Saturday, 29 November 2008

Letter to BLPT

Dear Dr X
I am giving up on any expectation of support from CMHT and hence will not be keeping my appointment with you on December 4th.
When I saw you last, on 30th October, you suggested that I needed CMHT support due to my increased difficulties. You were the first to inform me that CMHT services in mytown had been reorganised and that the K team, to which I had been allocated, no longer existed. I was very upset when you said that I would now be with BE team, and reminded you of the circumstances which led to my allocation to K CMHT. You said then that you would ensure that I was allocated a care coordinator with BW CMHT.
I wrote to you on November 13th, sending a copy of my letter to you by email, and further copies to the PALS service and to the CEO, stating that I had heard nothing from CMHT. I had no response regarding these concerns.
When I saw my GP on November 19th, she was concerned that I still had no CMHT support and told me that she would fax you to request that such support was allocated. This seems to have triggered a response, because on November 20th I received an email from you stating that you had spoken to the BW team manager and that my case “will be discussed in the team meeting on Tuesday 25th November 2008 and a care coordinator will be allocated.”
To date I have had no contact from the team. My CMHT notes should contain my home phone number (where I have an answer phone), my address, my email address, my work phone number and my mobile phone number, as all of these have been provided to CMHT. None of these methods of contact seem to have been used to try to inform me about the availability of support.
Over the past five weeks I have found things increasingly difficult. Were it not for the support of my GP and my privately funded counselling, I do not know, at times, how I would have coped. BLPT has, once again, failed to provide me with promised, appropriate support at a time when I needed it, when it was promised to me, and when medical professionals recognised that I needed such support. The same happened when I was initially referred to BLPT services, when a previous Care Coordinator decided to cease my care, and when another Care Coordinator was on long term sick leave. The repeated failure to provide this support has reinforced my belief that I am not worth helping and has damaged my willingness to trust.
I have had repeated experiences of being failed by BLPT services, with support disappearing, being withdrawn, or failing to materialise. I do not wish to ignore the support I have received in the past, particularly from DL, S and DB but these experiences have been outweighed by repeated broken promises and failures. I do not understand how it could be that you stated that I urgently needed CHMT support, promised to ensure that CHMT support, and yet I have been left without any CMHT support for a period of over five weeks. Waiting for support to materialise from BLPT has been intensely damaging to me; hence on this occasion I have made the decision to wait no longer.


Mandy said...

Sorry it has come to this, C

You having to actively take yourself away from a service that has done nothing to pro-actively help you.

I am afraid it is not true that a new broom brushes away the dross...

In fact I have renamed the new CEO Dr Geo-here-we-go-again. As in same shxt, different figure head!

Thinking of you x

werehorse said...

It's a very eloquent, articulate letter - and I would hope that the response would be to actually effect change so that you - and others - get the support needed, but, sadly, I doubt it.

What makes me so frustrated is that what you want/need - what I want/need, what everyone wants/needs - really shouldn't be this difficult to provide. I mean *really* we're not asking for that much. There just seems to be this common story of promises unkept - and everyone I speak to agrees with what I say about things - but somehow that doesn't translate into action. It makes me mad! (which is not much use to you, of course)

I am just glad that you do at least have a good gp, and a good counsellor.

Take care of yourself

Werehorse x x

Midsept said...

You know, my humble, non-professional opinion is that you should stop putting your recovery in BLPT's hands. See them more as an aid to recovery, one part of it, than the be all and end all. That way, if they fail you (and clearly that's been your experience so far) then it won't matter so much. And you won't feel so bereft and desolate. I also think that it would be better to stop trying to find fault with them, not because I think that's a bad thing to do, but because I don't think it helps you, as I think it just serves to make you angrier and more miserable. They are the way they are and you can't change that. I know we all like to think that we can change stuff, but to make the changes you need the power and neither you or I have that power. If I sound a bit CBT it's because CBT has worked for me. I used to be angry with so many organisations, but it was pointless and my complaint letters didn't really achieve anything other than refuelling my angst. It became a sort of never-ending circle that kept coming back to me and I realised that it hurt me much more than it hurt them. I did get £5k out of a major bank once for mis-selling me an endowment, but it was oh so hard. Don't invest your precious time in scrutinising BLPT, do something for yourself instead. Next time they annoy you - play some lovely uplifting music and do that every time you are annoyed with BLPT. Music is so powerful and can have such a positive effect on the soul. You could even associate BLPT with one of your favourite composers. Your letter is articulate, but think, if you wrote something positively so articulately, you could post it somewhere where you could receive positive comments that would make you feel good. What I'm trying to say in a very long winded way is that I think it's bad for you to be so bothered about BLPT.

Disillusioned said...

Thank you all for your comments.

Midsept, like Dragon from a while back you have come in on a search for BLPT, there is no link in your profile to your own blog, and this is the only comment you have made. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, your suggestions are valid, but this is my way of dealing with my situation - and I do think it is important that this type of problem is brought out into the open. It may irritate BLPT that I keep bringing things up - but someone has to, particularly since I know I am not alone in my experiences, either in this location or nationally.

Polar Bear said...

This is a well written, strong letter. It's such a shame that the CMHT have let you down so badly.

Mandy said...

Hi C

I think Midsept is a plant. As in, I think they are trying to be the acceptable face of a system that is pretty crap. Wouldn't surprise me if they work for the system and quite possibly for BLPT.

If so, they need to stop advising service users on how to talk to, or about, MH Trusts and start getting their own houses in order.

I often fear that there are blogs, deliberately set up by fraudsters to make people think services are all that. Perhaps that is just my paranoia, if so I can live with it. I am just damn wary and weary of players!!!!