It’s over two months since I last wrote about things with the Trust. At that point, I had just discovered that NewVCB had not been consulted by the powers that be at all in the course of my long-running complaint. (Speaking of NewVCB, my mother rang her secretary the other day to ask what was going on; I was supposed to see her in October. It was agreed that I would have monthly meetings for a few months in the wake of the cessation of therapy with C, and furthermore, she almost doubled my dosage of Seroquel in September, and I would have thought she gave enough of a toss to see how that was working for me. But apparently I’m on a three month review schedule, and am not important enough to be see before 15 December. Smashing). Prior to the September consultation with NewVCB, I had written an exasperated letter back to my MP and the Health Minister regarding the Trust’s ongoing failings, lies and pathetic dismissal and arse-covering. The current situation is this. Mr MP and Mr Health Minister had evidently copied my letter to Mr Chief Executive, who then wrote to me offering a meeting with the Assistant Director (AD) of Mental Health, and the Head of Psychology. I reported this here , though not on this blog. I panicked at the suggestion and initially point-blank refused to accept it, on the basis of the horrible anxieties that such a meeting would inevitably produce. However, at this juncture I did not reply to the Trust. In light of this, Mr MP wrote back saying he understood that I had been offered the meeting, and that he wished me well in it. Health Minister said he couldn’t get involved at this stage because “it is an open complaint” – riiiiight. So, basically, the inference was that I had to go to the stupid meeting or that would be the end of it. I arsed about and have procrastinated the living fuck out of this issue for weeks. Specifically, until about three weeks ago, at which point I decided I would try writing again to Mindwise , the advocacy (or, rather, non-advocacy, it seems) people who I first tried to involve in this whole sorry mess. They had originally replied to me stating that I should consult my psychiatrist on extending the therapy, as that person would be making the decision on the future as regards same. That was not the case, and I drafted a letter to that effect – but in the end I never posted it, for reasons I don’t remember. The Deputy Chief Executive of Mindwise wrote back to me, quickly to be fair to her, stating that the organisation was “not in a position” to offer me any advocacy services. I detest this bullshit stock phrase. Please. Just. Say. What. The. Fuck. You. Fucking. Mean. Thnxbai. It’s a term I always avoided at work, unless I specifically wanted to wind someone up. It means damn all, and in the majority of cases in which it is used, the recipient deserves a more adequate explanation as to the reasons of the organisation’s inability to offer the requested service. Anyway, to be fair to the woman, her letter was friendly, seemingly concerned and despite the inability of her organisation specifically to assist, desirous of helping in some way. She told me that someone at NIAMH (to whom I had also sent the original advocacy-seeking letter, and who responded stating that they didn’t cover my Trust area) was developing advocacy services, and wished to know if she should pass my details onto them. I told her to go ahead. I am awaiting correspondence from them, and hope that the services that they are ‘developing’ now in fact cover where I live. Last week, I finally decided to let the Health Trust know I was intending to pursue my complaint. Mr Chief Executive had given me the phone number of a lady who I presumed (as it turns out correctly) was the secretary to the Assistant Director of Mental Health, but of course there was no way I was going to phone her. I wrote the following instead.
Dear Secretary Woman Re: Meeting with Mrs [AD Mental Health] and Mr [Head of Psychology] re: Access to Mental Health Services I refer to a year-long chain of correspondence between Chief Executive [Mr Chief Executive], Director of Mental Health and Learning Disability [Mr Director-Person] and myself. In the most recent letter I received from [Mr Chief Executive], he finally suggested setting up a meeting with Mrs [AD] and Mr [Head of Psychology], and stated that I should contact you to arrange this. I apologise for the delay in this correspondence but unfortunately over the last few months I have been very unwell [not 100% true, but unless they read this blog (in which case they should be bloody well ashamed of themselves) they're not going to know that]. I would hereby confirm that I would like to go ahead with such a meeting; however, I will need a little more time to organise myself in preparation for same. I will contact you after this to arrange specifics, and hope that this does not cause any inconvenience. As you will be aware, under the Disability Discrimination Act and related legislation, reasonable adjustments to accommodate my mental illnesses are required. To this end I would ask for confirmation that it is acceptable to have at least two other individuals [Mum and A will be there for certain, and hopefully so will a third person in the form of an advocate] with me during the meeting and also that the meeting can take place at my house at the above address. Both of these measures would to some extent assuage my inevitable anxieties about the meeting. I hope that the foregoing is acceptable to you, Mrs [AD] and Mr [Head of Psychology]. Should you require any further information, please do not hesistate to contact me at [my email address]. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and your assistance. Kind regards, etc.Secretary Woman emailed me this morning with the following response.
Dear Ms [Serial-Insomniac]The email is copied verbatim; the paragraphing and stylistic errors are not mine. Grammar Nazi? Me? Neeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeerrrrrrr!!!! Seriously though, although her terms of address – surnames all the way – annoyed me slightly (I hate being addressed formally, and hate the addressing of others as such; it makes me/them sound unduly importantly), the email was reasonable enough, and I can only hope that the secretary’s apparent good nature is reflective of that of her boss too. The ‘specifics’ to which I alluded are (1) hopefully sorting out this advocacy crap and (2) obtaining the notes that C and NewVCB keep/kept on me. I also might be tempted to try and get my psychiatric history from Lovely GP. The problem is, I haven’t a baldy notion as to how to go about this. Unlike just about every other Health Trust in the whole of the United Kingdom, my lot are typically useless and fail to articulate how one goes about this on their website. C once gave me a leaflet that he claimed detailed the arrangements – but what it actually detailed was the information the Trust keeps on its