"Lack of care from mental health service"

About: Midwest Mental Health and Community Alcohol and Drug Service

(as a carer),

I would like to convey my dissatisfaction with the care received by my son over the last 6 months by the Midwest Mental Health (MWMH) Service.

My son was transferred from another region on a Community Treatment Order (CTO) early this year. Even though he was on a CTO he never once had anyone visit him at home or attempt to develop any kind of rapport with him, despite it being made very clear that he needed some psychosocial support. We attended brief monthly meetings, obviously held to comply with the conditions of the CTO, but none of the support offered in these meetings ever came to fruition.

At the end of May I phoned my son’s case worker to speak to him regarding his care and firstly he blamed me for the lack of support, saying I hadn’t returned his calls, and secondly he informed me that my son had been taken off the CTO. This was a shock as this decision was made without any consultation with myself or my son; this is in my opinion clearly not in accordance with the Mental Health Act and Carers Charter. Revoking the CTO could have had a considerable impact on compliance and hence the mental well-being of my son. I was informed that we had been sent a letter; this had been sent only after the CTO had already been ceased.

At the end of May we had an appointment with MWMH and were given a written Client Management Plan that included what services MWMH was going provide for my son; included was a letter of support for my son to be able to apply for a Centrelink payment. Nearly two months and three phone calls later, we had still not received this letter. The case worker, though, was happy to provide every excuse as to why this hadn’t been done. He even tried to blame me again. Meanwhile, my son had no job and no source of income.

Mid-July I emailed the team leader and MWMH manager to ask for the letter of support and request that a new case manager was assigned to my son, for obvious reasons. I received a reply with a support letter attached, but it was poorly written, included incorrect information, and was signed off by a different person to who was meant to have written the letter. The team leader in his reply stated that a new case manager would be in touch with my son ‘soon’, but to this date, no case manager has made contact at all.

The apparent lack of care shown by the MWMH team to both the consumer and carers is very disappointing. I’m aware of the mental health reforms planned for the Midwest but I am concerned that this will have little impact unless the department undergoes a considerable cultural change of attitude and gains a new respect for both consumers and carers.

Responses

Response from Michele Young, Coordinator Executive Services, Executive Services, WACHS - Midwest

picture of Michele Young

Dear Dissatisfied carer

Firstly I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for taking the time to share your story on Patient Opinion. I was very concerned to read about you and your son's experience with our service as this does not meet our commitment to providing high quality person centred care and the concerns you have outlined are not reflective of the service standards that we strive for.

Please be assured that we take your feedback very seriously and we would like the opportunity to further investigate your concerns and to do this we require some further details. I would be grateful if you could contact Jamie Robson, Midwest Manager Mental Health on 9956 8676 or myself, Jeffrey Calver, Regional Director on 9956 2210 or jeffrey.calver@health.wa.gov.au This will allow us an opportunity to ensure that your son receives the appropriate care. Your call would be very welcome and can still be addressed anonymously if you wish.

Again thank you for taking the time to write and please be assured of our commitment to address the issues you raised and assist your son with receiving the care he needs. I look forward to speaking to you very soon.

Warm regards

Jeffrey

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