Family wait two years for boy's mental health treatment

Anna-Maria Bromley
Image caption Mrs Bromley said her son, who suffers from anxiety, worries about leaving their house

The mother of a 10-year-old boy with autism says she feels "incredibly sad and helpless" over his two-year wait for treatment for depression.

Anna-Maria Bromley, of Syston, Leicestershire, said during his wait for treatment, her son had become "afraid to leave the house".

In a recent Care Quality Commission report, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust was criticised over its treatment delays for children and adolescents.

The trust said things were improving.

Its chief executive, Peter Miller, said: "The NHS is under huge pressures - and the demand for our services remains extremely high.

Updates on this story and more from Leicestershire

"Sometimes we don't have the capacity to respond to that demand as quickly as I would want to do.

"We employ 5,500 people, providing one million contacts a year to patients in Leicestershire - but we need to ensure that every one of those is a great contact and is delivering the value it needs to do."

Long waiting lists

  • The CQC inspection showed 647 children and young people were on the waiting list in Leicestershire in November 2016
  • Eighty seven had been waiting over a year to begin treatment
  • Four patients had been waiting at least two years
  • Some staff had caseloads of 25 to 55 patients
  • Although waiting lists were long, treatment was "very good once it started"

Mrs Bromley said her son suffered from "awful anxiety and upset" and had stopped swimming and going to the cinema because he was afraid to leave the house.

She said the family were first referred to mental health services by a paediatrician in March 2015 but after months of delays they finally got an apology in September 2016.

A care plan was agreed in November 2016, but the family is still waiting for a psychiatric assessment.

"It's been two years, but he is still being assessed," Mrs Bromley said.

"The wait has been so frustrating and so annoying. We have a son who desperately needs support to enable him to function in society and we are left waiting around."

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