Are YOU affected by PCTs denying YOU treatments?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by CharlieBubbles, Dec 8, 2008.

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  1. As one who was discharged in October 1992 with a physical / mechanical problem from the Army, who then went onto suffer with PTSD / Anxiety / Panic attacks and family breakdown, I have been looking into the systems are care within the NHS. In short according to a written answer from RT Hon B Bradshaw, the NHS / DoH have still not sent any formal guidance to GP’s across the UK. As it is the NHS who deals with ex serving members of Her Majesties Armed Forces, it would be reasonable to ask WHY the family GP are not being sent the appropriate national guidance, good practice and policy, to deal with all such cases.

    The Hull PCT held a conference called “Beyond Combat”, dealing with the way the NHS deals with those suffering from Combat Related Mental Health illness. IN fact Hull have a dedicated Mental Health service for ex serving members, this has been in place for some years, would that have anything top do with their CEO being ex military?

    I have read that on any one night in London, there are some 1,100 ex members of the forces sleeping rough, along with one in eleven of those in prison are ex members of the forces with Mental Health problems! Does no one else seem a theme appearing?

    The charity “Combat Stress” are the ONLY group working with ex members of the forces who present with Combat Related Mental Health illness and those are ONLY the ones who have admitted to themselves THEY have a problem, and then seek help.

    Then there are those who IF they are receiving support through Combat Stress are being denied NHS care and support, their choice in simple, “It’s either or”!

    Another who has been told he has up to 12 triggers, yet his PCT will only fund the treatment for TWO of the 12 and until he threatened to go to the local press in Peterborough, he was refused the ‘Priority Treatment’ that has been promised, to all who have served, who now suffer with a Mental Illness. Not surprising, he got the next available appointment.

    A Dr. Ian Palmer who runs the ‘Military Assessment Programme (MAP) from St. Thomas’s Hospital in London, is a way for a GP to get their patient assessed, however, how many GP’s know of this service from an ex military physiatrist?

    As for myself, I spent much of the 1990’s on SO much prescribed medication with little or no therapies offered, I lost SEVEN years of my life. So now I neither trust or care for the service as it is at present.

    I have tried to make these issues know, but the Mod deny their responsibilities, the NHS who seem unable to unscramble the mess, the ex service charities who have no one trained in supporting those with Mental Illness and then you have Combat Stress but only if that is known to your GP?

    There are some very large gaps for those who now still fight their wars every day and night, since leaving the TEAM they knew the ONLY TEAM that supported them while they served, yet once out, they and their families are very alone and some very ill people who the NHS are letting down for serving their country.

    Perhaps IF there were TARGETS for ex forces Mental Health care, ALL those who are now affected would get the right care and treatments they are due and many could be returned to being a full working and integral part of their community and not of the fringes of OUR society as many feel right now!
  2. Iv, been invovled in this for thirty years, working mainly with the RBL Cardiff. You will not beleive the amount of government BS I heard in that time. Almost every Minister of Defence has made statments in the House and every one of them have been complete BULLSHITE, talk is cheap, and they don't give a feck about us

    In the University Hospital of Wales they just renamed the unit, basicaly they stuck up a sign, no extra funding ,no extra staff, the just dumped more work on an already over worked unit. It is a cosmetic device not anything new
  3. Dear J,

    I trust the conference went well surrounding the issues faced by very many individuals who have served their country, who now find every day and most nights still fighting with their experiences in ‘Combat’?

    As I am sure I mentioned, I am a lay member of the RCGP’s here in H/Side and although the service you supply has been going for some time, it is only some 14 months ago, when I was asked as a board meeting “What was there for those serving and ex serving member of Her Majesties Armed Forces who suffer with Combat Related Mental Health illness”. They asked where “Locally and Nationally” could the help they the GP could find such services?

    I was able to inform them of the MAP run at St Thomas’s in London by Dr. Ian Palmer, the help given to members of the TAVR at Nottingham and of course ‘Combat Stress’. The latter I have had experience of and in MY case it was of NO help at all, although many I now talk to, find it does help them. After all there is some craft therapies and days out, along with some group work, some of this is as good as it gets, as those in the group ALL served and able to support one another while there and when they return home.

    As I said before, I had no knowledge of your services until a member of the RCGP locally who knew of my interest and very personal experiences over the past 16 years. I don’t know if a Dr. Sunni Mandana is still practicing, I do recall seeing her in her clinic in Castle Hill in the late 90’s. I also recall going to see her dressed in my pyjamas and arriving in a TAXI!

    Was there any packs given to those attending and where there any handouts from the talks by the speakers, albeit in PowerPoint?

    The day after the conference, it was announced that in the Grantham area, the PCT with support from the Mod have opened an in-patient clinic for those with Mental Health illness’s as a result of their service career. Of course the Mod have a contact with the Priory Group for those who are still serving who need Mental Healthcare, I would like to see the figures for that?

