Listening to local voices on mental health

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Enfield became aware, through local voluntary community sector organisations and the local people attending events, of concerns that existing mental health support and services were not satisfactorily meeting the needs of local people. As a result, for over two years Healthwatch Enfield sought the views of more than 220 mental health service users, professionals, and carers on their experiences of the support and services available within the borough. This report reflects the evidence-based findings of that research and identifies key themes that should improve the provision of mental health services across Enfield. These themes and the issues raised within them included: 1. Availability of support: Most powerful concerns raised were people with mental health problems not receiving the level of support they needed, whether support in the community, from GPs to crisis care, to wider access to therapeutic treatments. 2. Seamless integrated care: Poor linkages between inpatient and community mental health care; between GPs and other services; between physical and mental health care; between handovers from one shift and another, and even between different clinicians within the same service, were identified in the report. 3. A person-centred approach: Observation and feedback showed accounts indicating that staff shortages mean service users are not always treated with a person-centred approach that promotes their mental wellbeing. This was particularly true for patients on acute wards. It reports there was concern locally that people with mental health needs from BAME communities and those with a learning disability may not always receive competent support. 4. Communication: HW Enfield found that the quality of information provided by acute wards to patients and carers was inconsistent and, in some cases, very poor, and this was reflected in feedback at engagement events. Some service users said they would like more information when admitted to hospital. The report also highlights a few examples of good practice, which may help provide a focus around which local people and professionals can engage together. This included actions taken on complaints received, relationships between service users and staff, experimenting new approaches, the ‘Rethink Mental Illness’ welcome pack and other good practices from elsewhere. The report includes recommendations from HW Enfield which do not only give local people a strategic voice, but can also be utilised to form a base for action planning to enhance provision of mental health services across the borough.

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General details

Report title 
Listening to local voices on mental health
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Enfield
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 23 December, 2015
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 1 March, 2014
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 16 December, 2015
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Consent to care and treatment
Continuity of care
Cost of services
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of staffing
Quality of treatment
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff training
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Other information of note about this report 
Good Practice
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Depression and anxiety service
Mental health crisis service
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
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 
All care professionals
Care / support workers
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.