"Experience of a new patient"

I moved to Bognor Regis six months ago after a long haul of caring for elderly parents. Then, after their deaths,

I had to deal with their affairs, clear and sell the family home, while in a state of bereavement.

I was exhausted and this developed into depression. I had a previous episode of this back in the 1980's -relating to family traumas in my childhood and then again at this time.

I had sought professional help before and so I had developed coping skills to help myself.

The most important of these being having the courage to seek help again.

With some trepidation, I booked in to see a new GP at the the Bersted Green Surgery.

The doctor was brilliant, they took time to talk to me and organised an urgent referral to the Bedale Centre. I was also given helpline information and the option of coming to the surgery again, if I needed support.

After a short wait I had an initial interview with a duty member of staff then I was referred to the consultant. The consultant's assessment of me was accurate and I was given a copy of the letter they sent back to my doctor. I had already been prescribed some medication (which was helping) so the doctor saw me a few times over about five months to see how I was getting on. I have now been discharged back to my GP with the plan to reduce my medication gradually, when appropriate.

I am very grateful for the fast and efficient help I received. The GP and the CMHRT worked well together. The staff at The Bedale Centre were welcoming and friendly -during hectic times for them.

So, prompt help, medication and patience on my part plus trust in the GP and consultant all helped with my recovery. Life is still full of everyday problems but I feel able to cope again. I have signed up for various courses and I keep in touch with friends-old and new.

I saw some people duck out of their initial appointments at a time of extreme distress-which I find sad. To these people I say, if you ever find yourself feeling desperate and in a crisis -have faith and trust in this service. It is there to help and work with you on the road to recovery.

I sincerely hope this review will be of use to others.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust


Thank you for taking the time to let us know what happened - its encouraging for us to know that what we do helps and also as you point out for other readers to know that asking for help - often the most difficult part as you say - is the first step in feeling better

I have passed your feedback on to the Bedale Centre and am sorry that its taken so long to come back to you - we are putting in place a new system to make sure that these delays do not happen again

kind regards

Rachael Kenny

Patient Experience Team