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"Poor communication on treatment options and no support"

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

(as a relative),

I feel very concerned with the level of care my sister recently had while attending an outpatient assessment with SLMH team. She was referred by her GP after a change in the effectiveness of her long term SSRI medication and an unsuccessful switch to another SSRI (several weeks with little to no response). She is also experiencing restlessness etc. and expressed that she feels she wants to change as this medication isn’t working.

She was sent away from the appointment devastated and hopeless, feeling trapped and with no say in her care. She wasn’t even asked if she had anyone to drive her home and she was incredibly upset when she left. She was given a follow up appointment for 6 weeks time - I cannot explain how distressing this was. She wasn’t given any information on who to contact if she felt she needed help in the meantime, she wasn’t told if someone would follow up to check on her or see if she needed a refill of anti anxiety medication or even if they were effective for her, she feels she can’t even go to her GP as she was now referred to this team. She feels totally abandoned and on her own. She should not feel worse for engaging with a specialist team than she did beforehand.

I’m so upset about this and really feel it’s not okay. I fully understand that medications take time but if someone is expressing that they feel it’s not working, and being advised to continue further, then they need to be supported through this. 

What are we supposed to do? Are patient advocacy services available? I feel totally let down and at a loss 

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Response from Martin Jones, Alcohol & Substance Misuse Service Manager, Sligo Leitrim Mental Health Services, Health Service Executive 11 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 21/07/2023 at 17:03
Published on Care Opinion at 17:03

picture of Martin Jones

Dear songthrushdx83,

I am very sorry to hear that you and your sister felt let down after the appointment and firstly I would say that your sister can of course still see her GP at any time if required. I would like to feedback also to the team directly involved in the care and if you would like to, you are welcome to contact me on 086 022 6972 to discuss this.

Kind Regards,

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