Monday, 2 February 2015

Complaint Letter

Hello, please find attached a copy of my complaint form that I have completed. I am sending via email as I am a busy working mum of two very small boys.

I am writing to complain about a situation that the care of the psychiatry team (and the CMHT) at West Strand House left me in over the past two months.

On 29th of November I saw Dr Kongara to discuss concerns about my mental health. One outcome of this appointment was a change in my medication from sertraline 150mg to mirtazapine 30mg. I understood the tapering off and the starting process and I was happy to undertake the change in order to attempt to improve my angry mood swings which were exacerbated by my medication.

My GP was able to reassure me during the reduction of my sertraline. This was adequate and although I had to take time off work, I felt able to function as a mother.

I started to take mirtazapine and within 4 days I started to have trouble looking after my children, I was dissociating and unable to play with them. I couldn't see this at the time but over the next 5 weeks I became more detached and unloving towards them. I had to stop the medication afer 5 weeks and 4 days because I simply couldn't stand the way it took my love away from me.

I also experienced thoughts of self harm, began to empathise with people who commit suicide, I made myself sick every other day in the second half of December.

I saw my GP, who didn't advise me clearly on how to get back up to my original dose of sertraline. So I decided to cross taper to minimise upset. I called the CMHT and sought advice from Dr Kongara (13/01) but due to the strict one appointment policy, she made it clear that she would not advise on my terrible situation. She told me to call my GP (who had not made me feel confident in his opinion in this circumstance) and suggested the Crisis Team. I was crying on the phone, desperately asking for help and I was told to call the crisis team...After 7pm... It was about lunch time. That was simply embarrassing.

The process where I was seen once and then immediately discharged without follow up was negligent and disgracefully inadequate for the distressing symptoms that I experienced alone, with only the reassurance of my GP.

I waited for that one psychiatrist appointment from the end of august: 3 months.
I was discharged the moment I left the appointment.
In order to receive the expert care I desperately needed, I had to go to my GP and request a new referral.
I needed a new referral, to be added to the bottom of the waiting list, just to receive adequate follow up care from a specialist in mental health medications.

This system of caring for patients is woefully inadequate, I have suffered in isolation and my husband and sons have had to make do what what I could manage. This is seemingly because I am a piece of paper and a number in the system and my wellbeing was clearly not a concern.

The government is making perinatal mental health a priority in the coming year, I am still suffering from post natal depression almost 2 years since the birth of my second son. The contact in November needed to be handled correctly and it was not.

Your assistance in this matter wold be greatly appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. I am so so sorry to hear what you've been put through - over and above how difficult life is with postnatal depression. Sadly I'm sure you're not the first and you won't be the last to be so poorly cared for. Your complaint is so clear and well-written, I hope that notice is taken of it. There are many others who don't manage to voice their complaints, myself included, because they have been too depressed, or feel too dismissed to speak up. Wishing you all the best Xx


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