The 2015 Community Mental Health Survey results, published today, reflect troubling and sizeable declines in service user experiences. The fact that many of these incidences are occurring in the areas that matter most to patients is even more so.
The Care Quality Commission Survey, developed and co-ordinated by Picker Institute Europe, was completed by over 13,000 people and found delivering effective person-centred care to be a key concern, with involvement, or the evident lack of it, to be particularly eye opening. More than two in every five (44%) respondents said that they were not involved as much as they wanted to be in agreeing the care they would receive, while a similar proportion were not fully involved in discussions about their care at care review meetings.
Support of people’s wider wellbeing and quality of life could also be significantly better with only two in five people responding that mental health professionals “always understood what is important to you in your life” (41%) or “always help you with what is important to you.” (41%)
Commenting on the results, Dr Andrew McCulloch, Chief Executive at the Picker Institute said; “We welcome today’s publication, and call on all mental health providers across the country to absorb the results and act accordingly. Communication, active involvement and effective co-ordination are known to be core to quality person-centred care provision, but the survey results show declines or stagnation in all of these areas, between 2014-2015. Although we recognise that services are facing the dual challenges of rising demand and increasing financial pressures, meeting these cannot be at the cost of delivering quality care.”
The results also suggest that more could be done to ensure that services match users’ personal circumstances.
Commenting further Dr McCulloch said; “When mental health services are effective, they can support people’s wider wellbeing, but when they aren’t they can also undermine it. Mental health is a long term struggle, many people need to and want to live everyday lives despite their condition, services need to be co-designed and structured in a way that supports them to do this. Focused action on understanding and responding to users experiences is needed urgently to arrest these declines.”