Summary of report content
Healthwatch Oxfordshire carried out an Enter and View visit to Oxfordshire Mind's Witney Resource Centre, to engage with service users, staff and volunteers about their experiences of attending or working at the centre, 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 all service users were positive about attending the Witney Resource Centre - commenting that it really contributed to their recovery. They valued the centre, describing it as a ‘lifeline’ that provided a real sense of ‘community’ and ‘family’. They valued the informal atmosphere. Service users also commented on the value of the centre for reducing isolation and loneliness, giving people a sense of friendship and shared experiences.
People valued the activities they took part in, in particular, the music ‘jam’ session and the book group, both of which showed real innovation and creativity, and had ‘rekindled’ interests. People valued the staff and volunteers, and felt listened to, especially 1:1. They felt they had an opportunity to be heard, making use of a suggestions box, or speaking individually to staff members. One comment suggested that service users do not always see what happens to or have feedback on their suggestions.
Based on these findings, Healthwatch Oxfordshire made a number of recommendations for both Oxfordshire Mind on providing clearer feedback to service users about suggestions made in the suggestions box, and reviewing the opening times and sessions to ensure that need of people living in the area are met and tie in with public transport. Healthwatch also made recommendations for the attention of Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership, around access for those using public transport and long waiting times for complex needs. The report contains a positive response from the service provider.