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 encouraging.
Southern Health is one of more than 50 NHS mental health trusts across England which participates in the research, which involved canvassing the views of 250 Hampshire patients and service users this year.
The Trust’s overall experience rating saw 57% of respondents give a score of 8, 9 or 10 out of 10 (above the national average of 51% for the same high scores). Of those surveyed, 94% agreed Southern Health (compared to the national average of 93%) treated them with dignity and respect.
94% said they were involved as much as they wanted to be in agreeing their care (again one point higher than the national average) and 82% (three points above average) confirmed that the Trust had involved a family member or friend as much as they wanted.
Additionally, 86% agreed they had received the crisis care they needed in the past year (compared to an 82% average); 92% said they were involved in decisions about their medication (89% nationally); 90% said healthcare professionals understood how their mental health affected other areas of their lives (compared to 87% nationally); and 69% agreed they had received help for physical health needs in tandem with their mental health needs (compared to a 61% national average for this question).
Chief executive, Dr Nick Broughton commented: “We welcome all feedback from our patients and service users - and will use the results of this survey to continue making further improvements across our mental health services. In the main, the results are heartening, showing that we’re moving in the right direction but there is always more to be done.”
Beth Ford, who has a wealth of experience as a person with lived experience and who also now works for Southern Health in the role of Service User Facilitator, added: “It’s great to see that all the hard work our staff are putting in is making a positive difference to our service users. As Nick said, we do still have a way to go, but the future is looking positive!”