"Waiting too long after being referred to receive care for Depression"

About: Trafford PCT

(as the patient),

After going to the doctors just over three weeks ago, with what was said to be "severe depression" which I have been suffering from for around about 5 years now, nearing 6, which is effecting just about everything from fatigue to my college work which I have been too tired to do, I have been waiting for some time now for therapy, which I am sceptical about anyway, yet I am in dire need of help.

Such as another case I have seen on the site, I am finding myself sliding, and I really can't continue the way I am, and I really do need help. I have been told to look a specific website that do online CBT, being the course I have been referred to, yet none have helped and I am just tired of being so low all the time.

I understand that I must have to wait for there to be a free therapist available, but how long should it take? Being in the area of NHS Trafford, my doctor (a locum at my local doctors) told me that they didn't know how long the wait would be, that they had previously worked in Salford and you could be seen within a week, and just said to wait for a letter in the post, but I find myself feeling let down and really not expecting to get help anymore while I wait for a letter that I don't even know will turn up.

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Response from NHS Trafford

May I begin by apologising for the delay in responding to your posting and expressing the hope that things have now improved for you. I am sorry if you have felt that your wait for psychological therapy has been too long.

I understand from your posting that your GP referred you to Trafford’s psychological therapy services but that you were unhappy with the length of time you had to wait to be seen by someone. At the time of you writing your posting it seems that you had been waiting for about three weeks and I very much hope that you will have been contacted very soon after.

Although we did have a problem with waiting times, which resulted in some people waiting many months to be offered therapy, we made significant changes to how our psychological therapy service operates and I am now assured that the normal waiting time for assessment is only a matter of days in most cases and treatment normally commences in a matter of weeks or at most 2 – 4 months depending upon what type of therapy is needed.

The system you describe as operating in Salford is the same as the one we run in Trafford where a letter is sent to the patient the same day as a referral is received which asks the patient to contact the service to arrange a first appointment.

I do understand how difficult it can be to motivate yourself when you are feeling low but I do think the advice you have been offered in terms of accessing the Trafford wellbeing website (http://www.traffordwellbeing.org.uk) is sound and that you might find the resources available on this website helpful. I would encourage you to have a look at the site even if you are now accessing therapy as it might still offer you ideas about maximising your health and wellbeing.

Thank you again for your posting and again, please accept my apologies for a late response. As I have said I hope very much that your wait for therapy is now over and that you are firmly on your road to recovery. Please do have a look at the website and of course if you feel that talking to me directly would help you need only phone 0161 873 9500 and ask to speak to the Mental Health Commissioner.

Ric Taylor

Mental Health Commissioner

NHS Trafford

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