A woman suffering from mental health issues has caused a health board to change the way it communicates with patients after approaching her local MP.
The individual, who approached Chris Elmore MP anonymously, raised concerns about how mental health patients on waiting lists were not currently contacted between their initial letter placing them on the list and a treatment becoming available.
In response, Mr Elmore approached Cwm Taf UHB to ask what steps could be taken to improve communication between the health board and those on the waiting list. Cwm Taf have since acknowledged that the present system meant that patients were not contacted prior an appointment being available.
Since receiving Mr Elmore’s representations, the health board have stated that they now feel communication with individuals on the waiting list at regular intervals is “essential” i
n preventing any person feeling they may have been forgotten. These intermediate letters will also remind patients of the support available prior to full treatment options becoming available.
Mr Elmore commented: “I’d like to thank this individual for coming forward, at what may be a difficult time for her. I’d like her to know that the time she took to approach me to raise this idea has meant that other people in a similar position will be kept better informed in the future. I hope she gets the treatment she needs and I commend her for having the courage to come forward.”
Cwm Taf UHB also stated that anybody currently on a waiting list for mental health treatment can call the appropriate team to verify where they are on the waiting list. Specific contact details should be contained within their initial referral letter.
The Ogmore MP continued: “I’d like to extend my thanks to Cwm Taf University Health Board for their swift response and action they have taken in response to these concerns. It’s extremely positive to see a health board responding so decisively to such a sensitive issue which affects so many. It’s vital that we make treatment as accessible as possible for mental health patients.”
The health board has now begun working on a system which will allow these letters to become standard practice.