Summary of report content
Healthwatch Oxfordshire carried out an Enter and View visit to Oxfordshire Mind's Charter Centre in Abingdon, 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: service users said they really valued being able to come to the Charter Centre. It was seen as a safe, warm and welcoming space, where people could come, ‘be themselves’ and feel able to meet others with shared experiences. People found staff approachable and compassionate, and valued the support given to them. Service users felt able to tell staff how they were feeling and be accepted for that and not feel judged. Some service users commented on the need for consistency of approach from all staff.
Staff and volunteers commented that they love their work and being alongside service users in their journey. Empathy and understanding was seen as an essential quality for staff, and maintaining and supporting quality of staff was key. Resources were seen as stretched, impacting both on staffing levels, and activities.
Healthwatch Oxfordshire made three recommendations for Oxfordshire Mind on: sharing examples of good practice; making the entrance area more inviting; and reviewing support to wellbeing workers and role in peer groups in terms of skills to facilitate and manage groups dynamics to ensure they are safe and supported spaces. Healthwatch Oxfordshire also made a recommendation for the attention of Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership - to address the long waits for complex needs services, as this can put pressure on services in the voluntary sector. The report features a positive response from the service provider.