    I have recently been made aware and I have brought it to the attention of Prof Peter Campion (chair RCGP’s H/Side), that there are PCT in England who IF the individual is going to ‘Combat Stress’ for help and support, they are being denied NHS care. Another who was told he could have up to 12 triggers but they could only afford to treat TWO!

    I hope and pray that the conference will take ALL the issues faced by those ex servicemen and women forward, to tell the NHS where the gaps are and the Mod need to fund tailored packages, as no two individuals are the same. A reply I received from the office of the Mental Health Tsar, was they treat those who have been involved in an RTA the same as those who have been in conflict for up to eight month. No disrespect to any healthcare professional but unless you have a good working knowledge of the military, the working of the military mind, the training regime, to gain the trust of the individual and begin to get inside his / her mind, can at best is very difficult.

    I vaguely recall one Dr. A who worked out of Beverley who told me, “You were a soldier, PULL yourself together”! Not helpful!

    With little or no understanding of Mental Health illness by Service Charities other than Combat Stress and with few GP knows the systems in place to assess and help the individual and his / her family then to treat, we are building up problems generally for the not so distant future within the NHS.

    I make mention to the family, as with the military, the family is so very important. While serving you have the ‘Military Family’ who supports all you do. Once you have been discharged you are very alone, although my first GP asked my ex to come in and see him, to discuss the issues, having spoken to many more this is a rare thing. Perhaps it is the stigma of Mental Health and we are talking that GP’s are just that, General Practitioners and not mental health professionals. I will also add although perhaps not PC, but when the GP / Healthcare Professional is originally from the Middle East, he / she is seen by many who have been in the Sand Wars as the enemy! Or had no one ever thought of that?

    I am aware that I am just the service user elapsed, I will keep on taking my tablets, however, to-date the system has failed me and talking to all those I do, many more besides. The last time I was in crisis, it took the CMHT some EIGHT weeks to phone me. Since the end of the Falklands, some 350 ex servicemen have taken their lives, so given now the years we have in fierce combat in the Sand Wars, how many will need the help of someone who will by then know what they are talking about? All because the Mod denied there is a problem and the NHS very locally attempting to tackle the problem but nothing nation wide in the local community.

    I have asked both MIND and Rethink, IF perhaps they could offer and open local centres, where those individuals, their families, the ex forces charities and anyone can come together, firstly to support each other in a language WE understand, that may involve allot of swearing, or “Squaddie Terminology”, that in itself will cause barriers if you are not up-to-date will all military terms and modern equipments. So in stead of the individual being forced to travel many miles to an unfamiliar and therefore for many a dangerous and threatening building, when IF he/ she can use a centre in their own home town, they may feel more relaxed and susceptible to help and support? Or would that not be ‘Cost Effective’?

    J, I look forward to your comments and guidance and any possible feedback, as the next meeting of the RCGP is this coming Tuesday evening in Winterton.
  4. There are so many reasons why ex forces seek to hide at the bottom of a bottle, or the end of a syringe, with so many TRIGGERS!

    Do you suggest they are self medicating? What are they escaping from? Their experiances in the Armed Forces, or the NHS who tend to know little and care even less at present.

    Once THEY don't have the TEAM around them, the individual and their familes become very isolated and so seek succor any way they can, especially when they are also damaged in other ways.

    For most of the 90's I was OVER medicated and sent home, very little in most areas have changed, although Hull PCT have a work in progress.

    What are their TRIGGERS, then perhaps you can unlock their problems?
  5. Apparently the numbers presenting with PTSD (a rather too simplistic label?) are not as prevalent as reported. Argue and expect to be shouted down. Encouraging then, that there are projects emerging to support our homeless ex-service people and that qualified ex-service people will support them into stabilised independent living. I work in one such project.

    Personally; "triggers" might even be unconscious reminders that work like songs, places, or words, that we all experience. And the worst triggers cause illness. To deny that triggers exist is perhaps to deny we are human. We live in hope that our service personnel are looked after, and understood, much better, now and in the future.
  6. What those affected by Combat Related Mental Health illness, is NOT some civilian sponting on about how to deal with PTSD / Aniety / Panic attcks and the like.

    We don't need PCT's up and down the UK who refuse to acknowledge and theerefore treat ex service personel, using excuse "We can't afford your treatments". However, if you murder children, the government will pay allot of money to give you a new identity to live a normal life, what ever that is?

    There are many ex service men and women living rough, many with Mental Health illness, ONE in ever ELEVEN in UK prisons are ex forces, many with Mental Health problems! The list is endless and yet governemt choose to ignore thye needs of the many! Speak with the ex forces charity and see the increase over the past few years alone of their intake and those they treat.

