Sharing your experiences of support for mental health and wellbeing

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Worcestershire’s report aims to find out the experiences of people, including carers, who use and try to access mental health services. It looks at the support people receive for mental health from a number of services not just NHS Mental Health Provision. After engaging with service users, carers and representatives at 16 support groups and voluntary organisations from across Worcestershire, HW used the key themes discussed in these engagements to form a survey, with adapted questions from the CQC report ‘Right here, right now’, and was coproduced with a task and finish group of service users, carers and representatives. The survey was completed by a total of 68 service users from across Worcestershire. 42% of the surveys were completed online with the remaining 58% being sent in by post or completed face to face with the support of HWW Engagement Officer. The survey shows that 89% of respondents tried to access mental health services through their GPs. 55% when looking for support were given the phone number for crisis and 60% received support from friends and family. 50% of the respondents spoken to have been discharged and are getting no support or treatment. The report gives further qualitative data about how the respondents found the care and support they need and their experience with these support services. Overall, the findings of this survey suggest that whilst some people have positive experiences of support for mental health, there is an inconsistency in the quality of care received. Key themes can be identified as: Not feeling listened to and/or taken seriously, not being treated with warmth and compassion and timely access to the right support. Also that people do not have confidence in the services supporting them Based on the findings, Healthwatch Worcestershire made recommendations that need to be addressed by the current and upcoming redesign of Enhanced Primary Care Mental Health Services; Secondary Care Mental Health Services and Vocational Centres. Those responsible for implementing the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat should use these recommendations to improve the patient experience before, during and after crisis. Other non-mental health professionals such as GP’s and acute hospital staff should consider these recommendations to improve the quality of care they provide to those needing support for mental health and wellbeing. The recommendations are listed in detail in the report. There is no response from the service provider.

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General details

Report title 
Sharing your experiences of support for mental health and wellbeing
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Worcestershire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 2 February, 2016
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 December, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 1 December, 2015
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Other information of note about this report 
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
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

Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Depression and anxiety service
Mental health crisis service
Mental health recovery service
Psychiatry / mental health (other services)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's 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.