"Wigan - Home Treatment Team"

About: North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

(as the patient),

After much deliberation, and after overcoming the fear of ringing the number on the acute care pathway I was rewarded with a practitioner that I would describe as unfriendly, dismissive, unhelpful and generally unsympathetic. In my opinion, this person's whole general attitude was - why are you calling us?

It is interesting that due to lack of intervention at this stage, the police officers that were later called by a concerned friend had more time, compassion, and seemingly more knowledge and training than the so called specialist I spoke to.

I have heard countless horror stories about crisis lines, and like many of my peers, I have vowed to never risk calling them again.

PS Well done to the police officers, they had the time - even on a busy saturday night to actually care about my safety. Perhaps we could train some of our nurse practitoner's on police courses.

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Response from Katherine Earlam, PALS Officer, 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Trust

I am sorry to hear that you received such an unsatisfactory and unhelpful response from this individual practitioner. I would like to assure you that we take a complaint of this nature very seriously as the response you describe is in direct contravention of several of the core elements of our five Trust Values.

We make every effort to ensure that all our staff are polite and endeavour to be helpful during any contact, not only with service users and carers, but also with any other member of the public.

I would therefore invite you to contact me directly with further details of this particular incident to enable me identify the particular member of staff so that I can ensure relevant training and support is offered and any future contact meets our Trust’s expected standards of behaviour.

You can contact my secretary on the telephone number below in order to arrange a mutually convenient time to discuss this issue in more detail.

Cheryl Forrest, Matron, Adult Services, Wigan & Leigh.

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Update posted by Cameron (the patient)

I have been in acute dental pain throughout the weekend - which has caused my mental health to hit rock bottom.

I spoke to a practitioner on the home treatment team at about 4AM Sunday morning - who advised me someone may be available to attend the dentist with me - as I was absolutely terrified. I was advised to ring in the morning, but when I got through, I was told there was only one person in the office and no-one could come with me.

I wasn't surprised to hear this - but it would have been nice to get a little support, as my CPN doesn't work weekends.