Concerns Over GIC Patient Care

ShawBee
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Concerns Over GIC Patient Care

Postby ShawBee » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:20 am

Concerns Over GIC Patient Care

I think we all agree that the National Health Service is in a mess and while much good to excellent work is being carried out on a day to day basis, there is also a cover up culture and a desire to silence any dissent, from staff to patients to family of patients.

A recent parody on the well known video sharing site has raised some very important issues, as discussed in another topic. That being patient care at Charing Cross GIC. Charing Cross GIC is funded by West London Mental Health Trust(last time I checked), who receive their funding from the NHS who are in turn funded by the taxpayer via HM Government. A commissioning body/PCT will fund a patients care via the same route of taxpayer, HM Government and NHS. So if we follow the food chain from top to bottom, ie, the PCT/commissioning body, they are paying for our treatment and care and they expect to receive a certain level of care for each payment not only to CX, but also other GIC'S Too. Speaking for my case alone, my PCT(as it was when my treatment started), have not received a level of care for myself that they are paying for.

In recent years, I have, unfortunately, had to deal with various disciplines within the NHS.
I understand budget restraints so I accept waiting times, unforeseen delays/cancellations etc, but what I do not tolerate is incompetence and snotty attitudes towards patients. I have had to deal with both of these in different areas of my health. I have had to put in written complaints, only for 1 to have been binned, and the 2nd, I was fobbed off totally. Unless you have the Legal Artillery behind you, you dont stand a chance.

1 complaint on its own, is a stone thrown. Its mark can be hidden away, fobbed off. 2 or 3 can also be dealt with likewise. You smack them with a concrete slab of complaints, they will not know which way to turn.

Many will be aware of the operational difficulties of CX(of which I am a patient) and the many issues raised here and elsewhere on the internet of not only CX, but other GIC's in the UK. NHS GIC's funded by the previously mentioned chain, and therefore are answerable to many levels.

I had my 1st appointment with CX quite a few years ago and beforehand I had gotten myself into the trenches, forums, chatrooms etc and there was murmurings about CX, 'the CX way of doing things wasnt working for me' etc. Fore warned is fore armed so they say so I went with a little trepidation, but I was prepared to make my own mind up on the CX way of doing things. I have my my own mind up and those negative opinions did have a valid point. Now I have heard of GIC staff, ermm, lurking shall we say, in the rooms and forums, and in turn possibly acting in a petty manner towards those patients, whose PCT etc are paying for a certain level of treatment. Now whether this is actually true or not, I dont know, but what I do know is that many will stay silent for fear of reprisals, they will not, and quite rightly, stick their heads above the parapet. So many who may well have a genuine complaint/concern about their care, their voice will never be heard, and those who do stick their neck out will be fobbed off, lied to, 'kicked off the program(possibly).
Its not right, but that is how things 'seem' to be working.

CX GIC has, in 1 form or another, been operating since the 60's(if I am correct), has on or around 2000 patients on its books currently, and has, in many peoples eyes, been excellent. There are those who havnt fared so well and there are many ongoing and long running concerns that need to be urgently addressed so that the 'good' reputation it has earned over the years can return to being Good and not tarnished as I think it currently is.
Despite what you may think, I am NOT a CX hater, I do have faith in its expertise but that faith is tarnished, I would love to see it become Un-tarnished.

Back to the stones.

Quote - 1 complaint on its own, is a stone thrown. Its mark can be hidden away, fobbed off. 2 or 3 can also be dealt with likewise. You smack them with a concrete slab of complaints, they will not know which way to turn. - unquote.

There are many activists who chip away at the system on our behalf. That takes time. What we really need is 1 big mother shell to hit the Trusts with to make them take notice because its so damn big that it cannot be hidden. That shell is the concrete slab of complaints I mentioned. Of the 2000 approximately that CX has on their books, if even, say 250 plus X amount for people no longer patients there, put their complaints in at 1 time, there is no way WLMHT or any other trust, can ignore that sheer mass of complaints, they would have to sit up, take notice, and act. You cannot fob off that many people.

