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AIBU re mental health procedures

(10 Posts)
passingtime Thu 11-Aug-11 13:02:31

I have recently been ‘referred’ for CBT following a bi polar diagnosis in January and years of depression and anxiety preceding this diagnosis.

Booking the appointment was difficult enough, but having a rude lady in the phone tell me that I can only book an appointment between 9am and 1pm (not detailed in the information leaflet) and I would have to call back put me off even more.

I eventually booked the app’t and have had to use my lunch hour plus ½ hour travelling time I need to make up. Not a big issue, but why don’t these services cater for people who work and don’t want to disclose their mental health issues to their employer?

So anyway, I turned up at the appointment today at my GP surgery and asked for the counsellor X. Only to be told by a lady (who, to be fair seemed like she was new) that there is no X working there, so I said ‘I definitely have an appointment, here its written in my diary and I wrote this down whilst I was on the phone to counsellor X booking the appot’

So, the ‘new girl’ receptionist walks over to the front desk and asks (loudly) if there was a counsellor X working there. The other receptionist answers, without looking up, and in a booming voice ‘Counsellor X is a mental health worker. Is it for CBT? Yeah, she doesn’t work Thursdays...’

Great, so now everyone in the waiting rooms knows why I am there! I burst in to tears and walked out.

AIBU to be really hacked off with the whole process? I feel more like a burden now than ever!

Would you complain?

Tchootnika Thu 11-Aug-11 13:08:50

I think you'd be very reasonable to complain about the receptionist loudly revealing details which are surely confidential to everyone in the waiting room.

IKWYM about the lack of MH services for people who are able to 'keep themselves together' (hold down a job, not be dangerous to others, etc.).
It's well known that there's a chasm in MH services for people whose illnesses aren't seen as 'extreme' enough to warrant more 'urgent' action.
I can't help thinking that it's a false economy not to address this properly, though.

passingtime Thu 11-Aug-11 13:12:50

Exactly Tchootnika my initial 'referral' appointment had me in tears also because the nurse booking me in basically said that because i was wearing makeu -up and was dressed well I wasn't worthy of an appointment.

I am a sales exec ffs, I have to be smart and presentable.

lemmein Thu 11-Aug-11 13:13:09

I would most defintely complain - thats just not on at all and I can understand why you were upset. They really should make it easier for people who have anxiety problems to access the services. I used to have extreme anxiety and was referred for CBT right in the middle of a busy town centre. I went once, had a major panic attack and didn't dare go back. I even used to have problems using the telephone, so couldnt even cancel the appointment - silly i know.

Don't feel like a burden, you have done nothing wrong and its your right to get proper healthcare, including for mental health services. Look after yourself and push for the help you need (or ask someone to do it for you) - unfortunately there are idiots in all professions, health care included (unfortunately).

Really complain though - might help the next poor bugger they disrespect in such a public way.

passingtime Thu 11-Aug-11 13:37:02

That must have been awful lemmein I couldn't imagine going in to town for mty appointment for one second!

LineRunner Thu 11-Aug-11 13:40:37

That is absolutely bloody disgusting.

So sorry that this happened to you.

Is there someone you can explain this to over the phone? Perhaps the practice manager, who could arrange for you to come in again for a new appointment and be treated with dignity.

BeyondTheLimitsOfAcceptability Thu 11-Aug-11 13:42:45

When I was in your situation, I spoke to my boss, but not to the whole company. He confided he had previous MH issues himself, sorted out private CBT for me on the company, and sorted out the time off work so I could visit without worrying about the time. And this was a boss I didnt get on with, in a company that I've had to quit from as they arent flexible re part time work from maternity. I would confide in your boss if I were you, you never know they might surprise you.

And I 100% think you should complain about the receptionist!! angry

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Thu 11-Aug-11 13:48:27

Address your complaint to your GP's Practice Manager - in addition to complaining about the lack of sensitivity and confidentiality displayed by the practice's reception staff, I'd want to know why my valuable time was wasted by being given an appointment for a day when the CBTcounsellor does not hold sessions angry

smoggii Thu 11-Aug-11 20:46:58

What Izzywhizzy said.

Plus, I agree that it seems that most MH services can only be accessed during working hours. It is the reason I won't be having the CBT I need on the NHS and will be paying for private counselling I can get in the evening. I too don't wish to disclose to my employer because I have a stressful job and the way people talk at work I know it is viewed as a weakness.

My manager is lovely but I would prefer not to share as I know she views me as reliable and I worry that she may see it as something that could make less so.

I'm so sorry that this happened to you, clearly they are a bunch of idiots!

pointythings Thu 11-Aug-11 20:56:33

OP, you should definitely complain. The scenario you are describing in reception is one that is routinely used in training on patient confidentiality - on how not to handle these things, naturally. What these people did is a serious breach of your right to confidentiality and at the very least they should be carpeted and sent for re-training - personally I'd be going for a formal verbal warning.

I work in the NHS, by the way, IT support for MH so am well up on handling confidentiality. If you get no joy from your practice manager, take it to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service - your surgery still comes under the PCT.

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