"Disappointed by my local health services"

About: Central Lancashire PCT Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust / Adult mental health Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust / Community physiotherapy Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust / Primary care mental health

(as the patient),

I have been referred to mental health services first about 5 years ago. I have been given cbt, counselling, group therapy for self esteem. None of these worked on me and I was discharged on each occasion back to my gp, who hasn't been good at dealing with mental health issues.

I was treated awfully by doctors, who told me I had nothing wrong with me and each one made me feel worse each time I saw them. The main point here is that the nhs finds it hard to give a proper diagnosis of a mental health condition. They sent me to different buildings on 5 different occasions, because therapist could not ring or text me to alter the venue, which was constantly changed.

I was assessed on the phone this year and it took the person about 3 minutes to make a diagnosis! I was then referred to a charity for counselling because I could access this in 3 weeks, and guess what 6 months later I got a counselling appt.

Once I was seen, I found the counsellors were poor, not private at all, and I found it hard to believe this service is from NHS. I then rang up to complain and was told I had to see my GP again to access mental health services. I complained by letter and am presently waiting an appt to see if they can make a diagnosis properly.

Overall, I have found my local mental health service to be very bad and it has not helped me at all and I think needs looking at again and again. My GPs need educating in mental health and patient care. Also, my GPs handed out drugs to me, but took me off them without any back up or help.

I was referred to physio dept about 18 months ago for my back and went to see physio at coppull clinic. I was told they would ring me for some treatment and guess I am still waiting. I really think the communication skills and organisation needs addressing.

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Response from Steven Edwards, Manager, Strategic Planning, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

Dear gray49

I am very sorry to hear that your experience of the service provided over the last 5 years has been poor and that the different interventions have not worked. It seems that you have been receiving services in Central Lancashire where treatments for common mental health problems are only just coming online in a fuller way with the introduction of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme. We would expect this service to take a year to ‘bed-in’ and we are currently working with our commissioners to improve both the coverage and quality of the service.

I can only apologise that accessing the service has resulted in a poor experience for you due to changes in venues and difficulties in contact and this is something we are aiming to address through the development of an improved Single Point of Access which places service users at the centre of the care they receive.

If you would be willing I would like to take the time to understand your case in more detail both so we can improve services for everyone but also so that we can understand and address your personal situation. In light of this if you would like to take this further please email me at john.herring@lancashirecare.nhs.uk or contact Steven Edwards from the Trust's Service Experience Team at steven.edwards@lancashirecare.nhs.uk.

We very much want to hear more about what you have been through so we can improve the quality of our services. Many thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

John Herring

Acting Assistant Network Director

Adult Mental Health

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

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