If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

HSE Complaint - Mental Health Services

  • 01-11-2022 11:33pm
    Registered Users Posts: 18

    I would encourage anyone who has dealt with mental health services when they have encountered discrimination, demeaning behaviour, aggression, invalidation, harm, misprescribing, no informed consent, no information given about adverse side effects, withdrawal or dependency to make a complaint.

    Recently, I had a very upsetting experience with a mental health nurse, aggressive and Withholding information from me. My complaint was unable to be upheld as my version of events couldn't be proved, I'll include information below.

    In my late teens, I used the adult mental health services for 3 years, as I was abused and my sadness, reason for it was ignored by my family but treated by the mental health system. In 2020, I requested my medical records from that time as I wanted to better understand the turbulent time for me. I received with my records the non redacted records of an individual with the same name. I have since destroyed those deeply personal records. I followed up with all Data Protection offices within the HSE, and the general data protection commissioner and I was ignored by all parties no follow up recieved about how my details are stored, I've left that go as I know nobody wishes to acknowledge that human error.

    Here are details of my recent incident,copied from my complaint in May I was notified today that it could not be upheld as no conclusion could be reached on my version of events:

    On the Monday and Tuesday prior to visiting my GP, my anxiety was so heightened that I couldn't sleep and I was so angry with myself that I began to hit myself. My emotional distress shocked me, I was seeking extra emotional support so I went to my GP, x x in x x, who I feel that I have a good relationship with and I feel safe to be honest about my inner world and also my physical health and general wellbeing. I have weekly sessions with a respectful psychotherapist privately, over time we have developed a deep sense of relational depth between us. I was wanting to see if there were more services that could help me. I was told that I would have to be prescribed medication otherwise a referral to the mental health services may not be accepted. I am not taking any medication, as I sleep well, attain good results at work, have a good diet and mainly I feel okay, but anxious. My anxiety has meaning for me and makes sense in the context of my life. I was told that it could take four months to see a psychiatrist, and they would see if additional support could be offered to me, such as CBT or DBT. I did mention to my GP that I phone the Samaritans. My reason for calling them is not that I experience distressing thoughts of ending my life, it is that I feel wound up and it is a resource to talk through what is happening within me in that given moment. My therapist is really helpful.

    On Monday, the 23rd of May at xx I received a missed call from an xxxxxxxxxx. I did not answer the call as I had an early lunch and was getting ready to log back into work. No text message or voicemail was left. 

    At xx, I received another missed call, I was on a call at work and could not answer. Moments later, I received a text message from my family member xxx xxx, xxxxxxxxxx- asking am I okay as he received a call from a 'xx' from Home Mental Health Crisis Team wanting me to call her. He also left me a missed call. I took a break from my work, a busy day, Monday is the busiest day within where I work and I called the number back. Sadly, immediately I was met with a harsh tone, I asked her where was she calling from, she only explained 'Home Based Mental Health Treatment', I am not a part of a multi-disciplinary team so that term did not mean anything to me, she would not explain further and was angry on the phone with me. I was already shocked by the text from my family member and asked how she got his number and why she rang my emergency contact outside of an emergency. Dismissively and disrespectfully, she stated I was "making a fuss and being problematic". I never knew about such a service. She said she was looking to organise an appointment for Wednesday. The whole tone of the conversation was aggressive. I was still in shock in regards to the call. I stated that I would not avail of the appointment as I could tell that I would not be treated with respect and I was hurt that my confidentiality was broken.

    Following the call, I googled the service and I was able to read up on the premise of the service and how it was formed. 

    Today, I was curious as to what the service would entail. I respect and value myself therefore I did not call xx number.

    I found the number for the CAMHS in xx and I got onto xx xxwho had a respectful and welcoming tone. She said that she would pass my details on to the secretary in the adult mental health services. The secretary phoned me back on xxxx, she was lovely, respectful and she explained to me about the services, she worked with a consultant psychiatrist called xx.

    I then received a phone call from xx, a mental health nurse. I believe she was thinking I was referred to the wrong service as I am not in extreme distress. She spoke respectfully to me and advised me to make contact with my GP again.

