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We are very keen that people who use our services tell us about their experiences, good or bad to enable us to learn and improve. If you have used one of our services please visit our services pages, find the service you have used and leave a comment.

483 Comments

I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to all the staff involved in my care over the past few weeks. From Nursing staff, doctors, psychiatrist, psychologist, OT, domestic and ward staff at the Woodlands unit. Everybody has been very caring and understanding, as well as totally professional. From my first contact with the crisis team on the phone, who made me feel safe and that there was support there for me when I needed it. Then my initial contact with the HCT, who understood how I was feeling and how desperate my situation was and got me admitted to Lesney ward. All the staff on the ward were extremely friendly and made me feel as comfortable as could be in those surroundings, which were all new to me and quite scary. Not only was I introduced to the staff, but also to other patients and given a tour of the ward. The food on the ward was of a reasonable standard and the ladies that served the food were always polite and helpful to me. The only real issue, was that the television stopped working, which some of the patients used to watch to while away the time. It was out of action for over a week whilst I was there (and still wasn’t working when I left). This did cause some tension on the ward, especially between some of the older and younger patients. As I understand it, this loss of television was not just on our ward and was a fault on the actual Ariel system, affecting the whole unit.
I am now on the road to recovery and feel that I genuinely owe my life to the whole team, for which I and my family are extremely grateful.

Dear Robert

Many thanks for taking the time to write. I'm sorry to hear what a difficult time you have been going through, but I am delighted that in such a challenging time that our services were there to respond to and help you. It sounds like they were caring and compassionate at all levels. I will pass on your kind words - it will mean an awful lot to them.

Yes, I understand that there were wider issues with the television system which was a frustration for many. I'm glad things appear to be moving forward for you now.

Best wishes

Derek Tracy
Clinical Director

Hello

I want to share some rather alarming reports I am getting from a friend currently admitted to your mental health ward in the Oxleas Unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

My friend has a long history of issues caused by abuse and eating disorders and I am being told that your staff are acting in a manner that is unprofessional at best and downright evil at worst considering the patients are already suffering enough. I'm not going to name names but my friend has been experiencing severe trauma related to possible PTSD and has been told to go away by staff during most difficult moments,mocked because of an eating disorder and a visiting relative was even reduced to tears by the staff there. The staff are well aware of issues patients face and are apparently "winding up" patients and playing on their particular things that make them most uncomfortable. Most shockingly of all I am told a patient was also threatened with physical assault.

I know beds are an issue and I know cuts and staffing will always be a problem. But there are certain standards that must not slip and must be adhered to by those with a duty of care.

Please do better....

Dear Chris

Thank you for contacting us.

We are very concerned to read your message. A member of the Greenwich senior management team will be in contact with you via email in order to discuss further.

Best regards

Iain Dimond
Director of Greenwich Adult Services
and Trustwide Learning Disability Services

I have just taken my baby to the clinic at Crown Medical which normally runs on a Thursday afternoon only to find out that this has now also been cancelled. There is a shocking lack of services in Bromley, and every time I have visited a clinic they have been over-subscribed and the advice given has been very poor. For example, one HV advising that a baby should start solids at 4 months despite the NHS guidance saying 6!

Dear Rebecca

Thank you for sending me your comments about the weaning advice you have been given and the situation at Crown Medical clinic.

Oxleas started providing the Health Visiting service on 1st October, at this time not all the buildings previously used were made available to us. To help with this we have extended our clinic times in the Children and Family centres and we are hoping to open a new venue in Beckenham on a Thursday afternoon in the next two weeks.

We are aware that Crown Medical has become very crowded so we are planning to offer a new weighing clinic on Thursdays there, and we are looking for an alternative venue for the Monday clinic.

The clinic timetable is available to see on our service page, you are welcome to attend any clinic we are running in the borough.

The Oxleas' new service model will be provided by health visitors and nursery nurses, new training is being given to all our health visitors and nursery nurses, so this will be an opportunity for us to ensure the advice our staff gives meets all the current national guidance. I will ensure training will include weaning advice.

Best wishes

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

Dear Helen
During child birth I sustained a 3rd degree tear and as such I am currently unable to drive or walk long distances and therefore unable to get public transport. How would you suggest I access one of these clinics? I live in Beckenham and so would have been able to go to the beacon if you had kept this service. I see from your previous comments the rooms used became unavailable, are there no other rooms available in the hospital?

