NHS come up short in men­tal health arena

West Lothian Courier - - News - Sean O’neil

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

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