"Not good enough"

About: Avon And Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust / Adult mental health Avon And Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust / Carer services

(as a carer),

A&W Trust say: "Increasingly we provide treatment and care in people’s own homes and other community settings, reflecting the preferences of our service users."

What this really means is releasing mentally ill patients to be cared for by their relatives who are not medically or emotionally equipped to deal with them and sending someone in once a week. This is not care in the community, it's just dumping them into the community and not providing adequate care.

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Response from Alison Griffin, Head of Engagement and Responsiveness Department, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

Dear Stella,

I am sorry to hear that you do not feel the ongoing care and treatment for your son/daughter is adequate and that you both do not get the carer support you need. You're absolutely right, the move to support people in their own homes has to be done with a lot of thought and what we don't ever want is for people to feel the way that you do, that they have been left to cope alone. The decision to try where appropriate to care for people within the community comes from listening to feedback from service users, carers and families and we feel that in general this is a very positive move. It's clear however that we haven't quite got it right for you, and I'm sure that we can help.

My name is Fiona Davies and I am the new service director for Adult community mental health services provided by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

It would be helpful to have some further details so that I can understand your issues and make contact with your son/daughter and their team. Alternatively it might be preferable to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who could contact your son/daughters care coordinator for you and will be able to help to ensure that your concerns are heard and allow us to make things work more smoothly for you both in the future. PALS can be contacted on free phone no 0800 073 1770 or 01249 468261 or by email to pals@awp.nhs.uk.

We are continually working to better understand the needs of our service users and carers and some of the ways we do this is through feedback. We have recently introduced some carer drop in sessions which could be really useful to you in giving you the opportunity to ask questions and raise any issues you're having. If you are interested in taking part please contact PALS who will be able to provide you with further details.

Many thanks for getting in touch with us to raise your concerns, we want to make sure you and your son/daughter have all the help you need and want from us.

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