NHS come up short in mental health arena
A young man suffering from mental health issues has slammed NHS Lothian over his treatment and made official complaints against them.
Gordon Edwards (17), who lives in Bathgate, was referred three times by his GP to the NHS-run Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) West Lothian. And three times he was discharged and placed on a non-NHS service.
Gordon moved from England to Scotland having had a mental health multi-disciplinary team consisting of two consultant psychiatrists, a community psychiatric nurse and a mental health social worker and a mental health occupational therapist assigned to help him.
He was an in-patient at a psychiatric clinic for being suicidal and for self-harming repeatedly before moving to Scotland where he was referred by his new GP to CAMHS West Lothian.
Gordon said: “My GP has submitted three referrals to CAMHS West Lothian due to concerns over my mental health - delusional thoughts, hallucinations, anxiety and paranoia - and three times I have been discharged and bumped off to a supported employment transition service called The Junx1on which helps people with disabilities into employment, something which I wasn’t asking for.
“I have been bumped off to services after each assessment instead of being placed on a waiting list for treatment.”
Gordon now wants to see an independent review of NHS Lothian’s CAMHS service and claims the ordeal has made him suicidal. He said: “This whole situation made me suicidal and I had to go to A&E where finally I got some help for my sleep issues and a diagnosis of insomnia was given, with medication prescribed. It has been recommended that I am reassessed for psychosis again but I don’t want West Lothian CAMHS to do it given how appalling they have been to me.
“It is going to be so bad that one of these days that a young person on a waiting list in NHS Lothian will eventually end their life and something has to be done.”
He continued: “I want to see the waiting lists go down, an independent review of the NHS to be undertaken to solely focus on NHS Lothian CAMHS patients to see who have been failed and bumped off to other services and to start making sure people like me get some help.”
Gordon has made a number of complaints against NHS Lothian including being hung-up on by a staff member.
NHS Lothian’s nursing director, Professor Alex McMahon, said: “We are committed to ensuring all patients receiving mental health support get the best treatment available that meets individual needs. Every referral to our mental health services is assessed before the most appropriate support and care is offered.”
Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for Lothian, said: “Sadly, I’m hearing more and more cases like Gordon’s. I believe this increasing reliance on non-NHS services shows the huge pressure mental health services are under.”
I have been bumped off to services . . . Gordon, 17