Thursday, 18 April 2019

Mental Health Madness Pt3

I wasn't planning on turning this article into a trilogy, but then when it comes to mental health in the UK there's plenty to say.

My interest  hasn't been from choice as such but more of a spiritual persuasion and if i'm honest there's still very much a love hate battle going on . I have been surrounded in some way or another throughout life by just about every mental health issue you can think of. I did everything I could to avoid it before coming to the conclusion I'm not the sole author of my life story and someone up there has other ideas.  Even on rare shopping trips out due to the limitation of M.E & Fibromyalgia I would often  find myself cornered by a stranger who would go from saying "hallo"  to suddenly blurting out their entire mental health life story from sectionings to psychotic drugs and back again.  

Of course I could've just walked away, only I couldn't, despite part of me wanting to run and hide behind the curtains in soft furnishings, a louder  part was telling me to stay, listen and help, and so over decades I developed techniques that I could use to try and be of some use rather than just stand with a gormless expression, my usual some would say?  

What I've encountered is so many people stuck in a system  they really don't belong purely because they don't realise they have a choice.  When a person suffers repeated trauma they often switch off, disconnect from themselves, they go through life on automatic basically believing whatever label they're given, so when they end up in the one glove fits all mental health system, they end up stuck in a repeated cycle of self abuse, sectioning and stronger medication without any question. It's a band aid and a crutch but it doesn't go anywhere deep or personal enough in giving someone the tools needed to get well again & turn their life around on a more permanent basis. In the future I'm looking at maybe running trauma sensitive Yoga classes to help individuals find that connection again. 

I believe the mental health system in this country needs a major overhaul not only with how it's accessed but also its approach with treatments. I recently spoke to lady who suffered abuse and mental anguish for many years but like a phoenix , has risen from the ashes and this is what this inspirational lady Caroline Powell had to say on Mental health & Homelessness   

"I started working on the Project  "A Slice Of Happiness" in November 2017  after  volunteering for the London and Slough Run Charity who inspired me to help those suffering. I'm now blessed to be working with four highly experienced facilitators in this field using a new psychological approach to the UK, The Three Principles: David Key (Also an Ambassador), Jacqueline Hollows               ( Founder Of Beyond Recovery), Susan Marmot and Liliana Bellini, together we facilitate the programmes which are group sessions covering 30hrs. The DJ Brandon Block has been volunteering in Watford for 10yrs with Homelessness and Addictions, and he is also  an Ambassador.

We are all facilitating free of charge, Apprenticeships are at present being offered for free by David Keys, we already have local Organisations providing food for our sessions and Quakers Homeless London and W3RT are supporting us with a venue which should take us through to the end of June. The main focus for us at the moment is to raise awareness and get self referrals for those that need our support, with no cost to them. The vision is to create a community platform starting in Watford, helping mental health and self destructive behaviour which is organically grown solely by those who have been affected by Homelessness. We started our Programmes last September and the results for our test programme were very encouraging. W3RT

We have already offered two apprenticeships to past participants, and once we are at a level to become a registered charitable organisation, they will have a new skill set which they can get paid for whilst helping others in similar situations. At present there is nothing in the UK that provides grassroots Psychological support at this level so we are excited to see where the path takes us" 

You can follow their journey and show your support via social media Facebook & Twitter 

On the 3rd january Watford MP Richard Harrington confirmed that two new mental health teams would be set up in or near schools to deal with mild to moderate mental health conditions in children and young people, and would work  alongside schools and colleges and these teams will be paid for as part of the £20,5 bn extra funding put in by the Government for mental health ?  The NHS mental health services already set up in herts are inadequate, it seems madness (no pun intended) to set up two new teams?  

Plus it's a missed opportunity & a smack in the face to those Charities & organisations already established here in Watford helping young people, like Signpost for instance, who have been running  for 44 yrs and are now in danger & struggling to stay afloat ?  If you'd like to help them keep going, you can show them your support and make a donation on their website. 

As for  dealing with my own  frustrations at living with chronic physical illness for 29yrs, it has been a somewhat comedic journey that has included, going cross-eyed as I stared at a raisin on the end of my's called mindfulness dear?  Walking around a garden staring at my feet for 20 mins, 20 mins?  when one of your prime symptoms is exhaustion ?, yes, it's called mindfulness dear ?  And then there's the putting my "frustration" in a red velvet bag and throwing it off a cliff?
 "There there it's all gone ?"   
"Ah, Sssh, it's all gone remember?" 

