Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Dancing with myself

I used that title because that is how I feel right now. That in spite of the letter, which I have copied below, I am back on me todd, wishing for a service, or sets of, that are supportive, reactive in a positive way and do help people when historically what I, my father and friends get is medication and lip service.

The redeeming feature in MH services for both my father and I are our support workers. Although, recently mine keeps missing appointments and yesterday got someone else to cancel with a promise that they would ring in the afternoon and didn't. Not looking good there. And my father only sees his twice a week now and really he needs alot more interaction and support than that.

Anyway, am going off on a tangent because of the mass of negative reinforcement I am feeling in regards to MH services.

Here is the letter I sent in repsonse to the one I received from BLPT. It isn't totally together because I am not but I think it says what it has to.

Dear ......

Thank you for your letter including details of what we discussed at the meeting on 15th September.

In regards to my concerns over the responses of the EDT on the 2 occasions I was involved in dealing with them, I would like to say that I appreciate your comments at the meeting in regards to looking at how the EDT and BLPT can work closer together, in future, in order to provide more appropriate emergency care for service users. However, that does not reassure me in the here and now. I am not satisfied that the EDT do provide appropriate support when people ring them and, although I appreciate ....... resourcing issues and possibly procedures that have to be adhered to…the bottom line is that often people are not able to get to A&E or to get other people in distress to A&E and there needs to be appropriate support available for those people. MH and other Emergency Services should take the responsibility for people in crisis, when it is necessary, and not expect other people (particularly, those who have MH problems themselves) to take responsibility for them. That is an issue that needs addressing in the here and now not in the future.

I am relieved that you will be discussing my concerns regarding people in MH crisis and A&E not being at all a supportive environment in order for people to get the assessments/care they need with local Commissioners. I hope that means that something positive (better emergency support mechanisms) for people with mental illness will come of it. Although, I have been to many meetings over the years where emergency and out of hours support has been discussed and nothing at all has changed for the better. I have been party to a lot of talking with little action. I am sceptical and rather saddened that that is the case.

The bottom line is what would happen if I had to contact the EDT on behalf of myself, my father or a friend now? I am not reassured that any of us would be provided with adequate support. I am also concerned that if I contacted MH services, problems would be belittled and, again, I would be expected either to get people or myself to A&E or call out an ambulance. I would ask is that is the best way to deal with people in crisis? I don’t think so.

Sorry to sound so negative but the mental health problems both my father and I suffer with are severe and, at present, I do not feel reassured that if we hit crisis, which sadly we are both closer to rather than further from, the support will be there for either of us.

I think the problem also links to responsibilities and I have tried my best to carry out mine as a daughter but I feel the MH service needs to acknowledge that I cannot be responsible for making my father better. At the end of the day, no one can play God but the services should provide every opportunity support wise to enable people to improve. In spite of heavy medication (which seems to knock my father out and he is continually falling over) he is still psychotic and there is no sign of improvement in regard to his delusions. Perhaps this is in part due to medication. I don’t believe the medication is working but I am not sure what it is supposed to be doing either. Anyway, that is a concern I will be taking up with his care co-ordinator, although she hasn’t seen him for 2 weeks and I am worried that the support is being taken away from him and once again that responsibility will be put back on me. I reiterate that I cannot provide psychiatric support to my father and neither do I want to. I believe that is the role of BLPT.

In regards to the letter about blood test results. I have read it but need to re-read it and respond separately because right now my major concern is the care provided to my father and myself. I will endeavour to respond within the next week.

Yours sincerely

Mandy Lawrence

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