Experiences of mental health services 2018

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Milton Keynes collected feedback from service users which covered experiences of Milton Keynes' main mental health services and providers. This included focused evidence gathering about the Primary Care Plus (PCP) pilot scheme which is accessed through GP services, and further feedback about mental health services and support.

The people spoken to about PCP were very positive about their experience of the service, however feedback also showed that many people still struggle to access appropriate or timely mental health support. Themes identified included: communication between patients and staff can be improved; access to services presents difficulties; there is a need for more holistic support. People also said that as relationships between the service user and their treatment professionals needed to be built on trust, this is difficult to develop when staff changes mean service users see a different professional at each appointment. Service users did not always see being discharged from services as a good thing, as the time it takes to re-enter support when needed may mean that they reach crisis point before getting the help needed. People were also concerned that they were not having regular medicine reviews.

Healthwatch Milton Keynes made three recommendations: for accessible information about mental health conditions, treatments, criteria and care pathways to be made available locally, as well as information about other options, to empower service users and their carers to make informed choices; for the local system to review, with service users and their carers, use of the Care Plan Approach to ensure consistency of use across the area; for more support to be provided to healthcare professionals working with people with challenging behaviours as this may help to reduce the health inequalities experienced by this group. Service users suggested: for the support available to be more joined up and the pathway clearly signposted to all; having a sponsor to build rapport and share problems with; to be more vocal and proud about the initiatives put in place to help people in Milton Keynes.

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General details

Report title 
Experiences of mental health services 2018
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Milton Keynes
Date of publication 
Monday, 13 May, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Health inequalities
Holistic support
Information providing
Public involvement
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
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 
Primary research method used 
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Not known
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Community mental health team (CMHT)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
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? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.