"As a carer I feel uncared for"

About: Ashley House Ashley House / Substance Misuse Service Brooker Centre / Bridge Ward Brooker Centre / Weaver Ward

(as a carer),

I am writing to highlight the issues I have experienced whilst trying to care for my Father.

After ongoing treatment from Ashley house and a home detox in this year which I oversaw. My father's illness began to deteriorate drastically where I felt unable to cope further with the sitation in a safe manner for myself.

I contacted Ashley house to update them of the situation however as my fathers support worker was not working that day I was unable to speak with them and left a message for them to return my call.

The following day as my call wasn't returned, I proceeded to contact his Dr to ask for help, I was at the end of my tether and ready to wash my hands of him after him verbally insulting and verbally abusive towards me.

I was then informed he was unable to see him but arranged for me to take him to the doctors the following week. However, that night I went to visit my father again after work only to be grabbed by him to prevent me from leaving his home after he became angry.I proceeded to contact a crisis number on the internet, it felt I was met with resistance yet again.

I spoke with a duty social worker to explain my situation and requested an assessement for myself and my father, I was assessed the following week after my caring role had escalated.

I was asked by the doctor if I would support another home detox by taking control of my fathers medication and financial situation. I was also asked to attend the Brooker Centre to discuss my fathers assessment further, rather, it seemed, than my father's social worker and doctor co-operating to update the mental health team.

I was then told I would be updated about his assessment after, I am still waiting 2mths later, I was then told I wasn't a priority by the person who completed my assessment as my father wasn't currently seeking this service even though my fathers support worker had setup a care plan in which he was to be referred to open minds and which was explained at the time of my assessment. This hadn't been done in previous care plans only the alcohol/drug use side of things had been addressed.

I also noticed that, again, I wasn't mentioned on the latest care plan in the section that mentioned carer's but under the stress I was experiencing I didn't have the energy to pursure this further and hence feel now I am left to continue chasing up the mental health side of my fathers care even though I am currently extremeley stressed and struggling to cope.

I would suggest that when a carer requests help with mental health issues their views are taken a little more seriously, in hope nobody else has to go through this.

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Response from Philip Gibson, Team Manager, Community Drugs Team

Thank You for taking the time to provide this posting.

I am sorry you seem to have had such a poor experience of services.

You have raised a number of issues relating to both Ashley House and the Mental Health treatment services which need to be evaluate, as such I will be speaking to staff from Hollins Park Hospital and the Brooker Centre.

If you want to discuss your experiences please contact me directly at Ashley House ,Tel 0151 422 1400.This will also allow us to specifically review your fathers case and address any potential areas of concern that may have occured.

There seems to have been a particular problem for you relating to your role as a carer. Ashley House has been very active in promoting services for our carers so this is disapointing but it might be of help for you to be aware that we do hold a carers group every Tuesday evening from 5.30 to 6.30 at Ashley House which you can attend on a drop-in basis.

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