The DWP are no better, in fact their  ignorance and handling of any conditions be it physical or mental is not only a disgrace it's criminal. They operate on a "If it can't be seen in the hours assessment it doesn't exist" mentality, so as for anxiety ?  "The advisor didn't note any sign of anxiety, 0 point.  When I suggested that in this time of mental health awareness it was a very ignorant & shocking viewpoint. Their response was that the advisor, a healthcare professional ( in this instance a nurse) had told them there was no trembling, shaking or sweating" during her visit and that's who they listen to. So in the DWPs  parameters that is  enough to deem  a condition, symptom as not existing?  

As for unsafe swallow? "The advisor noted you were swallowing your spittle fine, also as mornings are better if you need to eat you can eat something up to midday. 0 points"

At a time where DWP have been forced to admit  111,450  claims were closed due the deaths of the claimants I suggest some of that extra Government funding goes into training DWP staff in treating those with physical and mental conditions with respect, dignity and compassion? 

Lastly, as for my own struggle with health and grief? they are all  normal emotions and i'll just crack on and deal  with them all as they ebb and flow, and if anyone wants me to put raisins on my tongue in future?  Please make sure they're Chocolate covered .   

Friday, 4 January 2019

Mental Health Madness PT2

Continuing on from  Mental Health Madness PT1  having already had the hurdle of trying to see a GP, I decided as a writer to do what I believe many in desperate need won't do, and that's to fill in the Wellbeing  Centres online seven-page questionnaire to try and access the service? 

The question that shocked me the most was on the last page, it asked if I was thinking of committing Suicide and if so had I planned how I was going to do it? There was then a box where I'm asked to describe exactly HOW I would do it?  I have to admit there was a mixture of shock, anger and sarcastic thoughts buzzing through my head at this point.  

Once you've seen a question you can't unsee it and I think it's just human nature, curiosity and automatic reaction to do that theoretical thing, where your inner head Chimp goes "Oh okay, well I wouldn't commit suicide but if I did how WOULD I do it? 
I was tempted to write in the box "I'm thinking of shoving a stick of dynamite up my arse and wandering into the Wellness centre"   (Wouldn't have to wait 12 weeks to be seen then eh? )  
I didn't of course, it was left blank because I'm not suicidal but I find it quite horrific and unnecessary to ask such a question, not just at such an early stage of trying to access the service but to ask it at all?

For someone that wasn't suicidal could it not suddenly become an option when presented with this question and made to think about it in detail?  For those that ARE suicidal doesn't this just fuel those thoughts? 

In the main, and in my personal experience people that commit suicide don't usually talk about it, in fact as in my brothers case they often lie and tell others they wouldn't ever do that.  So someone who was genuinely thinking of taking their own life wouldn't fill the form in honestly anyway. Those that frequently talk about Suicide and have suicidal thoughts rarely go through with it, there's often a pattern of self-harm, or/and drink, drugs, generally self-destructive behaviour involved in their quest to find someone to save them, often from themselves due to some past or present situation, so all the question does is fuel that thought and behaviour pattern. 

Having submitted the form, two weeks later I received a letter......along with a  two-sided sliding scale questionnaire that I was expected to fill in (I'll be on Mastermind at this rate ). I refuse point blank to fill in these useless forms, it's just another block that serves no purpose. For anyone unfamiliar with a sliding scale form let me enlighten you. The first problem with these questionnaires is that they are "One Glove Fits All" based, they take nothing else into consideration.  So the conflict is the questions are looked at from a mental/psychological angle whereas someone like myself who has Scoliosis,  Osteoporosis, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E) & Fibromyalgia view them from a physical angle by which they are impossible to fill in due to the daily fluctuating symptoms. 

Trouble Concentrating on things such as reading the newspaper or watching TV?  Not at all?  Several days?  More than half the days?  Nearly every day? 

Another question: 

Choose from the scale  0-8 how much you would avoid the situations or objects below:
Social situations due to fear of being embarrassed or making a fool of myself? 
Certain situations because of fear of having panic attacks or other distressing symptoms such as loss of bladder, vomiting or dizzyness?  
Would Not Avoid It?  Slightly Avoid It? Definitely Avoid It?  Markedly Avoid It?  Always Avoid It?  
If looking at it from a physical illness angle the questions all intermate that illness is a choice?  There are many things I cannot do due to M.E & Fibromyalgia which are the ones that hinder me the most due to their symptoms, meaning avoidance of certain things is a result of physical illness. certainly not a choice.

