How people's experiences of care improved mental health crisis support

Healthwatch Leeds used people’s experiences of mental health crisis support to improve services for those who need them. The impact of this work has won them a 2020 Healthwatch Network Award.
Healthwatch Leeds team stood two meters apart from each other

Mental health support has consistently been raised as an issue in Leeds. So when a new mental health strategy was being developed for the city, Healthwatch wanted to ensure that the services met the needs of the people. 

To hear from as many people as possible, Healthwatch met with community groups and statutory and third sector partners as well as promoting the survey online and through their established networks.

Using the feedback they received from nearly 700 people, Healthwatch Leeds wrote a report setting out their recommendations, such as:

·         Simple and clear information about where to go in a crisis to be available

·         All frontline staff in mainstream services to have mental health training

·         Providers to review access to services and long waiting lists for support

For more information about the project and the impact they made to the local community:

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Following the publication of the report an event was organised to bring together people with experience of crisis support, carers, service providers and commissioners to look at the next steps and what practical solutions were needed. 

Healthwatch Leeds have also worked with a local mental health website to produce helpful shareable advice and information sheet about how to access crisis support

Healthwatch then worked with the local NHS trusts and crisis support services to develop an action plan based on what people had told them. 

As a result, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) agreed to work with them, to improve crisis services in Leeds and ensure they reflect the needs of the community. 

“We welcome the work carried out by Healthwatch Leeds on mental health crisis. Leeds as a system is fully committed in terms of improving access and response to people experiencing mental health crisis, subsequently, this is now a key a priority within the new mental health strategy for the city and priority within NHS Long-term Plan.”

Kashif Ahmed - Head of Commissioning Mental Health & Learning Disabilities Leeds CCG Partnership

Do you have an experience of mental health crisis support that you would like to share?

Whether you would like to share your experience or need to know more information about the services available in your local area, get in touch with your local Healthwatch. 

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Share your thoughts

You can help make a mental health services better by sharing your experiences and ideas. Find out how you can get involved with our mental health project over the next few years.

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