Archive for December, 2019

Somewhat Bitter

December 9, 2019

Dear Nurse O’Connor,

 

I am writing to you because you are my only point of contact. Please forgive the rambling, fragmentary nature of this missive.  As you know I have significant cognitive impairment and this is reflected in my communication style.

I would be grateful if you could pass it on to the relevant authorities and I will no longer attempt to contact you.  You have made your opinion of me quite plain.

 

Yesterday I received an in-home visit from Dr Simon Mitchell (consultant psychiatrist) and Ms Natalie Bo (some kind of social worker).  From the outset their contempt for me was palpable.  I would not expect any health care professional to like every patient they encounter.  My problem is when they make these feelings obvious and they permit this to affect their ability to act in a professional manner. Their attitude perplexed me because I have had very limited contact with them; a *single meeting* with Dr Mitchell (in which he apparently decided I required no more assistance from the CMHT); and a couple of brief telephone conversations with Ms Bo.

 

I was then informed that I was not a priority (even though people with severe and enduring illnesses are absolutely a self-declared priority.) and that my contact with your service would be reduced to seeing   Dr Mitchell every six months, which is extraordinary given the nature of both my illness and the medication I am obliged to take.  I might as well then be getting my medication from a vending machine.  It would probably have a better bedside manner.  In the past, I have had psychiatrists who have approached their patients in a more holistic manner, presumably because they recognise that no mental illnesses occur in a vacuum, detached completely from their social contexts.

Dr Mitchell clearly has a vastly different approach.

 

It was implied that I am somehow unworthy of treatment, that I was a waste of resources.  Need I remind you that I was taking up a whole two hours a month of your time.  Hardly breaking the bank. The manner in which this was delivered was hurtful, devoid of compassion or empathy.  When the meeting drew to a close I was obviously distraught but the pair left the flat with no attempt to address this. And even if it is a matter of resources then why am I specifically being singled out?

 

I would also like to know what process your team went through to arrive at this decision.  You informed me that you and Dr Mitchell arrived at this conclusion in a meeting but he denied all knowledge of this.

 

I was also told that I would henceforth be in the sole care of my GP. I pointed out that I have no working relationship with my GP’s surgery because I have been under the care of your team for until your abrupt & whimsical decision to abandon me at the beginning of the summer.  I have had no regular contact with my GP for five years.  And besides, they are not specialists, and many have limited experience with my complex needs.  This did not elicit a remotely satisfactory response.

 

I get the distinct impression that their treatment of me is being influenced by the personal grudge you seem to have against me.  I am being unjustly treated as a result.  This is not acceptable. Please be aware that  I fully intend to make a complaint and follow it through to its conclusion.

 

Yours Sincerely,

 

Insert Real Name


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