Pimlico Health at The Marven
9th April 2022
I'm not overreacting when I say this place saved my life. I've got a long term mental health condition and registered at this surgery because my last one told me to make a cup of tea and to stop threatening them when I told them I was having suicidal thoughts and was scared I may act on them (they were aware of two previous suicide attempts). Fortunately I had family nearby at the time who kept me safe. I immediately left that surgery and checked out the CQC mental health reports on other GPs nearby, and am so glad I ended up at this one. I recently experienced an acute crisis in the middle of the night and was desperate for help. Mental health services in the UK are shocking, and I find them even harder to access because they'll only see people who reside in their borough. I'm on the border of three - yet not in the catchment area for one in my borough! After speaking with the out of hours Chelsea and North West London mental health crisis team, who were amazing, they kept in touch with me until my GP opened and was able to get me the help I needed. Wandsworth mental health services are utterly shameful, and my old surgery catchment area in Lambeth were dire too when I was begging for help from the Lambeth crisis team. The GPs were quick to act when the surgery opened and ensured I was safe. Despite clearly needing urgent psychiatric help Wandsworth insisted I didn't qualify as a crisis and made me a routine appointment for a few weeks ahead, so the GP said they'd be in touch regularly and even altered my medication dose and gave me adequate anti anxiety medication to see me through to keep me safe until Wandsworth could be bothered. I was eventually seen when I reached crisis point one night and ended up in Springfield's mental health a&e equivalent. They deemed me a crisis case then..!
If it wasn't for the intervention of the GPs and how genuinely empathetic they were I probably would've made an attempt on my life. They listened and believed me, and are continuing to follow me up, along with the scant mental health services at Wandsworth. It is sad that GPs are being made to deal with mental health crises when the services do exist, but there're gatekeepers who won't take you seriously until your life has completely gone to pot. I have a home and a job (both of which I'm keen to keep hold of!), and a month before this I was a functional human being. I was desperate for help to stop things escalating and to get my life back on track. Some mental health services will only take you seriously if you're on class A drugs and have social issues. I expect that kind of stigma from the general public; not mental health crisis teams. I cannot thank Pimlico Health at The Marven enough for how kind they've been and their ongoing care.
I've also had a few minor health issues that I've needed doctors appointments for and they've always been helpful and swift to manage these, which is commendable given the current circumstances. The receptionists have always been polite, and I find the system for being able to make general queries over email really convenient. They're always quick to respond, and schedule a doctor or nurse appointment if necessary.
Thank you again, from me and my family.