"My experiences of Wigan, Ashton and Leigh mental health services"

About: Ashton, Leigh and Wigan PCT / Emergency GP out of hours service Leigh Infirmary Mh Oupatients Clinic / Assertive Outreach Team Leigh Infirmary Mh Oupatients Clinic / Rivington Unit (PICU) Pennington Unit / Early Intervention Team - Wigan & Leigh

(as a relative),

My son has been recieving "care" for approx 7 years.

While I find most of the staff in general to be genuine and caring, there are times when I have felt my son is an inconvenience.

There is a high demand for professional help, especially at a time of crisis. Mental health covers a wide range of conditions, but the services and resources are somewhat limited, and extremely stretched. The key focus is from a medical model, where research shows that therapy offers much more succesful long term benefits.

We have been in several situations where we have waited long periods for a bed to become available, and in the meantime have been left to cope with my son's illness at home. In my experience the crisis team have been of little use, and their response in an emergency has been weak.

The staff I meet on Lakeside seem pushed to their limits as they have so few staff on duty, while the PICU unit has higher numbers of staff but appear less stressed. Information is confusing, and not always correctly passed on.

My heart bleeds for those coming into contact for the first time as they have no idea what a bumpy road lies ahead. You think a stay in hospital will be beneficial, but several times my son has left hospital in a worse state than when he was admitted.

An urgent and intensive review of the day to day care available is needed.

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Response from Katherine Earlam, PALS Officer, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust

I am sorry that it has taken so long to respond to your feedback. This is due to a break in our subscription to the Patient Opinion site.

Thank you for your observations and insightful comments about various aspects of our services. With regard to your comments about inpatient services - we have recently introduced activity workers and psychological services to both the in-patient units referred to in your posting and this is beginning to have a very positive impact.

We are in the process of a major redesign of adult services across the 5 boroughs and have actively sought the opinion of our service users and carers. If you have not been involved in this work and would like to contribute please feel free to contact me.

Cheryl Forrest - Matron Adult Servicies Wigan 01942 264622

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