Here is the story ‘T’ wanted to tell, ‘Discharged without my involvement’:
I’d been doing really well, and felt on a level for some time. The paranoia and voices never really went away, but with help of my Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) I’d got back on my feet. After hospital I stayed in a hostel, then a bedsit for a while, then got my own flat. The first proper place of my own.
My CPN helped me meet people by taking me to a place I could go and meet other people recovering from mental health problems. We supported each other a lot, and it was a safe place to go, I started to help out and do bits and pieces and get a real sense of purpose back. My CPN saw me for an hour every week. That was just enough to help me keep on top of my bills, make a plan for the next week, budget and keep the paranoia under control.
Then, all of a sudden she transferred to another job as part of a cost-cutting exercise and the ‘improvement’ I experienced was that I was told I was being discharged as there was no one to take over from her. The help I needed hadn’t changed, my care plan was still the same, but they just discharged me. Before she left she tried to make sure all my bills were set up.
Then I was just left alone. I stopped going out so much. One of the bills I thought was set up hadn’t, been so I got into debt and didn’t realise. The bailiffs turned up because I stopped opening my post because I was getting more paranoid. They took most of my stuff and I had no gas or electric. I was getting more stressed, not sleeping and more paranoid. I got in a complete mess. The stress made my epilepsy worse and I started having seizures. I got suicidal. I’ve been in and out of hospital for my physical and mental health. The crisis team don’t always answer the phone, and I can’t call them during the day because I’m with a community team but I have been waiting for a new care co-ordinator to be allocated. My neighbours and friends have ended up doing lots to try to keep me safe. It’s humiliating.
It’s such a waste. An hour a week had kept me on the right track for ages. I was thrown out of services without any discussion. I had no choice. And now, months later, I am back in services in a worse state. My care must have cost a lot more now than an hour a week from my CPN. The teams have been cut since they discharged me, so now I’m with the crisis team for longer than I should be because I’ve been waiting for weeks for them to try and find me a care co-ordinator. I’ve heard that there are over 300 in the same situation as me, sat waiting without a care co-ordinator.