    Although there are services in place, they are limited to the few, IF, the few find out how to access these services, only last week a new in-patient unit is to be opened in the Grantham area and funded by by the Mod AT LAST!

    The NHS Mental Health boss, said the NHS treats PTSD the same for an ex serviceman, as they do a civilain who has been through one traumatic event, yet the serviceman could have gone through many days of intense fighting but can't work out why weeks or monhs later he / she breaks down in the middle of TESCO when shopping with his family.

    How many families feel alone in the teratment of their partners, after all it is the wife / husband who takes most of the crap of the symptoms as they manifest themselves, more likely with alcohol and or drug to hide inside of and the family taking the hit!

    WHERE there targets, was it reccognised by the Mod / NHS that we are now building a very real problem and with few if any good practice and supporting policy in place YET!

    Lip Service to-date, although there is movement, it is still slight and still NO GP has been told by the DoH what to do, or where the support can be accessed, so they fill them full of perscription drugs and send them home to rot, or DIE!

    Only quiet recently have the Mod taken the issue of decompresion more seriously than ONE day in Cyprus and then home on leave, where they beat up their loved one while in their sleep, the answer from the Mod - Anger management training, WHILE your sleeping, GET REAL!!

    The Buddy Buddy system for serving soldiers, to look after and take care of one another, looking for the signs of Combat Related Stress, so who looking after the LOOKERS?

    Lets get rid of the STIGMA of Mental Health and get some real work done for those who need help now, those living rough, those in prison, those in broken relationships!

    There is little if any Joined Up thinking on this very emotive issue, those of you in Mental Health care, have you seen good practice, if so spread the word, as I have seen or heard little of anything yet that is up to the mark! They called it at one time 'Shell Shock' and lets not forget all those now who have some form of brain injury too, many cases now being reported.

    WE owe our young men and women more than is on offer right NOW!
  7. Quote CharlieBubbles:"Lets get rid of the STIGMA of Mental Health and get some real work done for those who need help now, those living rough, those in prison, those in broken relationships!" Agreed.

    There are at least five ex-service people living on the streets in our City (for over three years) and we have watched them steadily decline, refusing to "come in". "Spouting on" about PTSD/anxiety/treatments does not help, because those homeless guys don't want to hear it either. There are plenty of paid Outreach teams about, and we'd prefer to think that they are actually out there, but can they actually connect on a productive level?

    We perhaps should stop wrangling over funding and politics among support services, and just get out there accessing homeless chaotics one to one, but without all the targets, elfinsafety, other bullsh+t and psycho-twaddle.

    There are schemes that put stable and trained people with backup, right in amongst the it or not it's happening and it should continue. Schemes are also currently trialling mentors with similar backgrounds to buddy up, and it seems to be a good idea so far. It could just be true that "service family" projects are the way forward.
  8. With the experiances of the many, WHY is there NO system in place to seek out and catch individuals before the moderate and acute problems begin?

    After all, by the time individual are hitting the bottle, he or she is beating up their family with the anger of being let down by the system and feeling VERY alone, could be too late.

    With many who believe the SYSTEM has let them down, they are fighting themselves and ALL those they come into contact with. The Mod have trained soldiers to fight and so when they feel under attack, the only person they can rely upon, is themselves, pushing everyone and everything away, their family, their friends and who can they REALLY trust?

    The Mod has to do more for those who could be 'At Risk', they have to make contact with where ever the individual moves to once they are out, many of course settle well and will be a part of any and all communities, however, more and more will become isolated and victims of the sights and sounds they have witnessed. This I know is a growing trend and one that those who are already in the system to a man / woman will tell those who need to know MORE has to be done NOW!

    For those who leave with a chronic long term medical(Pain) condition, this will only highten the risk of the individual having Depression / Stress related illness. I am sure that servicemen and women are not unique, but given the nature of their former employment, the risk is greater and the symtoms a great deal worse.

    And lets not forget the TEAM they were once a part of, the TEAM that when serving, supported the individual from training int battle and home again, as well as the families at home. However, once the TEAM is no longer there, WHERE does the individual turn to, some CIVILAN Healthcare professional who has read the latest reports, has done the course!

    We once trusted the TEAM, when that is no longer the case, we revert to type and do what we have to, to look after NUMBER ONE!
  9. Most of the NHS wonks I have had dealings with think PTSD is caused by being rearended in TESCO's car park. When I attended a group at the UHW I was surrounded by useless wasters of Oxegen who where mostly playing the PTSD card for insurance . But after six weeks with me and a coply of real sufferes the had real PTSD because we tortured the wonks with graphic details of real incidents. The staff where very unhappy with us but we all felt much better.I should be gratfull I suppose as I have had some treatment, even if it was crap
  10. Email received yesterday from the Hull PCT who do have a service in place for ex military with Combat Related Mental Health illnesses

    Hi Charles,

    Thanks for your email and comments. I’m sorry that we weren’t able to offer you a place on the conference itself however the day was very successful in bringing together many of the organisations providing services to veterans. We don’t have any handouts left as the day was so well attended however we have published copies of all presentations on our website - if you go to the link for the conference you will be able to download them in powerpoint.

