am you should be reviewed on a regular basis to check if any adjustments are needed.I understand about staff shortages and that mental health services have always played second fiddle to normal NHS services but its just not good enough to leave vunerable people to cope on there own.I know that its said GP,s look after mental health patients while there not being seen at the mental health centre's but from my passed experience your GP has not got much knowledge of mental health,infact one GP once said to me that 'if you've got a Rolls Royce you go to a Rolls Royce mechanic'.Another thing that is said is that 'if you get worse you can come back to see us',well this is true but that's after going to your GP first and then being refered to the mental health centre again which can take weeks or even months,also when you've got mental health problems you often don't realise your getting worse,thats where a psychiatrist comes in.

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Response from Mental Health Unit - Beaconfield

We are sorry you feel you have been left on your own. Part of any work in preparing people for discharge from mental health services should be about ensuring there is an agreed plan in place with the GP, the service user and any family members as appropriate, and this should look at what keeps people feeling well, what the signs of a relapse are and at what point people can re-access the services – this is sometimes referred to as Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP). We totally understand your point about people not always knowing when they are relapsing, but evidence shows that if work takes place using a WRAP approach, it is possible to ensure people don’t become too unwell they don’t realise they are relapsing. This is where we hope our “fast track” system works and for people who have this they do not need to go via the GP to come back into services.

As an organisation it would not be possible to review everyone that had been through our services annually, for the reasons highlighted in your email about resource. Also, this would not really fit with a recovery model in terms of people being able to live the life they want to, wherever possible independent of mental health services. If this can’t be independent of services, an annual ‘check up’ would not be sufficient in terms of providing the level of care required, and we would hope to able to offer more meaningful, intensive, goals based intervention in line with a person’s needs. These needs should be based on risk to themselves or other people, the impact their mental health is having on their level of functioning, and distress they are experiencing as a result of symptoms.

Part of the work we want to do is to support GPs to be able to provide a more consistent and higher quality approach to people experiencing longer term psychological difficulties. This would hopefully address some of the issues you identify but may take us some time to work on.

Thank you for taking the time to feed back about mental health services.

Divisional Manager, Adult Community Mental Health Division.

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