I swear to living fuck that the Trust will not win this fight if I have breath in my body and blood in veins. I will battle them to the very death – literally, if needs be.
This is, of course, in response to yesterday’s received correspondence from Mr Director-Person. Your thoughts and comments on the letter are, of course, most welcome as always.
Dear Messers McGimpsey and [MP]
Re: Access to Mental Health Services
Thank you both very much for your recent kind assistance in communicating with the [my] Trust on my behalf. By now, you will have received the response from Mr Director-Person, the Director of Mental Health Services, dated 24 August 2010. I apologise if this letter crosses in the post with any communication from yourselves to me.
I remain very dissatisfied with the Trust’s response to my concerns for a number of reasons, and would hope that you could therefore kindly continue to assist me in this matter. I have not responded to Mr D-P directly, as such dialogue has, to date, proven to be an utterly fruitless pursuit. As you can appreciate, the Trust’s negligent and frankly dismissive stance on this matter has greatly added to my psychological distress.
I would make the following points in response to Mr D-P’s recent correspondence:
- It is contended that Mr D-P has been informed that I was advised “early on” about a “therapy end point”. This is factually incorrect. [C] and I first met in late February 2009, at which point we worked on rolling contracts of six to 12 weeks, although there was always an expectation that unless significant progress had been made, these would be extended (which they were). I was not advised of a “therapy end point” until December 2009. Eight months subsequent to the commencement of the process cannot accurately be described as “early on” therein.
- Mr D-P also alleges that my treatment programme with [C] was of a duration of 18 months. Technically, in a wide sense at least, this is correct – however, the impression given is misleading. I met [C] for exactly 63 weeks, which is obviously one year and 11 weeks – ie. just under 15 months. I point this out because I would not like the Trust to be allowed to overplay the sufficiency of their frankly inadequate service.
- The cessation of therapy was against the specific clinical opinion of my consultant psychiatrist, NewVCB (of [Relevant Hospital]), as acknowledged by both her and [C] on at least two separate occasions. I am astonished that consultative medical advice counts for so little within the [my] Trust. Furthermore, [C] admitted in our final session on 26 August that I had been significantly “let down” by the Trust.
- The aforementioned consultant psychiatrist, whilst acknowledging that I have a form of complex post-traumatic stress disorder due to significant childhood abuse, has stated to me on several occasions that she does not want to engage in diagnostic “labelling” of me, and instead wishes to treat my specific symptoms and circumstances in an individually appropriate way. The Trust’s attitude to my case would again appear to be in in opposition to her quite reasonable position; although I have never tried to hide or deny my earlier (ie. prior to NewVCB) diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, it seems clear to me from his letters that Mr D-P and his colleagues have chosen to fixate on this “label” specifically. Borderline personality disorder is probably the most stigmatised of all the psychiatric diagnoses and I must confess that I am coming to believe that I am being discriminated against considerably because this diagnosis has been applied to me.
- Chief Executive Mr Chief Executive’s acknowledgement letter in response to my original complaint to yourselves suggested that, as well as investigating my complaints with regard to my current situation, an investigation into the Trust’s failings in my mental health care for over a decade prior to same would take place. It is evident that this has not been the case; Mr D-P’s letter of 24 August focuses solely on my present circumstances. Only the most cursory of apologies was offered for the present inadequacies, and none whatsoever proffered for the many errors and misjudgements of the past.
- Perhaps most tellingly, Mr D-P claims in his letter of 24 August that “further support” would be “in place when [my] sessions with [C] come to a close” and that “…through close working between the psychological therapies service and the [Community Mental Health Team] it is planned that the work done with [C] will be incorporated into the ongoing support from the team.” This is categorically untrue. My sessions with [C] ceased on Thursday 26 August, and apart from my pre-existing relationship with my psychiatric consultant, I have absolutely no “further support” whatsoever, and in my latter sessions with [C] no such references were ever made. The matter of a referral to a community psychiatric nurse or a mental health social worker had previously been discussed; however, my psychiatrist and I were agreed that such a referral would probably be inappropriate in my case, at least as a sole support system. No such referral came to pass and I have not heard anything to suggest that any “further support” will come to fruition. It was certainlynot in place at the end of my psychotherapeutic treatment.
In light of the factually inaccurate statements made by the Trust, I feel that it is appropriate that you be made aware of the above to correct any misapprehensions that may have been created. I understandably feel let down by the Trust and am seeking your assistance to secure appropriate treatment.
I am aware that it is relatively common for the Trust to outsource psychotherapy to private sector third parties; indeed, I know of several individuals who have been treated in this way, and [C] advised me in our final session that it was certainly a possibility for me (we had discussed the possibility of my entering psychoanalysis in the private sector in particular). I am reliably informed by both professionals and other service users alike (within both this Trust and others) that, through your continued advocacy and support, this is something that would be obtainable for me. That being the case, I would ask that, as my political representatives, and in light of the Trust’s continued failings, you help secure assurance of this or an equivalent form of treatment for me.
I feel that I ought to note that I am the author of one of the most popular mental health blogs in the UK (currently written under an anonymous pseudonym and widely supported and read by both service users and mental health professionals) [let's not piss about with false modesty here, people - no arrogance intended, but, y'know - it kind of is], and that as a result of the deficiencies of my experiences within the [my] Trust my case has become something of a cause celebre across the aforesaid blog and various social networking internet sites. More formally, I write occasional freelance articles for a popular online magazine, and am giving very serious thought to specifically addressing this matter therein. I would certainly prefer to keep this issue private and anonymous, but if speaking out publicly about it will help me secure the care and treatment that I clearly need, I will not hesitate to draw wider attention to the matter.
I would like once again to thank you for the interest in my case that you have shown to date and would also wish to thank you in advance for your continued support. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further information.