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"Outpatient Mental Health Services (Sligo)"

About: Sligo Leitrim Mental Health ID service

(as the patient),

I wish to express my dissappointment and distaste with the outpatient care at Sligo Mental Health Services, provided through Markivitcz House, Sligo. I felt compelled to write this not only because of my own discomfort with the whole interaction, but also because I know that there are others out there who have received the same (lack of) treatment as I have, and cannot articulate how they are feeling, or are unaware of this platform.

Last week I received a letter informing me of my outpatient appointment, but "due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be holding face-to-face clinic reviews for the foreseeable future".

May I ask - what COVID-19 restrictions, exactly? As far as I am aware - in Markivitcz House/the mental health wing - there are none, save for wearing a facemask when on the premises. How do I know that? Because I've been attending face-to-face clinics with various members of the support team over the last few months.

I found the letter insulting on three levels - for one, it is quite clearly a cop-out on the patient. Secondly, it's also an insult to my (and everyone else who has received it) intelligence. "COVID-19 restrictions" clearly no longer exist in this country (in fact I was bemused to receive the same letter for my previous outpatient appointment), nor have they for quite some time (save for the aforementioned mask-wearing in medical/health facilities). I have mental health issues, not observational/intellectual problems. Thirdly, it makes a mockery of the wonderful support staff (who do the bulk of the heavy lifting in terms of actual care to begin with anyways) who have zero qualms about meeting face-to-face. In fact, it was never even intimated that meeting face-to-face was an issue by any of the support staff that I've been attending.

Further, I rang up, said it wasn't good enough and wanted an in-person appointment. The conversation swung from -no face to face-, to -maybe next year- to -come in on the day-. This further solidifies in my mind that the "due to the COVID restrictions" spiel was nothing but a cop-out to begin with.

Further insult to injury was the fact that not only was my name spelled incorrectly on the letter, my address was also incorrect. If an organisation can't get two things as simple as those correct (particularly the address; it has been correct in the past, but somewhere along the way someone saw fit to change it to an address that does not even exist), how am I supposed to trust them with mental health care?

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Responses

Response from Health Service Executive 2 months ago
Submitted on 02/12/2022 at 12:10
Published on Care Opinion at 12:10


Dear James85,

I am very sorry to hear that you are unhappy with the service and about the issues you have been experiencing. If you like to contact me directly on 086 022 6972, I can make sure your comments find their way to the correct department that you have been attending.

Kind Regards,

Martin

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