Experiences of mental health support in the community

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Summary of report content

In Sheffield over 95,000 people (17.1% of the adult population) have a diagnosis of either depression or anxiety, and over 5,000 people (0.9% of the adult population) have a diagnosis of severe mental illness such as psychosis or severe depression. The number of people with diagnosis of mental health conditions has continually risen over the last two decades. Access to good quality of mental health services continues to be a significant concern to the people of Sheffield, echoing concerns raised with local Healthwatch throughout England. 99 out of 152 (65%) local Healthwatch highlighted mental health as a major priority for their communities in 2018. Healthwatch Sheffield regularly hears from local people that they would like to see improvements in mental health support. In response to this, in October 2016 Healthwatch Sheffield published a report that explored the views and experiences of mental health crisis support in the city. Concerns raised included varying quality of care, with half of those who had experienced a crisis saying that they felt the services or professionals they dealt with did not know how to give them the care they needed. Almost three quarters of staff (71%) told us that they thought current services were worse than those provided two years before. We made recommendations based on our findings and we continue to work with the Sheffield Crisis Care Concordat Implementation Group to support progress in implementing them. In 2017 they decided to focus on experiences of the support available in the community setting (near to or at home) as this is where most people with mental health conditions access their care. In recent years there has been a steady increase in the proportion of people with common mental health disorders who access mental health support in this way. Through engagement activities, the review of their existing data set and the survey, they heard 450 experiences (some people may have completed the survey and provided feedback through one of the other routes). Through the findings the report contains 5 recommendations in relation to referrals, communication between staff, information providing and engagement.

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General details

Report title 
Experiences of mental health support in the community
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sheffield
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 9 August, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 9 August, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 9 August, 2017
Type of report 
Enter and view
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Public involvement
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 
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not 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.