"My daughter who's under CAMHS"

About: NHS 111 Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – Community(County)

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter was displaying very worrying behaviour - refusing to eat, hiding under bed and saying she didn't want to live her life. Concerned as she also talked about wanting to die.

Phoned CAMHS but as it was bank holiday I got a recorded message saying to call my GP.

I did that and another recorded message said no out of hours service so phone 111.

Phoned 111, took 10 mins to get through was told we were 'high priority' and would receive call back ASAP. By this time daughter even more distressed so managed to persuade her to come out from under bed and my husband dropped us at A+E.

We were seen very quickly by Dr. who also tried to contact CAMHS. Eventually we were told to wait to see on call psychiatrist who could be hours.

No one at hospital had access to my daughters notes so we had to go through her history several times.

Eventually we were taken up to a ward some 5 hours later. On call psychiatrist tried to talk to us in the busy ward but I insisted on privacy.

Taken to a room where Dr informed us that they were an adult psychiatrist. They then asked my daughter a series of painful and inappropriate questions even though I had explained her history. They also answered their phone 5 times and took a consultation about somebody's anti psychotic medication with a nurse while we remained in the room. They complained about their over busy schedule and joked about whether or not they would make it through their shift.

The whole consultation was a terrifying experience for my fragile and young daughter, and only when we were about to leave the hospital did I find the courage to make a complaint.

A caring and reassuring registrar then apologised and insisted we saw a CAMHS Dr. Although we had to wait a further hour and my daughter was desperate to return home, I felt we still needed help which after around 7hours in hospital we had yet to receive.

The Dr. we did end up seeing was a CAMHS specialist and our short time with her made all the difference.

I am now considering making a complaint to the hospital.

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Response from Team leader, CAMHS South, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS trust

Dear “Nurture”

Thank you for sharing your feedback about the service you received over the Bank Holiday when your daughter was so obviously unwell, it must have been very worrying for you as a family.

Your recent experience and difficulties gaining access to the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (C.A.M.H.S.) during the Bank Holiday period was clearly unacceptable. I am very sorry for the problems that both you, and your daughter have experienced. The comments you made about the behaviour of staff and the terrifying experience you mention has been noted and your posting has been passed on to our colleagues in Adult Mental Health for comment as it is not part of the C.A.M.H.S Service.

However, I am pleased that the registrar was kind and caring and when you finally saw a C.A.M.H.S. professional your concerns were dealt with and it made a difference.. We do appreciate feedback good and bad as it is the only way to improve services so thank you for taking the time to share your story.

If you are still considering making a complaint or want a chat about the experience in more detail I can recommend our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (P.A.L.S.) who would be more than happy to speak to you.

It’s confidential and you can be assured they will listen.

You can contact PALS in the following ways:

Phone: 0800 015 3367

Email: PALS@nottshc.nhs.uk

Write to:

Patient Advice and Liaison Service

Moorgreen House

Highbury Hospital


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