"Can't you just fill it in anyway?" encouraged the lady that called a few weeks later as part of my initial assessment. After explaining yet again why  I refuse to fill in these forms, she agreed with everything I stated.....but then said it still needed to be filled as  "part of the process"

As an added annoyance I was spoken to in a tone that made me feel as though I'd  just pooped on the potty for the first time, and it was a  conversation littered with what felt like buzz words that staff have been told to slip in as often as possible      "Well done"  "You're being very brave" "Thank-you for sharing that"  Yadda Yadda!

 " Do you think we could we go through it together over the phone?" she continued, regarding the form.
"We Could, but it would be a lie because it's impossible to fill in honestly?" says I

"Let's try anyway?" she insisted

 I found myself suddenly regressed to a petulant child as I repeated, 8, 8, 8, 8,  Basically, I just gave the severest answer for each question. We both knew it was meaningless but she was happy because the form had been filled and she could tick a box. She then informed me that I would have to go through a sliding scale form with the Counsellor too and off we went back and forth into battle again.  She said she would have to speak to her manager and get back to me.

She got back a few days later to say they could offer me the CBT I'd requested for dealing with long-term chronic illness, but would I consider grief counselling after that? 
Huh?  I just wanted CBT for the whole kit and caboodle that's going on in my life, it all kinda comes as a package?

Apparently, it doesn't work like that, I can have CBT in terms of my long-term physical health conditions but they don't deal in grief so  I'd need to go back to my GP and see about being referred for grief counselling somewhere else or I might even be able to refer myself......again.
It's a weird ask of someone really isn't it, to separate their pains and emotions and departmentalise them so they can fit into the right box for convenience sake?  

The conversation ended with her telling me the counsellor would be in touch in 4 wks to introduce himself properly and then it would probably be a 12 wk wait? That was in September and I've heard nothing since and it will probably boil down to the age-old  "Slipped through the net" scenario that I've come to know so well over 29yrs, and that got me thinking, I've survived 29yrs without any real outside support or help  for any of my physical conditions, in fact if we're honest, like many I've faced completely the opposite, Ignorance, prejudice, negligence and downright cruelty. As for grief counselling? again, I've coped for three years without any help and I'll continue muddling through I'm sure. What has been made so evident by my experience of trying to access mental health services thus far is how little has changed.

While I'm still  angry  and devastated and a zillion other things that my brother took his own life I really don't blame him for not trying to access any help because it's an Awful, Clueless, Jobs-worthy Scripted Shambles and had I been someone that WAS suicidal I would've stuck my middle finger up  and jumped off the nearest bridge by  now.....and I wonder how many have ? 

The Wellbeing service is run by the NHS  and we all know how overstretched they are as far as funding and staff go?  but it isn't all about money...or lack of, it goes beyond that, the whole process is wrong, lengthy and unnecessary,  it's patronising and even before physically talking to someone you're  put off by the sites talk of   "expected out of session homework tasks"  and  "filling in of questionnaires to monitor symptoms and progress" I was just looking for a bit of help with my grief at the loss of both my siblings and also 29 yrs of living with M.E but there is no way on earth having experienced what  I have so far that I would take it any further even by chance they do eventually get in touch.

With the barbaric roll out of Universal credit, mental health problems are set to rise. In October Glasgow MSP Annie Wells a Tory Mental Health spokesperson admitted that it was failing societies most vulnerable.  And don't think this is just the usual politics, the misery and deaths as a result of UC are intentional, the Government are hellbent on slashing the welfare bill at any cost and that's why they are content to  keep lying, remain emotionless to what's happening &  shift the responsibility to individuals, groups and charities to pick up the pieces  just so long as they cut that bill.  We don't just have a mental health crisis on our hands, we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands. There is a serious ripple of discontent stirring throughout social media as various groups start to form and gather followers, with a call for action and I believe it won't be long until we see that action on our streets. This government need to start listening, for just as the people put them up there, the people can and will take them down again, the vulnerable are counting on us.  
                                                                 Til Next Time
                                                                  Stay Blessed
                                                               Back Before Elvis

Monday, 31 December 2018

Resolution Time & Appreciation

Busy! Busy! Busy! Rush! Rush! Rush! from the moment we open our eyes in the morning our brain starts whirring or in my case spluttering and not making much sense until about 10am, thanks to an infusion of Coffee and as little human interaction as possible. 
Have you noticed we're a generation that is forever thinking & chattering away in our own head, what we've got to do today, whether we're good enough, always trying to stay one thought ahead, and always self-sabotaging like it's the whole point in being here?  When we're not doing that we have our face glued to a screen, be it the  (not so) Smart Phone, Computer, Netflix yadda yadda!...ah no, silly me, you wouldn't have noticed would you? 

