"Access to psychological therapies - my expectations were raised and dashed"

About: Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust / Psychotherapy

(as the patient),

During August 2010 I raised concerns about access to psychological therapy, which I had been requesting for some time with my consultant psychiatrist. In early August I met with a locum consultant psychiatrist who I felt had an understanding of my needs.

We spoke about the recovery model, self management, psychological needs and close partnership and collaboration between professionals and service users. They agreed to make a referral for therapy. An appointment was offered for Sept to meet a worker at my local health centre. I was pleased that some action had been taken at last.

When I attended the appointment I was informed that I was not eligible for help as the worker was from POESIS and I was categorised as a secondary service user.

How do serious mistakes like this happen? Surely referrer and recieving agency would know of my eligibility?

My expectations were raised and dashed. The perceived wisdom for treatment of bi-polar disorder involves medication, talking therapy and family support. I feel the system is failing me and even though i am well and coping currently I feel I require assistance to support my long term recovery.

It would appear that there is a disconnectedness between services which is not in the best interest and potentially damaging to patients wellbeing.

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Response from Nick Arkle, Patient Engagement/ Psychosocial Interventions Lead, Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust

Dear phatboyjim, Thank you for posting this experience. I am sorry to hear of your experience and I shall inform the relevant managers who will offer a response on Patient Opinion. Please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS), who are able to support you with such concerns. PALS can be contacted on 0800 015 4334 or by e-mail. With Best Wishes, Nick
  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Response from Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

I am really sorry that you have had such an unfortunate experience of our services. The Locum consultant was right in that psychological therapy would be an appropriate treatment however; they were clearly unaware that the referral should have been directed to our therapy services that are part of our mainstream specialist service provision. The POIESIS service is for people with common mental problems that don't require specialist services such as a consultant psychiatrist or community mental health team.

The point you make about us being aware of our own services and communicating with each other is really well made and our POIESIS service should have re-directed your referral appropriately. I will ensure that the POIESIS team are informed that, in future, should a mistake like this be made again, they facilitate people who are being seen in specialist services to the appropriate therapy service.

If you would like to contact our Service Manager, Jim MacDonald, on 01302 821432, he will arrange an appointment for you with the specialist therapy team.

Thank you again for your feedback as it is important to us.

Carole Hirst

Clinical Director of Psychological Therapies