Local NHS Trust shares annual patient survey results to help improve mental health care
Local NHS Trust, Southern Health has received the results of a national survey which annually benchmarks the experiences of people using its community mental health services – and the feedback is both encouraging and helpful.
Southern Health is one of almost 50 NHS mental health trusts across England which participates in the research, which involved canvassing the views of more than 300 Hampshire service users earlier this year.
The Trust’s overall experience rating was 68.3% (slightly above the national average of 67.4%). Of those surveyed, 83.2% agreed Southern Health (slightly higher than the national average of 81.8%) treated them with dignity and respect.
Areas where Southern Health scored highly included: how well our staff organise the care and services patients need (86.3% compared to the national average of 84.6%); whether patients received their care and treatment in the way they’d agreed (81.1% - 1% above the average); and whether patients knew how to contact their team if they had a concern about their care (95.6% - 11% above the average).
Across the entire survey, there was just one question where Southern Health dropped into the bottom 20% range of scores – and this was in relation to whether respondents would know who to contact out of office hours, if they had a crisis (only 64.9% were confident of this, compared to a national average of 74.5%).
Beth Ford, Southern Health’s User Involvement Manager (and Service User and Carer Feedback Lead) commented: “I’m really pleased to see that people who use our community mental health services are being so open and constructive with their feedback. We really are listening and acting on the findings. For example, we plan a campaign to highlight our after-hours and crisis services, in order to tackle the lack of awareness in this area.
“In the main, the results are very reassuring - but we know there is always room for improvement, and we will be focusing on the areas where our scores were lower - such as better support and signposting to financial assistance, benefits and employment; for physical health needs; and about the potential side effects of medication. This will ensure we address feedback from those people using our mental health services.”
In addition to statistical data, there was also a high level of written feedback received as part of the annual survey. Anonymised quotes included:
- “All the care I have received has been exceptional. Every contact I have had has been outstanding. I have felt blessed by the kindness and professionalism of all the care coordinators.”
- “I am very pleased with the psychiatrist I have been assigned. He listened to me very well, took his time, gave me a firm diagnosis and has been checking up on me whilst I’m taking new medication.”