"Seeing too many CPNs from Crisis Team"

About: Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust / Working age mental health care (community)

(as the patient),

I unfortunately experienced a severe breakdown last year. I was grateful to Health in Mind for a timely assessment and appropriate sign-posting to the Crisis Team.

I received a prompt and thorough assessment by the Crisis team but unfortunately things did not continue in such a good vein. I was under the care of the Crisis Team for three weeks. During that time I saw 12 different CPNs, there was no continuity of care and I couldn't build any trust with them. I desperately required continuity and trust in order to communicate my troubling thoughts.

I was not strong enough at the time to voice my concerns about the number of CPNs involved in my care, but I was fortunate enough to have a friend to advocate for me. But, unfortunately despite her request for less CPNs to be involved, this fell on deaf ears.

I unfortunately took an overdose (7 days into the care with the team), which I had managed to communicate to the duty worker on the day. A CPN visited me at home (another different one who I hadn't meet before) but took no action to ensure my safety and left without assisting me, without notifying my agreed friend for contact in emergencies. As a result, I was found collapsed (hypothermic, hypotensive & unconscious) in my street by a neighbour who telephoned for an ambulance.

I have reflected on my experience over the 10-12 months and only now to I feel able to be more objective. I believe the Crisis Team is a very valuable service. And maybe I do not appreciate fully what a challenging caseload it manages. But, if I could request one thing, that would be, please reduce the number of CPNs involved with a particular patient.

I think then, a better working relationship would develop to enable the patient to communicate there troubles more easily and for the CPN to notice and subsequently manage a critical episode more competently.

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Response from Rachael Kenny, Head of Involvement, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

I am very sorry that you had this experience and thank you for taking the time to let us know your thoughts about it - you have given a very reasoned and helpful description of what was clearly a difficult period of your life. I appreciate the energy that this must have taken and hope that you are continuing to recover.

I am going to pass your story to the manager of the crisis team in East Sussex so that they are able to consider what happened to you

If you would like to follow up on this or have a conversation with them directly please let me know my email is rachael.kenny@sussexpartnership.nhs.uk

Kind regards

Rachael Kenny

Patient and Public Involvement Manager

Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

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