Southern rated as second best in the country for mental health support by service users

18 April 2024

Blue & White Online Business Webinar Twitter Post (1).pngSouthern Health has been rated as the second best in the country for certain elements of our care as part of the National NHS Community Mental Health Survey.

Data from the survey, which asks service users to rate their experiences, showed the Trust as second in the country for its overall experience, involvement in care and crisis support and third nationally for its mental health teams and access to crisis support.

The annual survey benchmarks the experiences of people who have accessed NHS mental health services, to build an understanding of the quality of services by area. The data indicated that Southern Health’s mental health services were performing well above the national average in several categories.

As a Trust, Southern Health was almost 20% higher than the national average for its crisis support, with 60% of service-users saying that they got the help they needed compared to a national average of 43%. Alongside this, 54% of patients stated that they got through to the crisis team straight away, with the national average coming out at 36%. The Trust also placed in the top 5 for dignity, respect and compassion.

Country ratings (4).pngResponses were collected from more than 300 Hampshire service users, including 16 and 17-year-olds after the age limit was amended earlier this year. When asked about overall experiences of NHS mental health services, 71% of Southern Health service users rated their experience as ‘good’ or ‘above’, higher than the National average of 68%. Of those surveyed, 77% (higher than the national average of 67%) agreed they were treated with dignity and respect by our staff.

Upon seeing the results, Jeremy Rowland, Deputy Chief Medical Officer said: “Providing compassionate, collaborative and personalised care is at the centre of our aspirations as mental health professionals within Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. As such, it’s very encouraging to see that that our service users are reporting higher than average satisfaction feedback on these very areas in a recent national Community Mental Health Service-User survey. Alongside this, it’s also fantastic to hear that service users are reporting positive experiences of how their families and carers are involved in the treatment they are receiving.

This feedback leads us to thank our clinical teams for their dedication and inspires us to do even more to improve the experience and quality of the care we deliver. “

Southern Health also scored particularly well in questions asked about family or carers, with 71% of respondents saying that Southern Health mental health teams offered family and carer support whilst the person being treated was in crisis, where the national average stands at 55%.

Alongside the survey, respondents were given the opportunity to leave anonymised feedback. A high number of service-users left positive comments about the staff that have been supporting them, often naming them personally. One respondent mentioned excellent compassionate care, “All the mental health professionals I have come into contact with have been incredible. I cannot fault the individuals involved in my care. They have shown nothing but care, empathy and compassion throughout.” whilst another talked about the adjustments made for individual requirements “My psychiatrist always gives me the time I need with my carer at our face-to-face appointments, because my memory is poor and my sister takes notes so I can read what was said.”.

Beth Ford, Southern Health’s User Involvement Manager (and Service User and Carer Feedback Lead)  acknowledged the positive survey results and spoke about her commitment to improving service-user experiences: “I’m really pleased to see that those who use our community mental health services are being so open and constructive with their feedback. 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 to ensure we address feedback from those people using our mental health services”.

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