Anyone who has read my previous blogs will know that I found myself discharged from the community mental health team, lost my therapist and all other forms of support with immediate effect in February. I made a complaint and so did my family. It was duly investigated and the response was that no change in circumstances.
Today this woman said they wanted to try and avoid me going to the ombudsman and to see if they could resolve the issues. But she was very clear that I could not regain the support I had from CMHT. I could not be assigned to a CPN so what on earth else they think they can offer I don’t know. There is no other appropriate service.
No one in my county now will get ongoing long term support from their local CMHT. Interventions will be short, goal orientated and recovery focused. I’m guessing this is due to increased demand and no extra money to cope with that demand. Something had to give somewhere. But there’s always a fear that they will be creating dependency but my ex psychiatrist who was a complex needs specialist always said continuity of care was key to certain types of SU’s. But I was going to be part of the cull whatever my care review outcome was going to be. However, working with my therapist and having the support of the CMHT and CPN had meant I was improving last year. The woman I met yesterday said that it was apparent from my notes that I had fewer crises last year. I cannot retrieve that package of care that was working for me.
I am getting more unwell. My family are under immense strain and no one is there to notice. To me it would make more economic sense to support people longer if it would prevent ‘the abandon to cope on their own, only to get unwell and then need more intensive care cycle as a result’. It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s more cost effective to give low level support than having to pick up the pieces with emergency care.
As for suicide prevention there evidence that patients are more at risk for a while after discharge from psychiatric hospital. Hospitals have become safer regarding suicide prevention but not the community. So I wonder now if early discharge from community services may not have a similar effect. People discharged from hospital get step down care. My discharge from community services was immediate.
This idea of short term recovery focused support may be great for some but it come with it’s own problems something I blogged about in ‘The pressure to recover in mental health services’. If I was given a time limit to get well in then that would cause me unnecessary stress and anxiety which in itself perhaps would delay improving. There are some people who might always need some help. Where is that help going to come from?
It’s deflecting the problem isn’t it. My GP is the first one to suffer he now has someone back in his care that he’s not qualified to help. The crisis team already under strain from increasing demand are now my only source of mental health support and might now be for all the other discharged patients. No wonder the police and the ambulance service are seeing an increase in mental health incidents if my experience is being repeated across other trusts. A couple of weeks ago the ambulance crew sitting in my house for 5 hours while I refused to got to A&E had spent their entire shift dealing with people with mental health issues. Of course the mental health trust don’t pick up the bill for the police search or the ambulance call out for desperate people in mental health crisis like myself with nowhere else to turn.
Cuts have consequences and for this human the emotional cost has been great. It just doesn’t make sense to me.