There are 2 problems to this.
1, how many current patients would stick their heads above the parapets, and
B, how would you do it under the radar? If CX staff lurk in the chatrooms etc, they would know what is about to hit them. It could scare them into action, or they could just cover their tracks. T-Zone is very visible, the others, not so much, but if you know where to look,,,,,,,,

Not everyone can be an activist, for whatever reasons, I cant, but I CAN be very vocal on the problems CX has, have been and have forewarned people waiting for their 1st CX appointment. T-Zone, and other sites, the problems facing us should be aired with vim and vigour, it should never be swept under the carpet, in the hope it makes GIC's sit up an d take notice, Or we hit the trusts with that concrete slab I mentioned,,,,

there is another way, but im keeping schtum for the time being
'he's still alive, he wants more cigarettes, fruitcake and pile ointment,'

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ShawBee
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Re: Concerns Over GIC Patient Care

Postby ShawBee » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:21 am

oh dear, stupid o'clock and i am still awake. still, i need milk and the shop opens at 6 :-)

i do realise that my being vocal in the past, and now, has, if the rumours are true, kiboshed my chances at CX, or will do.

i am currently living as a woman, full time, im just under 5 months FT. i am not on hrt/t-blockers etc, not having facial fluff removal, i have not yet changed my name, i do have a female aka and openly use it. my children accept me. i am, hmm, passable, just about. i have had no comments shouted at me on the street etc. i would love hrt n all the trimmings, but they are not availible to me at this time. if they are never availible to me, i will continue to live as i am now. even if i never get srs. this is the minimum i can live now, going back to male would be admitting defeat and everything i gave up for this freedom would then be for nothing and i am stubborn enough not to let that happen, come what may. i am one stubborn mother,,,,,

i am comfortable(if not completely happy without hrt n whatnot) at this stage :cool:
'he's still alive, he wants more cigarettes, fruitcake and pile ointment,'

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Christine
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Re: Concerns Over GIC Patient Care

Postby Christine » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:17 am

I think there's little disagreement that things could be run a lot better. Although a few have got through CX's programme in the minimum time with no fuss, it seems that so many others have run into delays and problems. Of course there is some truth in the suggestion that those who have problems are more likely to complain than those who didn't are likely to praise, but irrespective of that, many, many people do have problems and things like the waiting lists are undeniably terrible.

Personally I think that the solution has to be a "political" one. Not necessarily involving actually politicians (though having the NHS controlled by people who don't put party ideology first would be nice) but it is something that's going to have to involve the senior people, and until such people can actually be held accountable, I don't see that happening. Anything under the mental health umbrella always ends up suffering, as the health service's Cinderella, it's historically been starved of funding, though that in turn is just as often used as an excuse for some really pretty poor practises. My experience of the local mental health trust is from years of depression, and I have to say that it's been a longer, nastier and more frustrating journey than any I could imagine at CX: the admin side isn't so bad, but everything else is worse. I did complain and had them attempt to bury it at every turn, which is why I'm also very suspicious of PALS as our local team operate as a complaints prevention system. The then Healthcare Commission upheld all manner of procedural complaints against them, even though they weren't allowed to investigate treatment failings, insanely, but before they had a chance to press them with what little power they had, they were replaced by the politically-motivated Ombudsman who again seemed to exist primarily to bury complaints, which they did. And we all know how that ended since it's still all over the news.

But the will to change is obfuscated by those with other agendas, such as the pro-NHS vs. pro-privatisation brigade with the needs of patients becoming increasingly drowned out with the two of them yelling at each other. The NHS seems to suffer the same problems as any large organisation, public or private, but matters always get worse when nobody takes responsibility and nobody is accountable. We need a few good people in a position to sort things out and a will to do so, and I fear until they show themselves, nothing else is going to do anything other than ineffectually scratch away at the problem. Perhaps I sound pessimistic when I say that there seems to be an almost total lack of good people with the power to do anything right now, but I remain oddly optimistic that they will appear one day.

As for CX staff lurking on forums, I find that to be quite unlikely. They may do, but I suspect that most have seen enough of things during their day job and probably don't want to spend their spare time reading what people are saying about it. Though I could be wrong...

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BeckiKeiko
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Re: Concerns Over GIC Patient Care

Postby BeckiKeiko » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:18 pm

I think one of the major issues that CX has to deal with, and the providers of care for trans people is this:

* Trans care is very highly problematic, it is not supported by the established medical or psychiatric establishment therefore always runs the risk of having it's status and provision of care removed.

As a provider of that service, I think the clinicians really feel a pressing duty of care for their clients and subsequent generations. They KNOW that for some trans people, it really is a matter of life or death. Links have been posted in transiness with senior clinicians talking about how they support trans care and we know that 80% of GP's think trans care is cosmetic and have difficulty understanding how vital it is for trans people. Those 80% are going to be pretty unsupportive of the consultants at GIC's as well, and they aren't backwards in talking about this.

Basically CX aren't going to support service users who pose a risk to the service continuing these include people who:

* Change their mind about transitioning and complain publicly about the service bringing it into disrepute.
* Are suffering from a complicating problem such as DID/psychosis/depression so their priority is to treat this first so that 1) the person is in a fit mental state to recover from surgery 2) people aren't operated on who are suffering from psychosis for example.

So with this in mind, CX are not the enemy as many people paint them to be. The clinicians are likely as frustrated by the current "system" as are the service users themselves, however, in order to move things forward, clinicians have to know that they have 100% backing from the people that they treat.

My experience with CX, like Christine's, have been positive - if frustratingly slow (so much that it affected my mental health - but that's not THEIR problem as individuals, it's the system they have to work within). I took people with me so they could go over things with me again because it's a really stressful thing to try and articulate how much you are suffering with them as well as answer all the questions they need to go through. They are absolutely fine with this. In fact, on my final appointment, a clinician was happy to have my dad and my partner with me (he went to get extra chairs).

I have heard so many stories about how people busy themselves with "taking CX to task" when the real issue actually is about *coping with how awful having gender dysphoria is*. So instead of displacing that pain onto clinicians it might be helpful for the GIC to write to PALS and explain that, because of lack of funding, you're struggling to get the care/therapy/appointments you need and how this is making your dysphoria/depression/life issues worse NOT how horrible clinicians/the system are/is.

https://soundcloud.com/martha-london/pe ... -on-gender

Like Sam, I talk with a LOT of trans people, both locally and globally and one of the things I notice is how people who come across as "difficult" and "angry" have real difficulties with settling in to their new gender role (both trans men / women and GQ identified people). It's understandable how a GIC would be very cautious in proceeding with helping angry people like this - they seem to take their anger through transition and direct it at the service which poses a risk to the service and other users, and the personal outcomes are worse.

I'm not saying that they don't put angry people through the service, they do, but they seem to take longer to get to the same point. I think if you are complaining, you need to be very specific about how delays etc affect your quality of life and be supportive of the service.

Individual complaints about specific incidents have to wait until you've gone through the system. They're open to client feedback at this point.
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ShawBee
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Re: Concerns Over GIC Patient Care

Postby ShawBee » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:41 pm

ombudsmen and complaint committes etc are toothless tigers, there for show, it may look good, smacks of appeasement to me, but toothless tigers nonetheless, and they have been de-clawed too. hidden agendas are another factor. some B*gger always has alterior motives.

the trick is to throw so much at them that you force them into a corner, from multiple angles if need be. talking doesnt seem to be working, now its time to sharpen our claws and stand up and be counted, because unless we come out from behind our screens and say consequences be damned, nothing will change and those with a god complex will get away with it today, tomorrow, next year etc. if we do nothing to affect change, we have no right to complain.
'he's still alive, he wants more cigarettes, fruitcake and pile ointment,'



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