"Could Lincolnshire fast track people with suicidal thoughts?"

About: Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I read the post by depression sufferer with interest as I had the same experience. I was more interested in the response from the Trust and wanted to make a suggestion.

I have a long history of depression and attempted suicide and have been in hospital several times for depression. My husband is in the army so I move around alot and in other areas if you are feeling very depressed or suicidal you get jumped up the waiting list and are seen right away - I have never had to wait to be seen, even in areas with waiting lists of nearly a year until we moved to Lincolnshire - I got very depressed and suicidal but was told I would have to wait 6 months to be seen.

I note than in the response from the Trust to "depression sufferer" that they do not seem to offer fast appointments to people with severe depression or suicidal feelings like they do in other areas. Could this be brought into Lincolnshire?

My husband took me on holiday to try and help me when I was very down and I ended up being admitted to hospital in another area because I was so low. I think I would have killed myself before I got to the top of the waiting list if I had still been in Lincolnshire.

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Response from Caroline Hainsworth, Service Liaison Manager, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comments regarding the mental health services provided in Lincolnshire and we are sorry that your experience was not satisfactory. There are a number of different types of service offered for people with mental health problems but from what you describe we have assumed that you are referring to when someone has been referred for psychological therapies by their GP as there is a waiting list for this type of therapy. However, if something changes whilst they are awaiting treatment and they don’t go back to the GP, we will not know that their symptoms have changed. Our advice would be if the person is feeling suicidal then they need to go back to their GP and inform them of how they are feeling. If the GP has any concerns they can refer immediately to the Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Service.

You have also described what appears to be a history of recurring acute depressive episodes. In these circumstances there would be relapse signatures (or signs/circumstances) that would be identified in a crisis and contingency plan and if appropriate a direct “fast track” route back to the community team that had supported an individual previously.

Therefore, there are different responses depending on the care pathway of an individual, e.g., new referral on a waiting list, currently engaged in services or crisis and contingency planning after discharge.

I hope that this reassures you regarding the level of service we provide in Lincolnshire and thank you for taking the time to share your experience and raise our awareness of difficulties encountered by our service users.

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Update posted by sadgirl (the patient)

Thanks - I think you have misunderstood me. When I went for an assessment I told the lady I was feeling suicidal and I did tell her my past history of being sectioned for severe depression etc etc. but she said that I would have to go on a waiting list to be seen.

In other areas when I have told people my history they have arranged for me to be seen right away. I feel that this would be a good idea in Lincolnshire. If someone has a long history of severe depression and being admitted to hospital surely they should not have to wait for support but be given it right away to prevent the condition going critical.

I have no idea who I was waiting to see - I was not told - but I was given the number of the crisis team to phone and because I was not under anyone in the trust they would not help me. I did let several people in your trust know I was suicidal but it was like hitting my head off a brick wall - no-one was interested or would help.

My GP just told me that I had been referred to the Trust and assessed by them and would be seen when I got to the top of the waiting list. It would seem that depression sufferer in the previous post had similar problems to me so it is not just me.

Response from Caroline Hainsworth, Service Liaison Manager, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

We would like the opportunity of looking into the circumstances of your particular case as there are a number of issues you raise that we really would like to investigate further. If you could contact our PALS and Complaints Team on 01529-222265 we can look into this further as you have identified that you spoke to a number of people in the Trust and we can check whether this went through the proper procedures to register those concerns and that should have been addressed at what must have been a very difficult time for you.

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Update posted by sadgirl (the patient)

I'm concerned that submitting a complaint could lead to a bad effect on my treatment.

I will tell you details that I know.

The person I saw for an assessment who put me on a waiting list was a CPN according to my appointment letter. I again phoned that same nurse twice and reported I was suicidal - they were not interested. I phoned the crisis number. I'm not sure who answered the phone but they said as I was not under anyone at the trust they could not help me. I also saw my GP who said that as I had been seen for assessment by the trust and had phoned the crisis line with no success, there was nothing else he could do to help.