"Lack of support for my alcoholic, suicidal brother from the crisis team "

About: Barnet Hospital / Accident and emergency Barnet, Enfield And Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust / Adult mental health

(as a relative),

My brother has been alcohol dependant for many years. Despite this, he is a lovely man. As we all know, this as an illness and it causes many problems to the body and mind. He so wants to get his life back but lately he has become very depressed and feels suicidal. He cannot see an end to it.

About 1am on a midweek morning, he was in such a state so my brother and my mum took a taxi to Barnet General. He was seen by a very nice doctor who understood the illness. After hearing about his suicide thoughts he arranged to send him to The Chase Building at Chase Farm Hospital. He arrived there at 6am. It was hours before he saw anybody. They did give him some medication and he was told the crisis team would see him about 8pm. As you can imagine, he was very agitated and was feeling very ill. He was left there for 19 hours. I don't think you would leave an animal in pain that long.

We appreciate that there are many people in need of help but this time span was unacceptable. It was gone 1am when a woman from the crisis team finally turned up. He told her that he was suicidal and desperately needed help. Her answer was they could do nothing to help him and that he should go back to the alcohol abuse centre at Edgeware. He had waited 24 hours just to hear this.

I don't know how he got through the day. He walked away in disgust and despair. All the adverts for mental health tell you to ask for help but there seems little point if you don't get it. We now have the worry of what my brother will do to himself. How many other people have taken their lives because they were refused hospital treatment? It doesn't bear thinking about.

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Response from Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust

Dear Angeldust,

We are sorry to hear that you are not satisfied with the service. We are keen to find out what happened. As Patient Opinion posts are anonymous, if you would like to discuss this further, can you please contact the Crisis Team on 020 8375 1122. Please leave your contact details with the receptionist. The Crisis Team Manager, Gerard Comey, will contact you to discuss your concerns.

Many thanks,


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