Shropshire mum says mental health services are failing her daughter

Posted: 10th May 2022

A mother whose daughter struggles with psychotic episodes, leaving her choking, says local mental health services are failing her.

The nine-year-old becomes so distressed she also self-harms, mother Kate said.

Despite several referrals to mental health services in Shropshire she said her daughter had failed to be assessed by a mental health professional face-to-face.

BeeU said each referral it had received had been “carefully reviewed”.

The children’s mental health and wellbeing service, run by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said the family had been offered advice and “signed-posted to a clinically appropriate level of support”.

It was also committed to “providing a support offer in line with the needs identified,” it said.

But the nine-year-old’s mum told BBC Radio Shropshire her daughter had not been assessed in person.

Kate – not her real name – said her daughter’s problems deteriorated after returning to school following the first Covid-19 lockdown.

She said the nine-year-old’s debilitating panic attacks often led to her hitting her head against walls, and leaving her choking.

She added she had resorted to taking her daughter to A&E during episodes, where doctors had witnessed the behaviour.

“Four doctors have made six referrals to BeeU,” she said.

“My child is coming to me aged nine and saying doctors are not helping me, why are you taking me to doctors – I just want to die.”

When the mental health service had contacted her, Kate said their response had been inadequate.

“I had a four-minute conversation with some clinician at BeeU,” she said, but a follow-up letter referred the girl to group therapy sessions.

“When I have contacted the emergency lines, they have only given me advice that it suitable for tantrums,” she said.

“And when I contacted one of their drop-in services they said they were overwhelmed.

“She has not been diagnosed, that’s because no person wants to see her.

“What kind of a start to life is this at nine years old?”

Kate said following the on-air interview the NHS trust had contacted her to offer a face-to-face appointment later in the month.

In an earlier statement, the NHS trust said: “Each referral has been carefully reviewed by the BeeU access team.

“These offers remain open to the family, although to date appear not to have been taken up.

“The service will however, continue to work with the family to progress the case of this young person and remains committed to providing a support offer in line with the needs identified.”

If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this article, advice is available via BBC Action Line.

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-shropshire-61378004

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