Confusing 'information jungle' fails long-term sick - Guardian
"The NHS is failing millions of patients with long-term medical conditions by making it virtually impossible for them to discover where to get essential services, research for the Department of Health acknowledged today.
The researchers sent a team of "mystery shoppers" to investigate services across England for people with conditions such as MS and diabetes. They found themselves referred from one organisation to another, with nobody taking personal responsibility for finding the specialist nurse, therapist or voluntary organisation that could help.
The Picker Institute, an independent charity commissioned by the department to run the survey, said the NHS and social services were to blame for creating "an information jungle" that vulnerable people could not penetrate.
Angela Coulter, the institute's chief executive, said: "The potential service users were frequently pushed from person to person, or from organisation to organisation. They were often left dangling by calls that went unanswered. They encountered sheer brick walls.
"Too often the services supposed to help people in real need throw them back on their own resources. Patients, service users and carers are left standing at a crossroads in their lives with no signposts to information about the kinds of support they say are vital.""
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