"Mental Health is no longer the Cinderella Service" - ( The professor Hypes himself up to a point where 'Nutty' becomes a more appropriate description of his opinions. )
- Go tell it to Debbie and Anthony Jones of Ely, and their teenage daughter Chloe, Marcus ! - (see Echo article "Daughter's treatment has torn us apart"
Having been appointed as a Director of the Universally Inept Health Board ( Cardiff and Vale Chapter ), this learned Professor chooses to make his mark in the 'Monumentally Stupid Statements" category with his unbelievable declaration, as above.
Chloe is one of 27 children who have been placed outside of Wales for mental health treatment. She is currently being treated at Huntercombe Hospital, Maidenhead, in their high dependency unit. This is because her nearest treatment centre - TyLlidiard, Bridgend - was unable to cope with her. [ Unable to cope with a 16 year old mentally ill child ???? I do not believe it ! ] And - What of the other 26 children ? What excuse has been proffered for them being moved ?
Maidenhead is 125 miles away and the Jones' do not own or run a motor car, so they have to rely on the help of friends, making their visits too infrequent in an all too tragic situation, not of their making. In fact Chloe was given initial treatment at Ty Llydiard but then had to spend 9 weeks at Huntercombe Hosand . Afterwards, Chloe was back at her home for her 16th birthday. However, she was once again admitted to Ty Lydiard, prior to the staff there sending her on to Huntercombe, away from her family again.
Debbie and Anthony Jones do not get help with any travel or subsistence costs, which makes their visits to their daughter fewer and far between. Unlike Ty Lydiard, Huntercome does not provide any facilities for parents to stay with their children. The Jones' have to find the money to stay in nearby hotels to be near their sick child.
Incredibly, Dr Paul Davies of Cwm Taf Health Board says, "There are not enough young people in Wales suffering with specific mental health issues to require ( justify ) a local specialist unit". NHS Wales is quiet in response with Minister, mark Drakeford offering sympathy, adding that "This situation is rare". How comforting are these words for the Jones' in their hour of great need ?
Unsurprisingly, no information is available on the other 26 children that are forced to seek treatment out of Wales. This information needs to be made public so that the extent of the negligence in failing to treat these children may be fully investigated and corrected. Previously, my colleagues and I have been informed that as many as 40 older patients have been sent 'out of area' for treatment - simply because, the Welsh NHS has decimated our mental health services without any thought for their relatives.
So-called 'experts' like Marcus Longley have been paid to hype up mental services to a point where their remarks have been so misleading and irresponsible that patients ( and their families ) demand more transparency and openness from our incompetent government and their lackeys. All the hype surrounding changes to the health services that ( supposedly ) will improve patient satisfaction have now been shown to be myth - a cruel joke on all those families who will suffer avoidable deaths because treatment for their illnesses is no longer accessible to them or their loved ones. R. W.