"My great community psychiatrist at Malham House"

About: Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health

(as the patient),

My community psychiatrist has known me for 12 years. I am due to give a talk to Portsmouth NHS next week on my recovery, what helped and what didn't. I have dedicated a whole powerpoint slide on behalf of this doctor (but haven't mentioned her name)

The reason why is because Portsmouth NHS are now focusing on recovery and involving Peer Support Workers.

Recovery seems to be a new concept but my doctor naturally does this and has been doing it since I've known her.

She always focuses on strengths rather than just my symptoms, always focuses on wellness rather than illness whilst being sensitive to how I felt, good or bad. When I felt suicidal she reminded me that recovery does happen and the next time I saw her I had started to make a massive step towards recovery, she always took time to listen to me and I always felt that she took a real interest in what I was saying. The words she said to me and the way she acknowledged me was always with compassion and understanding. She always encouraged me and always remembered the things I said to her in the past and took a real interest in my work and volunteering. She always was encouraging and restored my faith to go back into work which I will find fulfilling - she always took an interest in how I was keeping myself well, always asked me about the charity I was supporting and was interested in talking about how mindfulness was helping me - she respected that I needed to take control of how I stay well and encouraged me to look at alternative therapies, she was pleased that I had got into mindfulness. She respected my decision to have minimal or no medication and was always cautious in prescribing me anything always saying that I usually recover quickly by myself - due to this positive attitude that she had for me - I then believed that I could get better, which helped me take more responsibility.

She sees beyond your illness, she sees people as individuals, respects their decisions, and really makes time to listen with compassion.

There isn't many doctors like her and I'm gutted I didn't get a chance to give her some flowers - so I hope this message gets to her instead as well as her manager.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Agent for Change,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments here on Patient Opinion. It is particularly pertinent that you write this at a time when you are reflecting on your experiences and the positive steps you have made.

It’s also fantastic that you will be able to describe such caring practice and such a positive, holistic approach to a group of health professionals.

I think the point you make about your psychiatrist adopting a “recovery” focus is a hugely important one, as it illustrates that mental health care is not just a science but relies on people taking an interested and individual approach. It really sounds like your psychiatrist saw you as a whole person and treated you as such.

You haven’t mentioned the psychiatrist’s name, but from your description I think I can identify her and will certainly pass on your comments - I am sure they will be much appreciated!

I note that you’ve been asked to give your presentation because Portsmouth NHS is now adopting a recovery focussed approach, including the appointment of peer support workers.

I'm therefore very pleased to be able to tell you that here in Leeds, we too hope to introduce peer support workers next year. We also currently have a dedicated recovery project, working to embed those vital principles which you mention into every part of our services.

Again, thank you for giving us such great feedback, and for sharing your story with a new audience who I hope will be influenced by your experience.

In fact, our annual Trust campaign next year is ‘Sharing Stories’, with the aims of challenging stigma, championing recovery and sharing good practice. We’d love to have as many people involved as possible, and individuals around the Trust have remarked upon the value of your story. So if you’d be interested in sharing your experiences locally please do drop a line to communications. lypft@nhs. net.

I wish you the very best of luck with your presentation, and thank you once again for sharing your story both with us, and with the wider mental health community.

Best wishes,

Guy Brookes

Associate Medical Director for Adult Mental Health Services

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust