Mum’s battle to secure health care for her son

Melanie McKeown and son Michael.
Melanie McKeown and son Michael.

A mother claims her son’s mental health issues are getting worse as a result of NHS Forth Valley’s failure to provide an appropriate service for children.

Melanie McKeown (38), of Muirend Court in Bo’ness, has been struggling to ensure that her eleven-year-old son, Michael gets the treatment he needs.

Michael was diagnosed as having emotional problems following the death of his dad Shaun in a motorcycle collision in April 2012.

Mum Melanie claims that the local mental health services are inadequate for children and that, despite Michael having had referrals from his GP, he is still waiting on a proper care package.

She said: “I seem to be banging my head on a brick wall a lot of the time.

“Even when Michael was hospitalised I had to stay with him because they had no trained staff.

“Michael did get to see a psychologist at one point – a trainee, who after two appointments told us she could do no more.

“Since then we’ve been fighting to try to get more help for him.”

Michael has now been threatened with exclusion from school as a result of his behavioural problems.

On Friday last week, a meeting was held to discuss Michael at a case conference.

This involved the worried mum, his headteacher from a local school and a social worker from Falkirk Council.

But, according to Melanie, despite being notified, no health professional from Forth Valley attended.

However, a spokeswoman for Forth Valley Hospital said: “We are not aware of any recent meetings which health staff failed to attend.

“Our child and adolescent mental health team work closely with local authority colleagues in social work and education to ensure a co-ordinated and joined up approach to care.

“Staff have worked closely with this patient’s family to ensure that they receive all of the health services and support they require.

“This includes ongoing support from relevant staff, who see the patient on a regular basis, and access to a dedicated key worker who they can contact for support or advice.

“We would be happy to meet with the family to discuss any questions or concerns they have and also to explore if they could benefit from some of the additional services or support provided by the other partner agencies involved in this child’s care.”