Summary of report content
Healthwatch Oxfordshire carried out an Enter and View visit to Oxfordshire Mind's service in Bicester, to engage with service users, staff and volunteers about their experiences of attending or working there, as well as their experiences of wider mental health support. This visit was carried out as part of Healthwatch Oxfordshire's work to explore people's experiences of mental health support across the county.
Healthwatch Oxfordshire found that the people attending were happy to be there in a warm and caring environment. They were able to share issues with each other and understand other people were experiencing some of the same problems, hence feeling they were not alone. Everyone spoken to said they would like the service to offer more days and have its own Hub. Whilst service users appreciated being able to meet at Sainsbury’s Café, they did say that this could also impact them negatively due to being in a public space. Staff told Healthwatch Oxfordshire how much they enjoyed working with service users and being able to offer support and structure in their lives, but that they found it frustrating that they no longer had their own building.
Healthwatch Oxfordshire made three recommendations, as follows:
- Service provision in Bicester appears to be shrinking over time. Oxfordshire Mind to confirm it is taking steps to ensure the service doesn’t stop completely and ideally increase its offer.
- Staff be provided with a ‘pay as you go’ mobile phone so there is a contact number for service users or other visitors.
- The inclusion of a map in the email or letter which new service users are sent.
The report features a response from the service provider.