    I’m sorry to hear that you have not had a good experience of services personally. I have heard the issue about being seen in Combat Stress before. We accept people in our service regardless of whether or not they are accessing services elsewhere if we feel our service is appropriate for them. If the person is being seen at Combat stress as well we work with combat stress to ensure we provide joined up care. I agree with your comment about families – and unfortunately I think their needs are sometimes overlooked. We try to offer input to partners as well when needed but I think services that link with Child services or family therapy would also be useful at times.

    I think MIND and Rethink are both excellent organisations – I’m not sure what they offer presently in terms of working with veterans but I do think the NHS is making moves to improve services for veterans and hopefully there will be changes ahead that will ensure less veterans fall through the net in the future,
  11. My Reply was:

    Dear .......,

    I thank you for your speedy reply and yes as someone who has been through “Service User” it would have both interesting and informative to have heard what is on the map and what the proposals are in place for the very near future for those who have served their country? I have tried the link, perhaps I am being thick, or just missed the pages you refer to in respect of the PowerPoint presentations.

    I am not alone with the problem accessing the right help and by those who understand all that is expected of a Combat Soldier, their training and they way THEY rely upon a TEAM while serving for all their support and the same can be said for the family too. I am aware that with Chris Long, Hull PCT are probably miles ahead of most other PCT’s here in the UK but having a CEO who is ex military should not be the only reason why local services can’t be made available to those who need help, or for the local GP’s to know where to access the help and support both they and their patients need..

    As I said, my ex was beating my daughter up before she finally moved out and married in something of a rush, O yes far more could and should be done.

    I see more and more is being laid at the door of the ‘Third Sector’ to help people access help and support more at the local level. Perhaps such as MIND doesn’t have the ex military experience but until something is moved forward in that direction, they will continue to lack any experience. Where perhaps once you have groups, the healthcare professionals can then attend and watch how the ex military mix / support and discuss with one another, although civilians may not always understand the language / terminologies. And perhaps build up a level of trust that until now has been missing between the service user and the service provider.

    You say ‘Less Veterans’, I say NO veterans, after all with the right documentation, where PCT’s can be informed that ‘At Risk’ individuals / families are being discharged from the services and moving into a PCT area, so when they register, they can be flagged up. Although, with many the Mental Illness may not surface for months, even years after their discharge and therefore their ex military medical records are not always available to the GP / Consultant, as to perhaps give clues as to any possible triggers to the illness?

    IF the ex serviceman was given the opportunity to meet LOCALLY with other ex military and the ‘Stigma’ was taken out of the equation, perhaps the mutual support would benefit one and all. After all much of what Combat Stress does is just that, having other ex military who have shared experiences, who understand the language, to exchange and therefore support, possibly even protect the TEAM. I refer to “THE TEAM”, I do not intend to insult anyone but unless you have had a service life, you can not fully understand the continuing need to have a TRUSTED TEAM around you and your family.

    One final point, how many ex military with Mental Health illness were at the conference?

    Sincere regards
  12. Talks cheap
  13. SO, who saw the piece on BBC Breakfast this morning about Combat Related Mental Health illness?

    Many may say "There for the grace of God go I"! Many who have a pysical problem when leaving the forces are more likely to go on and suffer some form of mental health illness. Although Combat Related Mental Health does not come to the fore for months, sometimes YEARS after the event / events that trigger their illness.

    Although SOME are taking the issue seriously, many still believe it to be a sign a weakness and when they start looking for help at the bottom of a bottle, or in the end of a syringe, they are already sowing the signs and symptoms of Mental Health illness and the first to suffer and their immidiate family.
  14. the government has been talking about PTSD since the Falklands and has anybody seen the promises made, actualy come to life ,no as I said talks cheap
  15. Minister of State (Health Services; Minister for the South West), Department of Health; Exeter, Labour) | Hansard source

    The vast majority of ex-military personnel receive treatment for service related and other difficulties in the same way as the rest of the population.

    To ensure that the national health service is doing all that it can for people who have served their country, we have created two additional initiatives. We have set up pilot schemes in nine NHS Mental Health Trusts in the UK to help ensure that veterans are able to access the treatment they need. We are evaluating this with the intention of rolling out best practice throughout the NHS.

    Although we have not issued specific guidance to general practitioners (GPs) we have recently issued a document entitled Commissioning IAPT for the Whole Community that makes specific reference to the ways in which primary care trusts can ensure that their veterans population has access to the mental health help they need. We would expect that this guidance would inform local commissioning of primary care services, including GPs.