Dear Susan

Thank you for sending your comments about the service from Beckenham Beacon.

Oxleas started delivering the Health Visiting Service from 1st October. The rooms in Beckenham Beacon were not made available to us and were retained by another provider, and on further enquiry we were told that there are no other available suitable rooms at Beckenham Beacon.

We have found another venue close by in Beckenham, and hope to announce the opening of this in the next week.

In the meantime if you are unable to travel to a health advice session, one of our health visitors would be happy to visit you at home to weigh your baby and give any advice you need. I have asked one of the health visiting team to contact you to arrange this.

You can also contact your local health visiting team via our new central telephone number, 020 8836 8621.

I'm very sorry you have been inconvenienced by this.

Kind regards

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

So disappointed that as a new Mum with my second child I had such a stressful experience at the bromley common practice clinic. This service is only available for 2hours on a Monday morning. It was total mayhem in there and we couldn't sit with queues out of the door. The staff were friendly but they were clearly stressed as were we! I could only get one of my sons weighed as it was too busy and I couldn’t risk my 2year old waiting any longer. It’s such a shame that for me this is the only clinic I can visit throughout the week and it is only 2hours to serve the bromley area! I will now have to make another appointment with the GP. I think a visit should be made to this clinic to see just how busy it gets. The size of the centre and number of staff, cannot cope which is a real shame for the number of parents and children.

Dear Sarah

Thank you for sending me your comments about the Crown Medical clinic. Oxleas started providing the Health Visiting service on 1st October, at this time not all the buildings previously used were made available to us. To help with this we have extended our clinic times in the Children and Family centres and we are hoping to open a new venue in Beckenham on a Thursday afternoon in the next two weeks.

We are aware that Crown Medical has become very crowded so we are planning to offer a new weighing clinic on Thursdays there, and we are looking for an alternative venue for the Monday clinic.

The clinic timetable is available to see on our service page, you are welcome to attend any clinic we are running in the borough.

I'm sorry this has been an inconvenience for you.

Kind regards

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

The staff generally treated the patients as a nuisance, leaving us to self-police in cases of confrontation and then blaming patients they found 'easier to control' for not doing more when the situation became out of hand. There were instances of staff members telling myself and others that we 'don't know what wewe expressed an opinion. Other nurses asked me if I wanted to 'trade places with them' (ie I become the nurse and they the patient). They often complained to patients about how bad their job was.

We were forbidden from leaving the ward to go to the communal garden in the height of summer. Exercise, which is clinically proven to have a positive effect on mental health, was a privilege that you had to earn. Some patients had not been outside for over 2 weeks. Patients with dietary requirements were also not adequately catered for. The vegan patients were often left to get their own food from outside brought in by families, or else they would have to eat iceberg lettuce for dinner again. Patients also had nurses try and take their insulin away for no reason.

During my time on the ward, I made it my mission to bring activities to the patients that would calm us, bring us together if we wanted, and heal us. I rallied my family and friends to bring bags of book donations to the unit and set up a donations library for the patients. This was received positively by the patients and gave patients of all levels of care a chance to do something uplifting and stimulating with their time. I also provided colouring pencils and colouring books as a gift. On one memorable occasion, the other patients and I sat around the tables colouring and listening to classical music in the evening, only to be interrupted by staff shouting at each other. Then one day the books were taken away by staff and locked in the activity room. They had gone to being open, free access that did not involve staff intervention to another luxury we had to get permission for. The ward was also given all the information and contacts they needed to restart a book deposit with the local library but chose not to follow this up. As patients, we had harmless things that made us happy taken away from us, leaving us to stew in our mental illness and create a tense environment on the ward. Staff liked to throw arbitrary rules at us when it suited them to control us. During staff change over, we were often left with one member of staff on the ward who could not intervene when there were physical altercations. Staff on the ward were actively rude to my father and nearly drove him to tears.

