"I feel stigmatised and labelled. I feel nobody has listened to me."
About: Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust St. Albans AL3 5TL Lister Hospital / Accident and emergency Lister Hospital Accident and emergency Stevenage SG1 4AB
Posted by confuseled (as ),
So much has gone wrong for me, I doubt I could fit it all in here. I feel nobody at HPFT has listened or apologised to me for anything, and I found the response I got from the two letters of complaint I've written were extremely patronising and did not validate any of my feelings or concerns.
I was originally transferred to my local Community Mental Health Team in North Herts from CAMHS services in another area. Initially the support I received was excellent. I was completely involved in my care. I had a skilled and compassionate Social Worker, a great Psychiatrist and a brilliant Support Worker.
Two years on however, this all changed. My care team all moved on to other departments/trusts, and I was left with no support. About the same time I was struggling to come out of an abusive relationship. Over the coming years I really needed practical help at times (such as filling in benefit forms, employment, housing etc.) as well as ongoing emotional support. This was denied to me and I had to go it alone which nearly led to the breakdown of my relationship with my partner and losing my flat, and created havoc with my benefits leading to me losing them all. I had to spend months filling in forms by myself which I did not understand before I got my benefits sorted, and this caused me a great deal of distress which in turn worsened my mental health (and caused my partner to become depressed).
I also had no care co-ordinator (which was promised to me when my last one left). I eventually got one, they stayed there for 3 months and then left (I found out the day before they were leaving). I went on for months with no care co-ordinator, I kept asking for one as I needed more regular one to one support at times (as I had always done). A new Psychiatrist eventually said I could have a CPN who was my co-ordinator for 2 months, and then told me this person had retired in a letter (but it seems they are still working there). As far as I am concerned, this was a lie, and I do not appreciate being lied to.
I was getting CBT from the Psychologist there (I told them CBT doesn't work for me as I had done it 6 times previously with no success), they ignored my request for a different type of therapy, and then resigned leaving no Psychologist in post for about 6 months. The only person I saw during this time was my Psychiatrist for 10 minute appointments every 3 months. I had no CPA reviews, I was not given copies of my care plans. When I've been in crisis, I have been refused to be seen, in my opinion 'fobbed off' or told just to go to A&E which I won't as I've had really bad experiences there and don't want to end up in hospital again.
The mental health helpline have been very rude to me on occasions, and offered no support. They didn't seem to know anything about mental health problems and I feel they have actually made things worse. The same goes for the Crisis teams, when on one occasion the Consultant told me there was nothing wrong with me except that I was "miserable", I didn't need medication and should just go home. This episode with the Crisis team led to me having another breakdown and I was re-admitted to hospital.
I feel stigmatised and labelled by staff as having borderline personality disorder (which I have been diagnosed with), it seems to me they have little or no knowledge of these issues. They will not help me, and I think they see my genuine distress and frustration as 'difficult behaviour' or 'bad behaviour'. I would've liked it if somebody had've just taken the time to really listen to me. I also have Asperger's Syndrome - the staff do not understand this condition, and clearly require training in this area.
On discharge from the Community team a few months ago I was told I could self-refer myself back if I ever needed help again, when I tried to do this a few weeks ago this was refused. Even my GP said I could do this. It isn't just me, a friend of mine has had very similar experiences with this service. I now have to pay for psychotherapy privately at £50 per session to get the support I need.