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"Appointment times, assumptions"

About: Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services / Leitrim Adult Community Mental Health Services Sligo/Leitrim Mental Health Services / Sligo Adult Community Mental Health Services

(as a service user),

Q1. Why is it that there is never an appointment time on virtual/telephone appointments sent out by your team?

I am a professional working woman who holds down a full time job and to be quite honest it is degrading that I am not even afforded that. Information. The appointment letter states the date and that the call would be in the  morning but that is a very wide timeframe.

Q2. Why It is presumed that we all have access to a good mobile signal and WiFi in order to access the service? 

I live in rural Leitrim and have to go a mile up the road to get a sporadic phone signal. I have received horribly worded letters when either I can’t hear, answer or the phone doesn’t even ring. The letters insinuate that I am not engaging or similar but this is not the cases. My whole community experiences the connectivity issues. 

My WiFi is also very poor, again experienced by a whole community trying to work at home and an already prehistoric service.

Q3. Why is it presumed that we are safe to talk in the house?

I have 4 boys 3 of whom have speCial needs. I have been told several times that I should plan ahead, make time to take calls but I don’t have the support mechanisms especially with Covid. I can’t guarantee my children’s safety while in the phone hanging out the window or half a mile up the road.

Please consider those of us who desperately still need to engage but are forgotten in all of this. Please be mindful when sending out harsh letters that we are already vulnerable and struggling.

 I was  spoken down to by therapists. I’m not going to say felt because I was. The stigma of mental illness is still very much alive and thriving in Sligo/Leitrim and no fancy unit will change that unless we speak out.

We are normal people trying to work through mayhem and devastation as best we can, trying to stay alive in a world of uncertainty. 

Responses

Response from Martin Jones, Alcohol & Substance Misuse Service Manager, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services, Health Service Executive 3 months ago
Martin Jones
Alcohol & Substance Misuse Service Manager, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services,
Health Service Executive

Manage the Sligo / Leitrim Alcohol & Substance Misuse Service

Submitted on 18/01/2021 at 17:46
Published on Care Opinion at 17:46


picture of Martin Jones

Dear Foypatie,

Thank you for your feedback and for taking the time to share your story on Care Opinion.

I am responding to your story as the person who looks after Care Opinion for Sligo / Leitrim Mental Health Service and as a responder to stories along with my other colleagues here in the service.

As you know there have been many changes in the way we deliver services during the COVID-19 Pandemic and as you point out this includes using virtual health and the telephone in situations where we would normally see people face to face. I appreciate therefore feedback about these arrangements and the impact in your situation. You mention the wide timeframe for an appointment slot and that you might not always have access to good mobile or wifi signal, particularly in a rural community. I also take on board your comments about the wording of letters we have sent to you and that your own environment in order to be able to take a call is important as well. I have shared your comments with colleagues so that we can look at changes that we can make.

Finally I am sorry that you have felt spoken down to, this is not the standard of care we hope to deliver particularly, during these difficult and challenging times for people..

As I said we will be reflecting on your comments as a service, and then we let you know of any changes we make as a result of your feedback on the Care Opinion site. I hope that you will also link in again with your care team or GP if required. If you would like to contact me directly to discuss these issues please do so by telephoning 071 91 43316 or martin.jones@hse.ie if you wish.

With Kind Regards,

Martin

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