We've become so disconnected from each other AND ourselves that we're becoming as automated as most of the UK's customer services, ya know... Press 1, Press 2,  Please state the reason why you're here after the tone? I'm sorry I didn't get that. Lets' try again.  Please state why you're here after the tone? 

Why ARE we here?  What I do know is, we're missing the point, we're so wrapped up in things that don't matter that we're ignoring the things that do, like time, time to appreciate everything we have, everything we are.  

The very simple act of waking each morning, opening our eyes, to see, to hear, is truly a blessing, many aren't afforded that privilege, and it is a privilege NOT a right,  and yet how many actually give it a thought? Instead we crawl out of bed and do things on automatic, wash, get dressed, clean teeth etc, all things that many people due to death, poor health or/and disability can't do. We take every second of our Life and doable things for granted. Have you ever stopped for a moment to consider what it would be like to wake up blind?  or deaf? or disabled and not be able to dress yourself, or even go to the toilet by yourself?  How bloody lucky for those of us given the ability to do these things and much more every day?

You can't buy time, time to appreciate the things that truly matter, time for family and friends & strangers even, those in need. It's free, it's there and yet we choose to put everything else that doesn't really matter first?  Taking time to appreciate time and all the things that actually make our daily life possible is I believe the point.  When our time is over,  having a great job, big house and flash car will mean nothing. People don't remember others by their material wealth, we're remembered for acts of kindness, for giving our time, for our ability to make others laugh, feel good, or feel loved. None of those things cost and yet it's what nourishes another's soul more than any amount of money ever could, and by giving of ourselves in this way we also nourish our own soul. 

They say the true meaning of Christmas has been lost, it should be a time of reflection, appreciation, coming together, sharing?  But why just Christmas? Shouldn't that be our daily goal?

In a nutshell, self-sabotaging serves no purpose whatsoever, none of it's true & it just wastes precious time, so focus on your abilities and remember the small things ARE the big things, the things that matter.  Regarding death, someone once said that we're all in a queue we just don't know where in the queue we are. So take that thought into 2019 with you, If you wake up in the morning it's cause for celebration,  appreciate the day even the poop things that happen, view it as a life lesson and not the end of the world because in the bigger picture it really isn't.  Take time to say what you mean and mean what you say, and say "I love you" more often and don't ever get too big to give or receive a hug.  I have come to learn the magnitude of  giving time and a hug to another, while a simple act, earlier this year someone who was considering suicide told me it  had made them feel that someone cared, made them feel they had worth and  plenty to still offer to the world &  had given them a reason  to stay.  Each and every one of us has these wonderful gifts inside of us that we can give to another, it would sure make the world a better place if we all used them, that might be asking a lot, but we can at least start with ourselves?

To family and friends real & virtual and those no longer in my life but have taught me lessons I thank you all, I have nothing but love and appreciation. 
                                              Happy New Year, Stay Blessed
                                                       Back Before Elvis x

Friday, 21 December 2018

Mental Health Madness PT 1

Many of the Mental health services in Hertfordshire are appallingly inadequate,  It's probably the same all over the country, but I prefer to stick to fact rather than assumption and as someone that lives in Watford Hertfordshire I know it to be true.

It 's not that it was any better in "The good ol days". I remember many years ago a young girl of 14  taking an overdose, after getting her to hospital to have her stomach pumped we were told it was a 6-8 wk wait before she could be assessed for appropriate treatment
/Counselling and then another few months wait before she could start that treatment/Counselling. In the meantime, if things got too bad she could "Ring the Samaritans"    You mean that organisation where it's like talking to a brick wall and where  they keep asking if you're thinking of taking your own life until it feels more like a suggestion than a question?  Yes, that organisation. 

