"Need for change in response to service problems"

About: Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust / Crisis resolution

(as the patient),

My local crisis intervention team has a problem with me.

I described to a (sympathetic) manager how that feels - walking through a door when you know you are going to get a bucket of water thrown at you, so you try not going to the door, seeing if there are other doors etc. But everyone says you need to go back to the same door - same bucket of water. Once you have talked to a manager (ie complained) - then you get two buckets of water. When you have had that several times then you are reluctant to go back.

I have spoken to different managers, a non-executive director, the complaints dept formally and informally and posted comments via patient opinion web sites. Sometimes you get a very curt "it'll be sorted" reply (without understanding the problem, and never sorting the problem) and sometimes you get very understanding people, but always the "never mind the long standing issue you clearly need support now and we should be providing it", with the usual bucket of water to follow.

This means that when I am illest I am completely isolated as any contact with eg GP, NHS Direct etc - leads straight back to the same place and because it has taken so long and so many people have "sorted" it - I have no belief that it can be sorted.

This post will inevitably mean some manager gives the "get in touch, I will look into it" response. But what they need to do is look at their mechanisms for response and follow-up at all levels, as none of them have worked.

I hope that they can sort out the service problem for other people and that they can look at "best practice" for responding to complaints (some of their staff are really easy to approach and friendly - some are very curt and offhand) and make sure that when they identify a problem and a solution that it gets acted on.

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Response from Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your comment, NTW values feedback whether this be positive or negative to strive to improve the quality of our services. As the services manager, I am concerned that you have had a negative experience of the crisis team. It is imperative across all services that the service user receive high quality care and treatment which is delivered in an empathetic, caring and professional manner. If you would like to discuss your experience within the service, I am contactable on my mobile, 07534928042.


Denise Pickersgill,

Service Manager Access and Treatment.

You can also contact the Complaints and PALS Manager to discuss any concerns with the complaints process or issues about the department in general. All comments are considered and used to continously improve the complaints service within NTW NHS Foundation Trust. Keeley Brickle, Complaints and PALS Manager 0191 223 2325.

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