"Left with very little support"

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

(as the patient),

I live in North Leeds and have had very good support since I was last sectioned over two years ago. However, since the changes made in the community and the extraordinary number of absences I have been left with what feels like nothing, except a call from some person who I believe revealed confidential medical information to the person who answered my phone.

I raised a complaint recently, but will not get a visit due to another person off sick.

Fair enough I was asked what I needed, but having just woken up with no memory of what I did yesterday evening, except that I had wet myself, the dog had been in bed with me and I had left the cooker on, with a burnt pan still on it, I was in no state to answer reasonably.

I am terrified.

By the way I have never used illegal drugs, nor am I an alcoholic. I live on my own, but have two very anxious children.

I do my very best to pretend all is well.

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Response from Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dear lostielost,

It’s genuinely difficult to know where to begin with a response to your posting, as you raise so many issues that I can completely understand that you are feeling overwhelmed, let down and as you say, terrified.

As Associate Medical Director for adult services I’d like to begin by hopefully stating the obvious and saying that this is not a story which should end with this reply.

There are very practical things which clearly need to be looked into: the level of support you are currently receiving from the Trust, the impact our recent changes have had on your individual care, and your worry that confidential information has been shared with another person.

And so firstly I want to apologise for your more recent experience of our services, as it sounds like we were getting things right for you until a little while ago. However as these are practical, service-based issues, I would like to see them actually addressed rather than just apologised for.

You mention having made a complaint recently, and it may be that these investigations are already under way. Nevertheless I would implore you to make contact with our Patient Advice & Liaison Service so we can make sure this is happening.

PALS can be contacted on 0800 0525790 or on pals.lypft@nhs.net during office hours.

Service issues notwithstanding, it’s impossible to read your posting and not be concerned about your overall wellbeing. You talk about doing your best to pretend that all is well, even though things are clearly very difficult at the moment. Sadly I think this is something that will resonate with a lot of people, particularly at this time of year.

But I am genuinely confident that this situation can be looked into for you, and hopeful that it can be improved. I also admit to feeling some frustration that there is only so much we can do in a Patient Opinion response.

But it’s important that I use it to stress that, should you find yourself in a crisis situation, then please use our new Single Point of Access number 0300 300 1485 to reach out of hours services.

You may also already be aware of the Connect Helpline and Dial House, excellent local crisis prevention and support services who also operate out of hours. Their details are here: http://www.lslcs.org.uk/

I’d like to thank you for taking the time to share such an honest account of your situation here on Patient Opinion. It was not easy for us to read, but it’s vital that we hear people’s real experiences so that as well as helping you, we can use them to improve our services.

Returning to my first point I really don’t wish this to be the end of the story, so do consider contacting us either through your team’s manager, or through PALS.

Finally, please accept my wishes for a safe and peaceful Christmas, and I sincerely hope that the Trust can work together with you to see some positive changes in 2013.

Yours sincerely,

Guy Brookes

Associate Medical Director for Adult Services

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust