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Complaint letter about my MHT

shaun3210

shaun3210

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
1,805
Location
Up North
Here is a letter I worked on with my advocates this afternoon, I wanted to type it in my own words so they left me to it:
The Manger of the mental health team.

Dear Sir,
I initially went to see my GP who I had not seen for well over 12 months in October 2008. I had not seen him prior to that for over twelve months whilst I was still attending The Red House psychotherapy service where I was in the 5 day a week therapeutic community. I struggled with the environment in the unit as I found it quite aggressive and angry which affected my mental health quite badly and I left after 4 months.
For a period of around 12 months afterwards I was very depressed, suicidal at times and rarely left the house unless absolutely necessary. I would just go out to the shops late at night and went weeks on end without talking to anybody face to face.

When I finely worked up the courage to go and see my GP again he referred me to the mental health team.

I had my first meeting with P on 5/12/08 at the mental health team’s offices. I talked quite a bit and I left feeling quite positive and an appointment was made for a home visit on or around the 18/12/08.

I was not feeling very good on the day of the visit (if I’m honest). Christmas time is never a good time for me. She brought another female with her, which was unexpected, and whilst I can appreciate with hindsight that this is done for safety reasons, a warning would have been helpful.
I might have come across as defensive and very short with them, as this was the first time I had let anybody over my doorstep in over 6 months. This was quite a short meeting and no empathy was shown to the fact that I was struggling with the fact I had visitors in my home after such a long gap. The female who came with my CPN just said I was good at talking after I explained how hard I found having them there and dealing with the build up to Christmas. An appointment was made for another home visit on 6/1/09.

The appointment for the 6th was cancelled on the 5th due to P being ill and I did not hear anything more. I rang several times only to be told, she was on a days leave or she was out the office and I was told she would ring me back, but she never did.

I rang again on 9/3/09 and was told again she was out the office but I insisted I wanted to talk to someone.
About 5 minutes later a female from the duty team rang me back and I explained my fears and that I was worried I might have been discharged due to the way I had been at the last visit. After looking at my details she assured me that I hadn’t and that I “appeared to have slipped through the cracks” and she also went onto say she sits at the next desk to P and would get her to ring me the following day. There was no call.

I tried again on the 17/3/09 and finely got through! I explained how unhappy and worried I was about not hearing from her and asked if it had been my fault because how I had been on the pervious visit? She explained that it wasn’t and that she had a large backlog due to the time she had taken off work and that she may need to go in for surgery and might have to go off work again. She then told me about a scheme which will offer me support and we would talk about this more when she next saw me. She went on to say how she thought talk therapies would not be much good to me. I was taken aback by this and disagreed with it. This then led her to say that we should be more interested in my being able to function better on a day to day basis and being able to get out the house more. I then felt I had no choice in this whilst it was never said, I felt this was the only option open to me. An appointment was made for 31/3/09.

At that appointment she came with a social worker called Pa (can’t remember the surname) There was no pleasantries or asking how I had been since the last visit.
The social worker talked a lot about my time in the therapeutic community and he asked me who had referred me and who funded it. He stated he had wanted to get a couple of people in there but couldn’t get funding for it.
I was then informed I would be moved onto Community Restart Scheme and P told me I would be getting discharged from her in the next 6 weeks, explaining that she felt she could still be coming to visit me in 5 years time and didn’t think it would do me any good.
The social worker also said I would be getting discharged from him when I was under the care of the Restart scheme. An appointment was made for 23/4/09.
In the days that followed that appointment I was left feeling very low, I didn’t like the way the social worker talked down to me, I felt an inch tall in my own front room and a bit stupid and also that I had also wasted everybody’s time in leaving the therapeutic community early around 18 months earlier and that I didn’t deserve anymore chances at getting any help.

At the meeting on the 23/04/09 the appointment was for 2pm. They turned up at 1.45 whilst I was eating at the time and I apologised and said I wasn’t expecting then to be early. They responded that they had an emergency at 2pm so they came early. Again there were no pleasantries or discussion on how I was. The social worker just seemed to want me on the back foot from the start. I sat there and took it for about 5 minutes. I think he was trying to get me to agree that I had a personality disorder? He was also talking to me like I had a really low IQ again.

I wasn’t feeling too bad that day and decided to try to stand up for myself a bit more. I let him know I wasn’t happy with the treatment I was getting from them and the fact they were making decisions and trying to push me into things when it was quite apparent they knew so little about me. His reply to that was along the lines of “that’s how things work these days”.
He asked me to “tell us if you think we are doing a bad job” I didn’t reply directly to this but I stated that I this was only the second time I had asked for professional help with my mental health issues since I was 18, and that I considered the fact that I was still here at all with the state I was in after I left The Red House a positive thing. However, I was not able to carry on as things were at the moment and that I couldn’t get myself out of it on my own. I also queried their views regarding the “no talk therapies” and they suggested a local charity Maundy Grange that does one on one counselling which could work along side the Restart scheme. The social worker rang them and an appointment was made for the following Saturday.
He commented on the fact I had got quite animated at one stage and my reply was along the lines “Well I felt I had to say something and that I wasn’t being listen to!”

I was told to ring the following week after I had been to the charity. No follow up appointment was made. I rang on the Monday to let them know how I had got on and the social worker rang me back on Wednesday morning and I informed him that I would be attending one on one counselling there, He informed me that he was leaving that Friday so wouldn’t be seeing me again and wished me luck.
I have not heard anything from the mental health team since so assuming I have been discharged?

This was my first dealings with the mental health team since the age of 18 and I genuinely hope this is not a reflection of the way people in general are treated by your organisation. Their lack of common courtesy made me feel like a 2nd class citizen.
I have found the whole experience of dealing with them very negative and damaging at times and it has caused me to question myself endlessly as to whether I was being too demanding or unreasonable in anyway.

I made it very clear about my struggles to get out the house and my problems with dealing with people directly and at a time when I was feeling vulnerable and fragile the best that could be offered was one on one counselling from a charity that was over 10 miles from my home.

I am feeling very up and down at the moment but I must say I am feeling better and more positive than I did 6 months ago but I am acutely aware of the fact I could slip back and could need further support from the mental health team but after my recent dealings with them I feel very nervous about that fact.
Please feel free to investigate and look into my mental health records to verify the facts. I would be interested to know if you think whether I have been treated in a decent manner?

Yours faithfully

PS Pxxxx.
Any comments or errors? before I email it to the advocates???

Cheers:)
 
G

GrizzlyBear

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
971
Here is a letter I worked on with my advocates this afternoon, I wanted to type it in my own words so they left me to it:


Any comments or errors? before I email it to the advocates???

Cheers:)
I have highlighted the mistakes I saw. I hope this is what you wanted? Apart from this I understand that short letters are more likely to receive the attention they deserve. This may not be fair...but it's often the case.

Sometimes it is possible to edit without losing things that need to be said - because sometimes we repeat ourselves. I didn't have time to give the letter much attention....but I hope I have helped if only a little.

Good luck.

Grizzly
.............................................................................................

The Manager of the mental health team.

Dear Sir,
I initially went to see my GP who I had not seen for well over 12 months in October 2008. I had not seen him prior to that for over twelve months whilst I was still attending The Red House psychotherapy service where I was in the 5 day a week therapeutic community. I struggled with the environment in the unit as I found it quite aggressive and angry which affected my mental health quite badly and I left after 4 months.
For a period of around 12 months afterwards I was very depressed, suicidal at times and rarely left the house unless absolutely necessary. I would just go out to the shops late at night and went weeks on end without talking to anybody face to face.

When I finely worked up the courage to go and see my GP again he referred me to the mental health team.

I had my first meeting with P on 5/12/08 at the mental health team’s offices. I talked quite a bit and I left feeling quite positive and an appointment was made for a home visit on or around the 18/12/08.

I was not feeling very good on the day of the visit (if I’m honest). Christmas time is never a good time for me. She brought another female with her, which was unexpected, and whilst I can appreciate with hindsight that this is done for safety reasons, a warning would have been helpful.
I might have come across as defensive and very short with them, as this was the first time I had let anybody over my doorstep in over 6 months. This was quite a short meeting and no empathy was shown to the fact that I was struggling with the fact I had visitors in my home after such a long gap. The female who came with my CPN just said I was good at talking after I explained how hard I found having them there and dealing with the build up to Christmas. An appointment was made for another home visit on 6/1/09.

The appointment for the 6th was cancelled on the 5th due to P being ill and I did not hear anything more. I rang several times only to be told, she was on a days leave or she was out the office and I was told she would ring me back, but she never did.

I rang again on 9/3/09 and was told again she was out the office but I insisted I wanted to talk to someone.
About 5 minutes later a female from the duty team rang me back and I explained my fears and that I was worried I might have been discharged due to the way I had been at the last visit. After looking at my details she assured me that I hadn’t and that I “appeared to have slipped through the cracks” and she also went onto say she sits at the next desk to P and would get her to ring me the following day. There was no call.

I tried again on the 17/3/09 and finally got through! I explained how unhappy and worried I was about not hearing from her and asked if it had been my fault because how I had been on the previous visit? She explained that it wasn’t and that she had a large backlog due to the time she had taken off work and that she may need to go in for surgery and might have to go off work again. She then told me about a scheme which will offer me support and we would talk about this more when she next saw me. She went on to say how she thought talk therapies would not be much good to me. I was taken aback by this and disagreed with it. This then led her to say that we should be more interested in my being able to function better on a day to day basis and being able to get out the house more. I then felt I had no choice in this whilst it was never said, I felt this was the only option open to me. An appointment was made for 31/3/09.

At that appointment she came with a social worker called Pa (can’t remember the surname) There was no pleasantries or asking how I had been since the last visit.
The social worker talked a lot about my time in the therapeutic community and he asked me who had referred me and who funded it. He stated he had wanted to get a couple of people in there but couldn’t get funding for it.
I was then informed I would be moved onto Community Restart Scheme and P told me I would be getting discharged from her in the next 6 weeks, explaining that she felt she could still be coming to visit me in 5 years time and didn’t think it would do me any good.
The social worker also said I would be getting discharged from him when I was under the care of the Restart scheme. An appointment was made for 23/4/09.
In the days that followed that appointment I was left feeling very low, I didn’t like the way the social worker talked down to me, I felt an inch tall in my own front room and a bit stupid and also that I had also wasted everybody’s time in leaving the therapeutic community early around 18 months earlier and that I didn’t deserve anymore chances at getting any help.

At the meeting on the 23/04/09 the appointment was for 2pm. They turned up at 1.45 whilst I was eating at the time and I apologised and said I wasn’t expecting then to be early. They responded that they had an emergency at 2pm so they came early. Again there were no pleasantries or discussion on how I was. The social worker just seemed to want me on the back foot from the start. I sat there and took it for about 5 minutes. I think he was trying to get me to agree that I had a personality disorder? He was also talking to me like I had a really low IQ again.

I wasn’t feeling too bad that day and decided to try to stand up for myself a bit more. I let him know I wasn’t happy with the treatment I was getting from them and the fact they were making decisions and trying to push me into things when it was quite apparent they knew so little about me. His reply to that was along the lines of “that’s how things work these days”.
He asked me to “tell us if you think we are doing a bad job” I didn’t reply directly to this but I stated that I this was only the second time I had asked for professional help with my mental health issues since I was 18, and that I considered the fact that I was still here at all with the state I was in after I left The Red House a positive thing. However, I was not able to carry on as things were at the moment and that I couldn’t get myself out of it on my own. I also queried their views regarding the “no talk therapies” and they suggested a local charity Maundy Grange that does one on one counselling which could work along side the Restart scheme. The social worker rang them and an appointment was made for the following Saturday.
He commented on the fact I had got quite animated at one stage and my reply was along the lines “Well I felt I had to say something and that I wasn’t being listened to!”

I was told to ring the following week after I had been to the charity. No follow up appointment was made. I rang on the Monday to let them know how I had got on and the social worker rang me back on Wednesday morning and I informed him that I would be attending one on one counselling there. He informed me that he was leaving that Friday so wouldn’t be seeing me again and wished me luck.
I have not heard anything from the mental health team since so assuming I have been discharged?

This was my first dealings with the mental health team since the age of 18 and I genuinely hope this is not a reflection of the way people in general are treated by your organisation. Their lack of common courtesy made me feel like a 2nd class citizen.
I have found the whole experience of dealing with them very negative and damaging at times and it has caused me to question myself endlessly as to whether I was being too demanding or unreasonable in anyway.

I made it very clear about my struggles to get out the house and my problems with dealing with people directly and at a time when I was feeling vulnerable and fragile the best that could be offered was one on one counselling from a charity that was over 10 miles from my home.

I am feeling very up and down at the moment but I must say I am feeling better and more positive than I did 6 months ago but I am acutely aware of the fact I could slip back and could need further support from the mental health team but after my recent dealings with them I feel very nervous about that fact.
Please feel free to investigate and look into my mental health records to verify the facts. I would be interested to know if you think whether I have been treated in a decent manner?

Yours faithfully

PS Pxxxx.
 
shaun3210

shaun3210

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
1,805
Location
Up North
That’s great Grizzly with my dyslexia I never notice errors such as slightly misspelled words and often end up with the wrong word that looks the same as the correct word to me, until its pointed out :p lol

The advocates said the more details the better as it helps paint a better picture, plus it will say "this letter was helped to be drawn up by themselves" I forget the exact wording, but it makes it harder for it to be ignored.
 
G

GrizzlyBear

Well-known member
Founding Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2008
Messages
971
I thought they were just typos rather than spelling errors - couldn't tell you were dyslexic anyway! (y)

That's a pretty good letter so if the advocates think details are important, I'm sure they know from experience what gets the best results.

Good luck, again. :flowers:
 
shaun3210

shaun3210

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
1,805
Location
Up North
The spell checker in Word gets quite a hammering on my comp and I'm pretty sure it has noticed!:study: lol

Thanks again :)

 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
I think that is a great letter Shaun! Hopefully it will make them sit up and think about how they have treated you.

I hope you get some good results from it, and that you finally get treated seriously and with courtesy, dignity and respect, as anyone recieving should.
 
ms_P

ms_P

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Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Messages
3,067
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BeNeLux
The best of luck to you, Shaun. :flowers:
On occasion in the past I've needed to stand up for something that was just plain wrong with the mental health care system and I didn't have the emotional fortitude at the time to carry through with it. Now I have people in my corner who can help me fight.
(((SUCCESS!)))
P.
xxx
 
shaun3210

shaun3210

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
1,805
Location
Up North
Thanks guys :) it’s in the post today so fingers crossed!
 
L

lonelyandlost

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Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
233
Location
Bradford
Very good letter
Good Luck with it all
Fingers crossed for you
 
J

Jolene

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2009
Messages
24
Location
Hampshire
I don't like mh very much the shrink I've got to see weekly but there supposed to check me up every week. Was supposed to have an appointment with different shrink today he couldn't even be bothered to, I really needed to talk to someone to as I was getting suicidal thoughts last night and in destress the other night and my shrink said I wouldn't get side effects from my meds guess he was worng there.

:hug:

Good luck with letter :)
 
shaun3210

shaun3210

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Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
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Location
Up North
I got a reply back this morning about this:
Dear Mr Pxxxxxx,

I acknowledge your letter forwarded to us by Burnley CMHT received 2 July 2009 by the Compliments & Complaints Department about the care and treatment you have received. I was very sorry to read of your concerns and the fact that you have had to complain about out service. Thank you for contacting the Trust and allowing use to help.

Please find enclosed your letter of complaint, could you please sign this and return it to us as soon as possible in the pre-paid envelope provided for your convenience.

In the meantime, Mr Sxxxx Pxxxx Assistant Network Director for East Lancashire, will instruct an investigation, you will receive a written reply from the Chief Executive. You should receive this reply within 25 business working days. The care and treatment we provide will not be affected by your complaint and there is a clear expectation of staff regarding this.

Should you need any independent help or advice on making your complaint, ICAS (Independent Complaints Advocacy Service) can help you. They can be contacted on xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

I enclose a copy of our complaints leaflet for your information.

Yours sincerely

xxxxxxx
Well guess I will have to just wait and see...
 
ms_P

ms_P

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Messages
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Not much of a reply, is it? :( I hope I'm wrong and it will not get lost in the shuffle.
 
S

*Sapphire*

Guest
Hey they are starting an investigation Shaun, that sounds good! A letter from the Chief Exec too?! Ooh.

I like the way they say your care will not be affected...you never know it might be affected but in a good way that they will actually treat you as you should be treated! lol!

What I would do now is keep a diary of any dealings you have with them, noting your experiences, feelings, whether they keep appts etc. In case they mess up again, in the meantime.

I hope it all goes well matey. :)
 
shaun3210

shaun3210

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Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
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Location
Up North
Not much of a reply, is it? :( I hope I'm wrong and it will not get lost in the shuffle.
Think it will just be a standard letter MS P,will have to see when the investigation is done :)
Hey they are starting an investigation Shaun, that sounds good! A letter from the Chief Exec too?! Ooh.

I like the way they say your care will not be affected...you never know it might be affected but in a good way that they will actually treat you as you should be treated! lol!

What I would do now is keep a diary of any dealings you have with them, noting your experiences, feelings, whether they keep appts etc. In case they mess up again, in the meantime.

I hope it all goes well matey. :)
Well sapphire that would be a short diary ...I haven't heard anything from them since 24/4 lol but luckily my blog here has been invaluable in my past dealing with them and dates etc.

Cheers :)
 
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