Dear Mr. Martin…

You might remember a while ago, I wrote to my MP to tell him the state of the mental health services that I’d received in Harrogate… (here’s a link to the post) 

Today, I received a response from Colin Martin, who is the CEO of Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. I won’t post the letter I received, as I have not sought permission – and I try to be fair with these things!

However, I felt that it very definitely needed to be followed up, so, here’s my response:

Dear Mr. Martin,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your response to the concerns that my MP raised on my behalf. I wholly appreciate that you must be an incredibly busy person, and am extremely grateful that you took the time to reply personally.
I would like very much to comment on a few points that you raised in your letter, that I feel are not how I saw them happen as a service user.
My needs overall have not changed that drastically. I do accept that I have slightly deteriorated, however, I feel that it may have seemed in my records that it has deteriorated more than it actually has.
My main frustration with all three services that I have been in touch with, is that I have had to be assessed separately, and placed on a waiting list, time and time again. Whilst I was on the waiting lists, I was offered no support at all through anyone but my GP, who is not a mental health specialist. It has felt very much like a game of pass the parcel, where the loser gets me on their books. I must be frank – my self-esteem is low enough as it is, without this going on.
I appreciate that you state that you have seen evidence of good communication with the teams, and with myself – however, I must disagree with you. The only communications I believe I have received whilst being transferred between teams were appointment letters.
I am truly grateful that I have finally found a “home” with the CMHT – however again, I must make a note that your statement that the intervention I am receiving by them is, to quote, “…meeting his needs and that he is improving.” is unfortunately false.
I am currently seeing my Care Coordinator approximately every 3 weeks, and I have very recently started seeing one of the clinical psychiatrists every 6-8 weeks, however to date, I have yet to receive any therapy other than medication – which to be honest – my GP has led. The only reason this may seem to be meeting my needs is that I am almost certain that I will not get any further help – so I am just accepting what I am being given.
Truly, I am glad that you have stated you will use my experience to build and learn from – I would be very interested to get involved with any improvement activities that would benefit from a service user’s interaction. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any help at all!
As with my initial communication to Mr. Jones, I do apologise if my email is jumbled or disjointed in any way – I’m sure you can appreciate that this is difficult enough in my current state of mind.
I thank you again for your time – I do truly appreciate it.
To end, however, on a positive note – I would very much like to commend [REDACTED – but it’s my care co-ordinator]. She seems to be relatively new to the service, however, is already a true credit. She is truly kind, extremely easy to talk to, and is never in a rush to end our sessions. I am truly grateful for her intervention.
Kindest regards,
Gareth Molyneux
[REDACTED – it’s my address…]
(With copy to my blog – www.blackdogdiaries.co.uk, and Mr. Andrew Jones MP)

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