"Assessment for Community Mental Health Services"

About: Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

I have had many dealings with Mental Health Services mainly as a carer and once or twice for myself I found this assessment to be one of the more difficult ones.

I was shown to a room and we sat at the desk... it felt quite clinical right from the off. Very one sided he didn't give a lot back just asked lots of questions. previous assessments have felt more like a conversation this felt like a question and answer exam.

It felt disorganised to me there was no structure, there probably was in his head but certainly not from where I was sitting. We shot from one subject to another and back again. I tried to be honest but I do think they expect too much considering they are strangers and they want your innermost thoughts. Throughout there was something missing.. probably me because my head was elsewhere thinking get me out of here.

I know what my issues are I have lived with me long enough, I dont necessarily understand them but I know the whys to a degree. That went against me because it is automatically assumed you have a good grip on things. I think maybe you are better not telling them if you have insight.. let them work it out.

He made a comment about the fact that I had got there and I have to admit to feeling annoyed because if I hadnt have shown up he would have just wrote to my GP saying that I was a no show. The services is oversubscribed at the best of times why would they need to it is just one less person to deal with.

I felt like I shouldnt be there, like he expected me to be sitting there in bits giving him my life story. You almost feel like a fraud because I could not do that even if I wanted to. I was glad to get out of there, he did his job boxes were ticked.

I did underestimate how it would all make me feel that horrible sick to the stomach feeling has been with me ever since. He did warn me vaguely that it could drag things up, It did.

All in all if you do need an assessment, take someone with you, who gets you. Make sure you can be honest completely and be prepared for the aftermath it can be worse than the interview itself.

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Response from Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Hi, we are sorry if you feel that your experience with staff at one of our community mental health teams has not been what you would have expected.

If you would like to discuss this or to feedback on the service which you have received, please contact our customer relations - PALS team at pals@bsmhft.nhs.uk or on 0800 953 0045.

Kind regards,

Update posted by lockedin (the patient)

Hi, thanks for your response.

I do not have a complaint about how he worked, he was friendly, he did his job it was just different to what I was used to.

These things are designed to weed out those who need services to those who don't, especially when budgets are tight. It was never going to be a walk in the park, I just underestimated how difficult I would find it.

Hence the review to warn other people that they can be unpleasant.

Kind Regards