Philosophy of The Big Society

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Monday, 20 October 2008

Latest Communication to Local MH Trust

Maybe I am, at some point, talking myself out of a service - as in I will be excluded for non compliance- by having a blog and sharing my experiences as well as views here. If that is the case, then I will have to fight that battle when it is thrust upon me.

Not that the service/s I get are how I would like them... but I know, because I hear of other's experiences, that I get more than many. The saving grace, as I have written before, is the time and care given to me by my Support Time Recovery Worker. Although, and am truly grateful for and wish to continue to have her support, the Recovery aspect of her job I find difficult to tally with my long term and medicine intolerant illness.

Having written all that, am going to share my latest response to the Trust Director. I don't copy their communications to me on here, because 1) There may be legal implications of doing so 2) I don't copy communications without seeking the person's agreement first. However, from what I have written....the giste of their correspondence sort of comes through.

Dear .............

Thanks for response and for copying ...... in so that he can confirm actions, if he wishes.

I am sort of relieved to read that the Comissioners are looking at their out of hours services. As I wrote in previous e:mail it is something I have taken to 3 forums previously and debated with and as part of CSIP ebe (not that that made any difference). I get very frustrated, not just on my own behalf, but on behalf of many people who also have difficulties accessing the right care at the right time as it seems to have taken so long just to get back to the point where people still struggle to get emergency care when they need it. Either because the system is so complex that they don’t know who to call but when they do call, they don’t get the sort of response that is condusive to helping them through their crisis.

I think it would be good if the Trust did a genuine consultation, in as much as that is possible and democratic. on what mental health service users want as a set of emergency responses. Rather than offering suggestions of what the Trust think (obviously Trust staff can’t speak on behalf of Social Services but it is clear they need to be seeking some client feedback too) and not just because ‘consultations’ are sometimes a legal requirement but because the Trust is committed to offering services that people find useful and comfortable (as in easy) to access.

In regards to my father. I am walking a thin line between trying to ensure he makes the decisions ( after all it is his health and I do not want to be controlling him in any way) and trying to ensure the relationship we have as father and daughter is not over-compromised or jeopardized any more than it has to be because of either of our needs for external support. Not easy. Sure you understand. What I need to write now is that Dad seems to be ‘accepting of his medication’ and the side effects that are going with that. From a close onlooker viewpoint, I have concerns about his physical welfare being on the medication he is on. I don’t want it changed against his will but I want his whole wellbeing monitored in relation to the medication and impact that is having on him. Am also worried that a man of his age (67) is maybe not as able to tolerate the medication as much as a younger person could. Maybe an irrational worry but still a worry for me.

I spoke to his care co-ordinator who is also concerned, enough to want him to see his GP. However, I think there is disassociation going on. It is not either physical or mental but both, integrated. I am encouraging him to go to the appointment with the psychiatrist, which is tomorrow. However, not only does he have fears around meeting the psychiatrist (due to his mental state) there could be travel issues as he has to make his own way there. Considering he struggles just to get to the local shops and back I think the MH Team are expecting a little too much of him too soon. I have said I will go with him, should he need me to. However, that depends on my mental state and whether or not I am suffering a migraine. Which I am getting on frequent basis.

Again, I feel MH services either think the pair of us are more healthy and able than we are or there is a concern over budgets and manpower that mean they are unable to help him when he has to travel anywhere.

I know this is maybe sounding more complex than it is to you but it is a complex situation where the fragility in, and between, my Dad and myself affects us both and it doesn’t take much going wrong in one of us for it to start the other wobbling.

One last thing, and apologies for length of mail, but I am not sure if Dad was given an assessment for Dementia. I am not saying I think he has it. I just don’t know and nobody has bothered to inform me whether he has had the assessment yet.

Ho hum

Yours etc.

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