"Does anyone really care?"
About: Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust Adult mental health B1 3RB
Posted by Mucky Pup (as ),
I have mental health problems.I have had them on and off all my life. I have never felt helped by any of the specialists or treatments that I have received and have found my own ways of managing my illness. I have only been able to do this because my husband is always there to support me.
The nature of my illness means that I have times of crisis when I am out of control and in a very distressed state. This happened back in the autumn. By mutual consent I agreed to be discharged by my most recent specialist about 18 months before. This was on the basis that if I needed help I could go directly back to her. When I tried to do this I was told that although it said that in my discharge letter that it did not apply anymore and I would have to go back to my GP and be re referred. This is what I did - I had the appointment last week - about 3 months too late. I was not in crisis anymore but I went anyway. I discussed with the doctor what I(or my husband) should do in a future crisis and was given a card with an out of hours number on it and told that either to ring the centre where I go for consultations or the out of hours number. later I realised that the out of hours number was for PALS - I have no idea if they could connect me to a crisis team.
Well I do not know if it was talking in detail about my condition and how it manifests itself but the wound opened back up I suppose. The next day something happened that triggered a crisis I could not back on top and over Saturday/Sunday I was delusional and at risk. All of this exhausts me and then I plummet back down the other way. It is very damaging obviously to me but also to my husband and youngest daughter who lives at home still.
I tried to contact my centre to make an appointment - this took a lot of effort - and was given an appointment for 3 days later to see a different doctor. This is even with supposedly being on some kind of fast track system for an appointment. I arrived in good time for my appointment. It was chaotic in the reception waiting area with a lot of the space being used to fit a new water machine and all the other new ones for other parts of the building were stacked up. As I have become used to, there was the same unwelcoming response from reception as well as witnessing other users being treated with what I would consider to be disregard. There was a constant stream of 'staff' going back and forth, talking loudly and messing around.
When it was 20 minutes past my appointment time I went to ask the receptionist if there was a problem. She said that I was next. By then I had started to become agitated. After waiting another 15 minutes my husband went to speak to reception - he spoke to another woman who seemed to be a manager. She told him that the wait was unavoidable and we have to expect to have to wait sometimes but she was unable to give any estimate of how much longer I would have to wait. By now I was really quite distressed and after another 10 minutes I felt I could wait no longer. So after telling them that I had to go we came home.
I feel very let down and have no confidence or trust left now.