Fast forward to 2018, I've had two friends that have been sectioned this year due to sudden mental health issues. Their families, frightened and in a state of shock themselves were given no support & little information and had to fight every step of the way, even getting hold of the visiting times turned into a drama. Meetings were arranged but when relatives turned up, the meeting had gone ahead without them.  Severely affected are placed in with moderately affected, my friends & their families witnessed daily fights and attacks, it was only when alarms went off that staff came otherwise they were rarely seen. When any issues were raised to staff or management it was met with hostility. This is not only unhelpful, but it adds to an already traumatic situation, I believe this environment is dangerous and detrimental to an individuals recovery, especially when the mental health issues are moderate.  Management & staff  should be working with Patients and their families and vice versa not battening down the hatches and preparing for battle.

We have all this mental health awareness going on, The Media, Social media, TV, Radio etc telling people to speak up and get help, but in many cases the help that's available isn't fit for purpose and individuals are often branded as trouble-makers when they try to raise issues. This isn't anything new, but it needs to stop so that vital changes can take place.  

Those of you who've followed my articles over the years in my Column at the Watford Observer and on social media will know that in 2015  I lost my own brother to suicide, ironically he had volunteered as  a Samaritan for 18 of his younger years, we'd had many discussions and disagreements over the often robotic emotionless way  they operate , but he was a grown man and I respected his choice.  Having lost my Sister to a rare Sarcoma just five months later, it's left me bereft & adrift ever since. 

In 2017 I reluctantly went to see my GP, I say "My GP"   but does anyone actually know who the hell their GP is these days?  And even if they do, what are the chances you can get to see them?  There was a time that a patient and GP built up trust over time, a relationship, and an extremely important one at that. When an individual goes to a GP whether it be with a physical or mental health issue it's tough enough to confide without finding yourself sat opposite a total random. I believe the breakdown of the GP/Patient relationship has had a huge negative impact on both parties. Doctors have always worked in a stressful environment. As a child we had a Dr Filose,  the kindest most patient man you could meet & he resembled Raymond Burr from TV Police Drama "Ironside" for those old enough to remember? Little did we know until after his sudden death that he was an alcoholic battling his own demons. In fact in the Herts Adult Mental Heath Stragedy 2016-2021, it states that between 2014/2015  9,105 GPs were known to have serious mental health issues. 

Having waited two weeks for an appointment to see whoever was available first,  I felt as though I'd entered and exited via a revolving door, feeling awkward and not sure how to start I  muttered that I was stressed, without any eye contact whatsoever she leant over her desk, grabbed a card, handed it to me and told me to look the website up online and refer myself and I could sit in a circle and share my feelings. Horrified by the suggestion of  "Sitting in a circle sharing my shit"  & telling her as such, she told me to check it out anyway,  "Is there anything else I can help you with today? No? okay, bye"
Fast forward to 2018 and I repeated the sequence again, revolving doors, random GP,  card, self-referral yadda yadda! and back out again, only this time I followed it up online. The first perplexed face I pulled was at having to fill in a seven-page online questionnaire. 

Really?  I may not know a lot, but through decades of research and personal experience of supporting friends, family & randoms with various mental health issues, I know that someone in mental distress is not going to sit there writing chapter and verse for seven bloody pages. 

While lack of funding is an obvious issue in many cases, it still doesn't excuse the blocks,  I'd like to know who comes up with all these blocks, evidently someone without a Scooby Doo because let's  face it they don't do anyone any favours and are just jobs-worthy blocks that serve no real purpose to either party apart from a lot of paperwork & making it extremely difficult and off-putting for vulnerable people to access the service, and what about those that already have the obstacle of learning disabilities?   Although there's the option of phoning and going through the questionnaire with someone, when feeling emotional who wants to have seven pages of questions fired at them?  And some quite shocking questions at that........ 

Out of writer curiosity & for research I DID fill in the seven page questionnaire, so Join me this weekend for  Mental Health Madness PT 2 where I'll continue to share my own experience at attempting to access counselling, those shocking questions,  and also some of the problems faced by self-funded services, you won't want to miss it. And if you have stories and comments of your own? Feel free to share them in comments below.
                                                                Stay Blessed
                                                            Back Before Elvis

Friday, 25 May 2018

Fat Letters....No Op?

I've recently been contacted by a number of rather upset patients that come under West Herts Hospitals NHS trust, who while waiting for their Op date for medical conditions have suddenly received a letter to basically inform them they are too fat and can't have the Op after all.  The Trust have seemingly rolled out a new policy with a total lack of communication between departments, meaning even those at the hospital that should know about it......didn't.