Overall I found my treatment by the staff at the Avery ward to be rude, condescending and detrimental to my recovery. Staff were ill-equipped to handle disputes and speak to patients in a calm and constructive way. I was only able to make it through my week on the unit because of the support of my family. If I recover, it will be in spite of the Avery ward and HTT.

i attended two weeks ago and while the service i got while there was great, its the after service which i have problems with, having to wait two weeks for results when most other clinics have the results the same day or within 72 hours, and when you do call the clinic results line it just hangs-up

Dear David

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are very sorry the delay.

Someone from the team will look into the reasons for this and contact you as soon as possible.

Kind regards

Iain Dimond
Director of Greenwich Adult Services and Trustwide Learning Disability Services

Dear David,

Firstly, please accept my apologies for the late response to your comment on our website. I have only just come into post as Manager of CASH.

I'm sorry that you found it difficult to get through on our results line. I will be exploring how we are better able to manage answering this line going forward.

Also, I thought it would be helpful to give you some context to the amount of tests and subsequent results we deal with in the CASH service; on average we undertake approximately 3000 tests each month. As a consequence we are only able to contact patients with a positive result, and do ensure that we communicate to each patient at the time of taking their sample that if they haven't heard anything within 14 working days, their result is negative.

However, we realise that this is a considerable amount of time to wait, and patients may be anxious to know their results (positive or negative) sooner rather than later. We are in the process of exploring a new automated system to help us deliver results to our patients confidentially and in a timely manner.

Thank you very much for your feedback.

Best wishes,

Gerry Baker
Manager - CASH and Community Gynaecology

Hello,

I think taking off the Thursday drop in clinic was a mistake. Now the Monday's one is very crowed. Cannot have a proper chat with the Health Visitor.

Both clinic were busy but the waiting was ok. So i do not understand why you take one off.

Dear Muriel

Thank you for sending me your comments about the Crown Medical Clinic. Oxleas started providing the Health Visiting service on 1st October, at this time not all the buildings previously used were made available to us.

To help with this we have extended our clinic times in the Children and Family centres and we are hoping to open a new venue in Beckenham shortly.

At Crown Medical we are planning to offer a new weighing clinic on Thursdays, and we are looking for an alternative venue for the Monday clinic.

The clinic timetable is available to see on our service page: http://oxleas.nhs.uk/bromley-0-4

You are welcome to attend any clinic we are running in the borough. I'm sorry this has been an inconvenience for you.

Best wishes

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager
Public Health Nursing Services

Please tell me where or how to find details of the Bromley breastfeeding drop-ins. I see that Oxleas does not have access to use Beckenham Beacon and therefore that breadtfeeding drop-in no longer runs. What about the others? Where is there an up-to-date timetable? I want to update local resources on the Breastfeeding Welcome page and nct pages.

Dear Sherry

Thank you for contacting us regarding access to support for breast feeding mothers.

There are currently three breast feeding support groups running across the week.

Mondays 10-12pm at Blenheim Children and Family Centre
Tuesdays 10-11.30am at Bromley United Reform Church and
Wednesdays 10-11.30am at Community Vision Children and Family Centre

Oxleas are working on a new Bromley Health Visiting website for Bromley mothers which will have all our clinic and support group timetables included. We would be very pleased to include local up to date links and to provide information for the Breast Feeding Welcome and NCT. Our Infant Feeding Advisor will be in contact with you soon to discuss this.

With thanks

Helen Day Barnes
Service Manager

My daughter was under CAMHS 3 years ago and discharged after two years of psychotherapy. I feel like nobody believed me or understood. They used to tell me that I’m just looking for diagnosis and what do I want to achieve with that. They didn’t diagnose everything was blamed on my divorce, new husband etc. Since the discharge things have gone worse my daughter got diagnosed with ADHD by Oxleas and possible ASD. School is struggling and we are coming back to CAMHS (been accepted and waiting for appointment). I don’t know what to expect but I have no confidence in CAMHS at the moment. I hope things have changed and someone will listen and help us this time.

Dear Martina

We are very sorry to hear about your past experiences with CAMHS and your worries about the upcoming appointment, based on your past experiences of the service.

We understand that you have spoken with the Operational Manager for Greenwich CAMHS and agreed that you would meet with the named clinician prior to the initial assessment for your daughter to allow an opportunity to share some of your anxieties and hopes for your daughter's time in CAMHS.

We hope that this has been helpful, and would like to thank you for your feedback.

Kind regards

Sheena Gohal

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