"Let down by CAMHS over the festive period"

About: Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Child and adolescent mental health care (community)

(as the patient),

I’m under CAMHS Worthing. I am in Interpersonal Psychotherapy but due to the Christmas holidays I’ve been three weeks without seeing anyone and I’ve still got ten days to go till my next session.

Last week I had a meltdown and my dad took me to A&E because I was “out of control, psychotic and inconsolable”. I was sent away by the mental health nurse and told someone from CAMHS would call the next day. The next day my two GPs also sent referrals to the Out of Hours support team also.

I got a call two days after the trip to A&E and was told they didn't want to bring me in and make me go over everything again and that I should wait till my therapy appointment. My parents, doctors and I weren’t happy because I was promised by the mental health nurse in A&E a referral to the Urgent Help team.

I was also promised a check-up phone call from CAMHS three days ago, but the call never came. Because of that I started talking to ChildLine who were so concerned about my mental state that they tracked my IP address and were sending a welfare officer to my house. Upon hearing that I ran away from my house, was registered as a missing person and police were looking for me because I was severely suicidal. My dad finally found me, I pretty much had a breakdown. I was visited by police and a mental health nurse and was told I don’t have depression but I have Borderline Personality Disorder instead.

I visited my GP the next day for another referral which was sent. I had a bit of a funny turn a couple of days agao so my mum rang CAMHS and they got someone to phone us back. The person on the phone said that they have a lot of people to call and a lot of people to see and even though I had another 3 referrals sent since being to A&E (they were unaware of the other referrals).  I was told the same thing; to wait for my next therapy session. I was also told that to be referred to the Crisis Team I would have to have another crisis and go to A&E. I had another meltdown and I haven’t been the same since.

I feel like I’ve been failed by CAMHS this festive period. I don’t feel like I’m going to get any better as I have now lost full trust in CAMHS due to their failings this month. This isn’t my therapists fault at all but due to the out of hours “support” service. Because I’m so unpredictable and my mood swings are so huge, I don’t know whether I’m going to make it to my next therapy appointment in ten days. My mental health has deteriorated and I blame CAMHS.

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Response from Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dear ecolgod

We are sorry you have had a difficult time over the Christmas period and did not receive the support you felt you needed.

We did have staff working during this time providing support to young people and I will review with them our telephone support systems and if there were any internal reasons why calls were not returned as planned.

I do hope you are able to continue with your therapy appointments and find these beneficial.

We always strive to provide accessible and timely services to young people and are continuously evaluating services so your feedback is helpful to us. If you would like to contact me to discuss this further please do on 07710 978409.

Fran Boulter, General Manager

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful