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.