    For some reason, at xxpm I received a missed call from xxxxxxxxx. I dialled the number back at xxpm and it was xx again, it was evident that she was calling me for a fight and she had an aggressive tone, this time her voice was raised and she was disputing the conversation we had on Monday. I was shocked by this unprofessional behaviour. She was dismissing what I was saying on the Monday and saying why did I ask where she was calling from when I knew. I did not exactly know where she was calling from. I asked to speak to somebody else. I believe she handed the call to xxx, and I could hear her prompting him in the background. I was explaining in a calm and firm tone, the demeaning and disrespectful way that I was being spoken to. His tone was calm also. I explained that it is unprofessional and inappropriate. I stated that people who are looking for support ought to be treated in an empathetic and respectful manner. He told me that xxx wished to speak with me again, but I declined that offer. He informed me that a letter was sent to my GP stating that I choose to decline the use of the services. I asked for information as to how I could make a complaint and I was told that the psychiatrist will give me a call. I found that to be unusual as within organisations there is a complaints procedure. My complaint here is not a 'symptom' of my distress, it is legitimate.

    Thankfully, I am in a place where I can take action for myself. I have blocked xx number. I have the inner resources to look after myself and meet my needs. I will now explore further private and holistic ways to help myself.

    Going forward I would suggest for calls to be made from landlines, for voicemails to be left or for traditional appointment letters to be sent. If a mobile number is to be used then the caller can also send a text, especially now as there is an increase in fraudulent calls. If a potential service user asks how information has been obtained such as an emergency contact number that information should be disclosed, transparency is important and an essential ingredient in building a therapeutic alliance"

    I haven't engaged with public mental health services for years. I am educated studied applied psychology in University and I'm with it, as such. I know that many times people who have received a diagnosis are discriminated against by staff and this isn't taken seriously. As R D Laing the treatment is in how we treat others. I was shocked that I was in a state of distress at that time and I was being met with aggression and a lack of information. I now know that private is best and to not avail of services through the HSE. It is sad that family members and friends may dismiss service users complaints also.

    This is my experience only, and it was a shambles. If I was being referred due to a bodily complaint then I could not imagine I would be met with a lack of information and anger. It was clear that my gp referred me to the wrong service. Nobody should accept such mistreatment from staff members, sadly people who are in distress do and they may feel that they deserve to be treated in such a manner. I would encourage all family members and friends to believe and advocate for their loved ones, professionals should not be bystanders either and should call out missuse of power.

    From the gp to the adult mental health nurse in question it was a disaster. GP is new to me, it was maybe my 3rd time visiting. I was told I only had ten minutes for the appointment and first time to discuss distress. There might have been an error with my referral to the general services or perhaps she was trying to help me by referring me on a quicker manner, but that wasn't communicated

    I want people to be treated with respect that's what I wish for

    Post edited by freebirds on


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Pscyh nurses are among the most ignorant people I've met

    Saw one make fun of panic cos she didn't understand it 

    Pig ignorance

  • Registered Users Posts: 18 freebirds

    That's wrong and abuse of power. That should not be tolerated, or accepted. In my case the administrator who was being prompted by the mental health nurse would have heard the way I was being spoken too and yet he didn't call it out.. I hope bystanders speak up and advocate for service users and service users start making complaints.

    Don't know if you watched the BBC Panorama documentary undercover hospital patients at risk, I would recommend it and the channel 4 dispatches documentary.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7

    I am so very very sorry that you were treated like this. Words are inadequate. Outrageous and inexcusable. I have M.E and broke away from all psych services before I left the UK as the GPs were insisteing it is "largely a mental illess" and they were not offering any support anyways. NB As I was misdiagnosed tot THIRTY YEARS as being mentally unwell... and they then even after a consultant of high repute had diagnosed M.E wrote it off as "partly mental illness"

    I know this sounds an extreme reaction but as i had 30 years of "histroy" of wrong diagnosis I knew it was unlikely to be dropped as they hate admitting they are wrong.

    I got a consulation with a visiting locum who really listened, then he wrote under my notes" She was never mentally ill. It was always M.E" and I literally... Left the country! Came to Ireland where they cannot access my notes without my written permission. Made a new start and no regrets.

    All I ask of any GP is pain relief. There have been small issues with some as if you mention Me/Chronic Fatigue, their eyes glaze over and look heavenwards BuT i had one excellent GP who set the tone. There are a few other condtions that go along with the ME.. Now I just apply for repeat scrips. Occasional spats! I am nearly 80 and n longer take prisoners..

    And a better complaits procedure here than the UK

    But they ignore or BLAME any signs of distress esepcially when THEY have caused it. Oh I had to make a very serious complaint re one GP. her bahviour was bizarree.. I made sure it was properly investihated and she id now on barely even part time practice and is not allowed near me by the health board. She literally put my life in danger.

    Like me you are highly literate and how on earth do folk who are not cope?