Who's to blame? My nurse or my doctor

For three days I was getting terrible anxiety and paranoia. Really overwhelming stuff. I was in crisis and I couldn’t cope.

For 4 nights running I rung anonymous charity led advice lines and spoke with counsellors. This helped but it was only talking - they couldn’t prescribe.

So yesterday I had reached my breaking point and rung my family doctors office. In the uk you don’t contact your pdoc directly. It is mostly through your CPN or gp.

So I phoned my CPN first. This was in the morning. She was out so I left a message that I urgently needed to talk to her. 2 hours later she hadn’t rung so I phoned the CPN secretary again. She said my CPN was in a team meeting but would contact me in 20 minutes.

An hour later no call so I rang back for a third time. My CPN had left the office and she hadn’t contacted me. I was upset by this.

Anyway I think screw this and decided to phone the emergency gp. Straight off the bat they said they could not see me without CPN involvement. I asked what that means and they said they couldn’t prescribe me anything without a fax from my CPN. The doctor hadn’t even seen me. Just a flat out denial of care.

Freaking out by this point I phoned my CPN. She was in this time. She says no only the gp can help me and the gp doesn’t need to speak to the community team.

My CPN said I needed to phone the gp and tell them that. I told her I was freaking out by this point and couldn’t make the phone call. My CPN asks why not!? Totally flummoxed I caved in and said I would phone the gp again and if I had no luck phone the CPN team again (all the while thinking this is your job as a CPN to do this kind of stuff, not mine)

So phoned the gp for a second time explaining that my CPN says the gp has to deal with it. The gp secretary said no, the con has to be involved and said I couldn’t see anyone.

I was in tears at this point.phoned the CPN for about the fifth time (alarm bells anyone?) only to find my CPN wasn’t answering her phone. Left a message but she never got back to me.

So in short I was denied healthcare because either my nurse or gp (or both of them) weren’t doing their job properly. I can only imagine what terrible things I could have ended up doing because I was acutely unwell.

Luckily I woke up today feeling a lot better but yesterday was hell on earth.

The aforementioned CPN is coming out to my house tomorrow to do my depot. Do you think I should say something. I hate confrontation but the breakdown of the community mental health care protocols was dangerous and I worry fellow sz folk may pay a large price if the system isn’t fixed.


I’d ask her how do you go about making a formal complaint.


Am still a bit upset about it so can’t think without emotion.

But someone was wrong somewhere wasn’t there? Is s pretty poor situation?

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I’d still explain to the nurse what happened and get your case worker to help you make a complaint. Otherwise it’ll happen again.

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Your story is the exact reason I completely shut down when needing to use the phone.
To many bad experiences that were incredibly stupid to deal with.

What hapened to you @Jimbob really upsets me, and I know I would have a hard time talking to that CPN that’s coming to your house without a lot of emotional distress.
I just don’t know if I could talk rational, but I would sure want an explanation on how to go about getting what you need done the next time, so this doesn’t happen again.

I find it really hard to believe your CPN couldn’t have just given you a courtesty call within an hour or two after you called?
And folks wonder why we panic when we feel brushed off.

Sad story.
Sad you weren’t treated better than that, and very sad they pushed their responsibility off on you.

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I really hope to remain apathetic my whole life and that I’ll never need them.

I need Dr’s much more than I’ll ever admit.
Shoot, I just did.
Wish they didn’t have that power over me.

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Am not going to say anything tomorrow. Will wait until I have a one on one with my support worker. He is not affiliated with the CPNs so he should be able to tell me what to do.


That kind of “run around” is familiar to me, and I live in the USA.

Usually I fear that I’ll get a reputation as a “difficult patient” if I bother too much about the details.

And it’s not just psych teams that give below optimum care.


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I really don’t understand the burocracy of people you have to deal with and it doesn’t sound like any of them are pdocs. In both the US and in Portugal I’ve seen a pdoc on a regular basis and they are/were always a phone call away. Can you let me know where you are and how any of that makes sense? Also is your psych care free? Very curious

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From the uk. I get free care on the NHS. Here you don’t really just phone a pdoc directly. The CPN is the gatekeeper to the whole system.

I’m sorry you had to deal with that. I would file a formal complaint without involving the CPN or GP… They need to have their procedure straight and need to return calls - especially if someone is really in need (like you were). Talking to your support worker sounds like a good idea since he is not connected to the CPN or GP. Maybe he would know how the procedure should work.

But, I am in the USA, so am unfamiliar with UK health system… But I got similar run around from multiple agencies in the US, so I know how it feels. :frowning:

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I’d say both are to blame. Next time, call a Crisis Hotline: 1 800-448-3000 This is BoysTown Crisis Hotline. They are great. They’ve always been able to help me.

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Both the CPN and the GP should have stepped up and made it right. Putting the onus on a person with a psychotic illness to navigate through a labyrinth of a healthcare system is nothing short of cruel.

I hope you have redress for your situation.

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I think if you wait to talk to your one on one support worker in a few days, that would be better.
This way it gives you time to step away from the situation, look at it objectively, then rip someone a new arse in a very effective way.
When your too close to the emotional side of a problem, the people involved tend to blame you more for the problem, and usually get away with it.

Wish you the best in presenting this problem in an efficient, logical way (much like you explained it to us) that puts the problem squarely on the people responsible.
Good luck.

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