Experiences of using Bluebell Place of Safety

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Wiltshire was asked by BaNES Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group to carry out an evaluation of experiences of people using the Bluebell Unit — a health-based Place of Safety in Devizes — during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a place where people can be taken if they are in extreme mental distress and need to be detained for their own safety and that of others. They carried out 32 in-depth telephone interviews.

Most of those involved in the research were pleased to be asked for their views, and gave open, detailed accounts that strongly conveyed valuable insights into their experiences. Over half had asked for help prior to going to the Place of Safety and mentioned difficulties accessing the right support.

The experience of being detained and taken to the Place of Safety could be very traumatic for some people and they reported this had a lasting impact. Equally, some recalled the patience and kindness of police and ambulance workers.

Quality of care at the Place of safety was rated highly by most people. There were many positive comments about the approach of staff who worked there. Most people reported that they understood their mental health assessment and its outcomes, although not everyone agreed with these.

The participants identified some things that could be improved. These mostly concerned the physical environment and facilities there.

Most felt that, in the circumstances, being taken to the Place of Safety was the right course of action. Transport and onward transfer from the Place of Safety worked well for most. In a few cases where it had not worked well, people felt this presented potential risks.

The report makes nine recommendations which are based on the findings of the report.

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General details

Report title 
Experiences of using Bluebell Place of Safety
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Wiltshire
Date of publication 
Friday, 2 July, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 July, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 31 December, 2020
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Holistic support
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Unstructured Interview
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Mental health crisis service
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
Other ethnic group
Specific ethnicity if known 
English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
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? 
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? 
Not known

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.