Access to Mental Health Services

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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.

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General details

Report title 
Access to Mental Health Services
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch North Yorkshire
Date of publication 
Monday, 4 February, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 3 September, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 28 December, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Consent to care and treatment
Continuity of care
Information providing
Quality of care
Quality of treatment
Staff levels
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Voluntary and Community Sector
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Harrogate Service User and Carer Involvement Group
Primary research method used 
Focus group
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Mental health crisis service

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Not known
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.