Summary of report content
Healthwatch North Yorkshire was invited to the Harrogate Service User and Carer Involvement Group to conduct an hour-long focus group about the experiences of 11 individuals accessing mental health service in the area in September 2018. A follow-up meeting was carried out in December 2018.
Participants reported that they experience a lack of communication between members of their care team and they felt that they were constantly having to retell and relive their stories, which is also a result of high staff turnover. When there was a measure of coordination or blending of physical and mental health services, this was highlighted as a very positive experience. In line with national experiences and many other pieces of feedback across North Yorkshire, service users commented on the long wait times and the gap between needing care and receiving it. Nevertheless, the group highlighted that they have also experiences many positive aspects of their mental health care. For example, the impact of having a helpful care coordinator and the support from third sector organisations. In the December follow-up meeting, a service user also emphasised that it is important that organisational cultures of mental health service providers support the mental health of their own staff members.
No recommendations were made, although, Healthwatch North Yorkshire state that they will be monitoring the situation closely and doing more work around this issue in the near future.