Thursday, 19 February 2009

More BLPT cuts in service

I wrote before Christmas of my shock at finding that my then CMHT had "merged" with another local one, putting me back with the team where I had huge problems previously. My trusted psychiatrist told me he was moving to inpatient work. The new CMHT did not act on his request that I was allocated a key worker. All bad stuff - though my discharging myself from their "care" has led to a lot less anxieties for me as I no longer wait for promised services to materialise (they rarely did).
Reading Mandy's blog today, it seems the same has happened in her part of the county. Like me, the first Mandy seemed to know of it was when her psychiatrist told her he was leaving.
Not long ago BLPT minutes revealed their plans to "cleanse" the outpatient lists. I'm not sure if this team merging is an extension of this plan, a reflection of this, an admission of defeat, a result of lack of staff, or just that they don't care. It stands to reason that removing two consultant psychiatrists from outpatient teams must reduce the number of people who can be seen by that service, or the amount of contact time individual patients can have. One thing I cannot see is how this can improve services.
I also have failed to pick up in the minutes for the Trust Board any mention of this policy. I wonder if they are aware or not? Or care.
I'm glad I no longer have contact with them - but very concerned for those who rely on the service they are supposed to provide.


Mandy said...

As you know I am more than a little worried about my father's care (in light of his mental state) and from the way the Trust have responded....sluggishly and with little willingness... to try and put more care in place.

I assume the same is happening to other people who use services. Certainly people I speak to tell me there is no service available to them anymore.

If a Trust is unable to meet needs then the money for such a service should be provided elsewhere. Where is the obvious question but if a baker can't make cakes then people will go elsewhere to buy them. For sure there is a difference between a money making concern and a public service but what point a public service that doesn't provide a service?

That is bonkers.

marcella said...

It may stand to our reason, and to that of anyone else with any experience of services or interest in the NHS, that removing consultants will result in a worse service, but the "modernisation agenda" apparently doesn't consider consultants, or doctors, necessary. Everything can apparently be done equally well by nurses. Who cares that doctors express their concerns, who cares that patients complain, who cares that the majority of NURSES don't want to do a doctors' job with half the training for 1/3 of the money, it'll be cheaper - well as long as you "cleanse" out any awkward customers, force those people with any resources whatsoever to opt for private treatment, and ignore both the odd "critical incident" and the fact that staff recruitment will be well nigh impossible because the job has become well nigh impossible, at least services will get Foundation Trust status and then everything will be just fine with the NHS won't it? Just like it is in the ministry of defence, and with the economy.

Disillusioned said...

Hi Mandy
I'm not surprised to hear that other people tell you Mental Health services are not available to them any more in our area. It looks to me, from my reading of the Trust Board Minutes, that a overspend is allowed at the Corporate end while cuts are forced at the service end.

Marcella - I completely agree. What you write is illustrated clearly in the papers of my own Trust, as well as in my own experience. BLPT seem to be doing their best to remove service users from the equation. As well as cleansing service users, they are restricting access through "lack of resources". It's all lousy. My only faint hope is that some local Trust who can and will do the job will take over our local Trust - and soon. Even so, I expect it to take a long time to change culture, expectations and behaviour.