"April House: not sure where to go next"

About: April House

(as the patient),

I was on the waiting list for several months before getting an assessment with the team. As my weight was 'too high' I was put on the waiting list. About a year on I started to lose weight rapidly, and with the help from my amazing GP, and a letter from a worried friend, I was quickly assessed again. It's a shame I had to deteriorate physically to get any help.

I started 24 sessions of CBT with an amazing therapist (with 3 follow-up). My weight wasn't stabilising, so I was asked if I would like to go onto the day programme. I agreed. Experiences on the day programme were mixed. I had agreed to do a shortened version of the programme just to maintain my weight. However, towards the end of my time on the programme I realised that I needed to gain weight to be healthy. I asked if I was able to stay longer but this was refused. The reason I was given was 'I think we'll just stick with the time agreed.' I wasn't too happy but didn't take it any further because I was sure I wouldn't be taken seriously.

I am aware that there is a long waiting list for both therapy and the day programme. I know this needs to be based on clinical need and as my weight was 'stable' I guess I would have been at the bottom of the pile.

Good bits about the programme: meeting amazing friends who are going through the same thing, supportive staff (most), brilliant groups.

Bad bits: Inconsistencies between staff, not being trusted, being kept inside.

I can't help thinking that if I was allowed to do a weight gain programme, I would be in a better position now. I am struggling to maintain my weight at present. I have recently finished therapy with an amazing therapist. I am not sure where to go next.

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Response from Ben Prior, Complaints and PALS Officer, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Firstly, I would like to apologise for the delay in responding to your posting.

I would like to thank you for sharing your experiences of April House, both good and bad with us, as this provides us with valuable feedback in order that we continue to improve the services that we can offer.

Unfortunately, our treatment waiting list is currently approximately 6-8 months which has obviously had an impact on your request to stay at April House for longer being declined. As an organisation, we want to be able to provide the required support to all of our service users but appreciate that it can be frustrating, when the treatment being received is proving beneficial.

We have recently appointed an additional Therapist who has started in post and are advertising for another full time Therapist. Both of these Therapists will focus entirely on reducing the waiting times.

We would also advise anyone who feels that their situation is deteriorating, whilst they are on our waiting list, to see their GP for a further review who can then liaise with our service again.

If you would like to discuss your concerns in more depth, please contact the Complaints and PALS team on 02380 874065 or via email at hp-tr.Complaints.nhs.net.

Kind regards

Ben Prior

Complaints and PALS Officer

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