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NHS and their way of dealing with mental health patients: Something isn't right.

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I am posting this here mainly because I regard myself as fairly anonymous on this site and it's the only place I feel comfortable venting about this kind of thing.

- For the last week or so, I have been suicidal.
- This afternoon I called NHS Direct, which is a service that the general public can use to get advice about illness/injury etc.
- NHS Direct got an out of hours doctor to ring me.
- The out of hours doctor sent another doctor round to my house for an initial assessment.
- This doctor decided I needed to go to A&E for an emergency psych assessment and admission to hospital.
- I waited at A&E for around 2 hours, but instead of a psychiatrist, a member of the crisis team talked to me.
- We talked for about an hour and a half, and then she told me there weren't any free beds and sent me home.



It just doesn't make sense to me. I am back at home, still suicidal (feeling worse if anything), because there are no beds. Mental health has to be the only area of medicine where if there isn't a free bed they just send you home. Any other illness, they would FIND a bed somewhere, MAKE space for you. They wouldn't send you home with a broken arm without setting it in plaster. Why should mental illness be any different? Is it OK for me to kill myself now, because they haven't got any room for me? It is a fatal flaw in the system (literally).

I have lost all faith in the NHS tonight. It was very difficult for me to pick up the phone in the first place, and then tell about 5 different people that I'm suicidal. I have got nothing out of it except stress, worry and humiliation. It was the first and the last time I will "ask for help".
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Comments

  1. Chiharu's Avatar
    Is there a kids help phone # in the UK? Your abit older then a kid but with your difficulties you shouldnt feel bad using that line of support.
  2. Loopygone's Avatar
    I suggest ringing the samertans.

    Its a shame that the NHS is over stretched as a service. The person assessing you had to make a call. That call would of been either to send you to a psych hospital, where you'd be kept for a while. Or to send you home, telling you to see a doctor in the morning to discuss your issues, and hopefully help you out with out you taking up valuble bed space.

    The NHS is over stretched but its still a good system. The fact that you were able to phone up, get seen, have a professional make that descisision all with out being asked for your credit card number shows that.
  3. crazykittensmile's Avatar
    What an awful experience! I agree with you that the NHS is severely lacking when it comes to mental health - when I was 17 I went to see my GP with regards to my eating disorder, my GP weighed me etc and said I was dangerously underweight and needed to be seen by a doctor trained in working with people with eating disorders right away. I was told they would phone me later and I would need to meet the doctor that day to discuss things. They later phoned me and told me that the only doctor they had in the county to deal with eating disorders was trained in adults, and as I was under 18 I was too young to see them and there was nothing they could do for me. I was left to deal with it on my own, and luckily I had a good support network of friends and over time they eventually managed to get me to start eating properly, but with no thanks to the NHS.

    If you feel like you can then issue a formal complaint - there is no way a person who feels low enough to be considering suicide should be treated with anything other than compassion, and certainly shouldn't be left to deal with things on their own. Do your parents know how you're feeling? As hard as it may be to confide in them you really need to let them know how you're feeling so that you are not alone. You have mentioned a key worker before as well, is there anyway you can contact your key worker and let him know how you feel? He may also be able to find you the support you need that the NHS failed to offer you - please don't let this negative experience stop you from asking for the help you need.

    As I'm sure you know feeling suicidal is horrible, but it's not a state of mind that you can't get out of, with the proper support. I'm horrified that after you actively sought out support you were not given it, but please don't think that means you can't ask again, or somewhere else. I know it's not fair that after the stress, worry and humiliation you have already been through you should need to go through it again to get the support you need, and the NHS has severely failed you in this case, but there is support for you out there and I would hope if you can bear to try again you will find it.

    I hope you are okay, and if you don't feel that you can reach out to your parents I am glad you feel able to reach out to us here. If you ever need to talk about anything do feel free to PM me.

    Jess x
  4. acorn's Avatar
    I think that you may have inadvertently slipped through the cracks in the system in this instance. I also think that it is more vital that you should look to get your current situation clarified rather than complain.

    What you did, as you stated, may be the way that a new patient would connect with the system. I suspect that, you may have gone about dealing with this the wrong way (wrong way, for the way the system works) and as a result did not get the assistance that you desired/required.


    I stand to be corrected but I do believe that;
    [LIST][*]You are already registered in the system and have been allocated a Social/Key-worker.[*]You need to contact this Key-worker and get the help you require from him/her.[/LIST]Seriously; contact this worker for help now and, also establish what procedure to follow should this situation arise again.
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