As a regular reader & follower of the Column I used to write at the Watford Obs, I know one of the patients involved and was shocked to say the least when she contacted me on this matter, because while like most of us she could do with losing a few pounds, which she readily admits herself,  she is not what you would describe as fat or obese.  

When I started getting contacted by other patients with exactly the same issue I felt it needed bringing to public attention so that others can be pre-warned and hopefully in the meantime the Trust can rectify this faux pas.  Most of the patients' stories were similar, that they'd seen their doctor, a consultant at the hospital and had their pre-op and at no stage had any concern been raised about their weight, they were just told they would be put on a waiting list for their Op date.

It's never easy waiting for an Op, there's the stress and anxiousness of anticipation and just wanting to get it over with, so when a letter dropped through  one of the patients letter box they assumed it was  a date and tore it open only to read that it had been decided their BMI was too high and the trust weren't going to fund the Op.  
"I sat and cried, I think it was because it came as such a shock,  I've been waiting for weeks for my Op date so this was the last thing I was expecting," she  told me.
Another patient told of how they'd "broken down" when they'd received the letter. "I rarely ever cry, but they were basically telling me I was fat and it made me feel like rubbish,  nobody had said anything to me about losing weight.  Thankfully my family were home with me at the time and gave me hugs and reassurance, but I'd hate to think of  someone vulnerable and on their own suddenly getting one of these letters out of the blue " 

And that's one of the main reasons I decided to take up the story. It's Mental Health Awareness month this month, I've studied & researched all types of mental illness over the years, and I've also counselled & supported many with mental health problems over the years, so I'm fully aware of just how fragile a human can be, it can take nothing to very little to push someone with mental health issues over the edge. Weight issues are a very sensitive subject and while sensitivity tends to be pointed towards women I believe men are just as self-conscious and insecure when it comes to their size and appearance and it shouldn't be taken lightly. 
The letters go on to say the patients have 4 months to lose weight otherwise they will be taken off the list. If they lose the weight within the time frame they have to go back to their doctors, who presumably will refer them back to the hospital again to undergo their Pre Op....again?  Some of the patients contacted the hospital, only to be told someone would have to call them back because nothing was known about this. The callbacks revealed that it was a new policy the Trust were rolling out, criteria for an Op was now much stricter because there is so much pressure on the NHS  and something should have been said to patients at the stage they saw the consultant ....... the only problem was, someone seemingly forget to tell the consultants ? 

Another patient said  "I may be a stone overweight, but I go to the gym, I'm extremely fit, don't smoke and don't drink and yet I can't have the Op? Does it mean someone that's 8 stone, drinks and smokes and doesn't exercise can have the Op?  If the Trust are changing criteria or the way they deal with it, surely patients should be made aware in advance? 

A lady, also just a stone overweight told me that due to the placing of a Cyst she was waiting to have removed, she'd been advised to also have a hysterectomy, but the letter she received says due to her BMI being too high, the trust will only fund the removal of the Cyst, not the hysterectomy? 
"How the hell can that make sense,"  she said angrily 

After listening to all the cases,  I can only conclude that while it's seemingly being rolled out as for the patients own health & safety, A  realist, some would say cynical me, can't help thinking it smacks of cost-cutting?  Remember, if the patient hasn't lost the weight to fit the criteria within 4 months they are knocked off the list?  And lets' face it losing weight isn't that easy, even for the die hards amongst us?  
And it all seems rather shambolic,  they basically tell one patient she's too fat to have the Op so she can only have half of it as they'll only fund part of it? .... Surely she's either too fat to have the Op or she's not? 

 Not being obese or overly fat has always been a sensible factor when it comes to Operations, nobody has a problem with that, least of all the patients that have got in contact with me, but it seems the goal posts have been moved without anybody being warned. What  is now classed as being "too fat"?  Under the new rules what is the BMI people now need to be to have their operations?  Shouldn't patients be told at the start? 

The way in which this has been rolled out and handled has quite frankly been atrocious and has caused a lot of upset to the unsuspecting patients waiting on their Op date letters, only to receive the "Too fat, No-op" letters instead. We all make mistakes and we are all aware of the pressure on the NHS, but I hope West Herts Trust will put this right?  Firstly by apologising to all those that have received one of these letters, and secondly to rethink how they go forward with this policy. 

If anyone at West Herts NHS trust would like to get in touch with me to comment, I'd be more than happy to publish. 

                                                                    Stay Blessed
                                                               Back Before Elvis