Mental Health Service Users experiencing better care

A survey of mental health service users in Cumbria has shown significant improvements in the care and treatment received since 2016.

The results show an increase in the number of service users involved in decisions about treatments, therapies and medication, and an improved understanding of how mental health affects other areas of a service user’s life. More service users feel like they are treated with dignity and respect and that they see a health professional often enough for their needs.

Out of 32 questions asked in the 2017 Community Mental Health Survey, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) scored better than last year in 22 areas.  The survey was carried out independently by Quality Health on behalf of the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and provides national and local information on the performance of Trusts that provide mental health services. For each question, the responses are scored out of 10 – with 0 being the worst possible score and 10 being the best. The Trust’s overall score for service user experience increased to 7.3/10, up from 6.8 in 2016.

CPFT scored the highest marks on the following questions:

  • Have you been told who is in charge of organising your care and services? 7.9 (up from 7.5 last year)
  • Do you know how to contact your key person if you have a concern about your care? 9.7 (same as last year)
  • How well does this person organise the care and services you need? 8.7 (up from 8.4 last year)
  • Did the person or people you saw listen carefully to you? 8.3 (same as last year)
  • Were treatments or therapies explained to you in a way you could understand? 8.5 (down from 8.9 last year)

The Trust has also made significant improvements in many areas compared to last years’ scores. The biggest improvement related to questions about changes in the health professional that a service user sees, and having access to support for employment and physical health needs.  

  • When there was a change in the healthcare professional in charge of care, were the reasons for this change explained to you at the time? 6.9 (up 1.2 from 5.7 in 2016)
  • Did you know who was in charge of organising your care while this change was taking place? 7.3 (up 2.7 from 4.6 last year)
  • In the last 12 months, did NHS mental health services give you any help or advice with finding support for finding or keeping work? 5.6 (up 1.7 from 3.9 last year)
  • In the last 12 months, did NHS mental health services give you any help or advice with finding support for physical health needs? 5.8 (up 1.1 from 4.7 last year)

Linda Bennetts, Associate Director of Nursing for Mental Health, CPFT said “These results give us confidence that while we still have improvements to make in some areas, we are moving in the right direction. Feedback from service users helps us to know what we are doing well, and where we need to look at making changes. It’s vital in ensuring that we are able to provide the best possible care we can that not only meets the clinical needs, but the personal needs of the people who use our services.”

“We will be working with some service users from the Trust’s Patient Experience Involvement Group to look at the results of and feedback from the survey, to develop an action plan to make further improvements to patient care and experience.”

The two areas where the Trust scored the lowest are as follows:

  • Has someone from NHS mental health services supported you in taking part in an activity locally? 3.9 (up from 3.8 last year)
  • Have you been given information by NHS mental health services about getting support from people who have experience of the same mental health needs as you? 4.1 (up from 2.9 last year)

The results are in line with other NHS Trust's across the country.   

The results from the survey were published on the Care Quality Commission website on the 15th of November 2017.