"CAMHS cornwall - shame on you"

About: Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

I understand that this service is stretched but it is appalling in the lack of urgency, care and the general apathy of the staff.

My son was referred to CAMHS by the paediatrician he had been seeing for a few years with idipathic nausea and stomach problems. CAMHS Cornwall informed us that we were on the waiting list in 2015. (It is now July 2016). We waited. And waited and waited. My son stopped attending school at the beginning of his GCSE year and I wrote to them, informing them of this and listing an exacerbation of symptoms (anxiety, his social withdrawal from family and friends and his inability to attend school from what we now presumed to be anxiety). Again, we received a letter back informing us that he was still on the waiting list but priority was given to those actually self- harming or suicidal. (Understandably).

Several more months passed and through sheer desperation we took him at not insubstantial cost to see a psychologist privately. After a couple of sessions they recommended he see the GP as they thought him was depressed. We did as we agreed that he was but the GP felt unprepared to prescribe medication to a 15 year old and suggested we wait for the CAMHS appointment. Again

I wrote to CAMHS informing them that we were getting desperate and again, the same general letter back.

Eventually (with his GCSE's upon him) and further deterioration we took him to see a well respected psychiatrist privately who assessed him and diagnosed him with a major depression and between them and his GP, are now managing to bring him back to a more stable frame of mind. I informed CAMHS of this and copied them in on the assessment report and finally was a few weeks later given an appointment for an assessment with them. This assessment was carried out and a couple of weeks later they rang to say he was now on the waiting list to be assessed by their psychiatrist but that this wouldn't be possible for at least two months and in the meantime would we consider taking him back to see the private psychologist as there was an even longer waiting list for one on the NHS - they indicated that it would be sometime in the autumn before an appointment would be available - it's only June now! No apology for this or empathy and not one iota of help or advice as to how to tackle things in the meantime.

In a nutshell, I am horrified by not only the wait and seeming ineffectiveness of the system but the complete and utter indifference we have been shown (and we work in the NHS). We are able to find the money for this ongoing care - others are not so lucky. My son has now missed an entire year of school and is now faced with the prospect of spending another year studying at home to pass his GCSEs. We have been seriously let down by CAMHS Cornwall.

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Response from Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 01208 834620 so we can look into your situation in more detail.