27 January 2011

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Trust seeks service users views

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is carrying out a survey to find out what community mental health service users think about the care they receive. This feedback will be used to improve the quality of care.

Almost 5,000 service users who were seen by the Trust between 1 July and 30 September last year are being sent questionnaires by the approved independent survey  provider, Quality Health, in January. They will be asked about different aspects of their care, including communication with health and social care workers, information and the quality of care and treatment. The survey is designed to show how well mental health services are working and to hear from service users how they think these can be improved.

The standard national survey sample is just 850 service users but, as we want to be able to analyse the results by location and team, a larger survey sample is being used.  This means that one in three of those who used our adult and older peoples services in the time frame will be asked to complete the confidential questionnaire. 

Obtaining feedback from service users and taking account of their views and priorities is vital for bringing about improvements in the quality of care. Some improvements that have been put in place as a result of previous survey findings include more volunteers being taken on to increase the activities available on wards, new information leaflets on psychological therapies and improved information for service users about the purposes and side effects of medication.

Those receiving the questionnaires will receive reminder letters in February if they have not yet responded, to encourage them to give us their views. A confidential freephone helpline number direct to Quality Health is available to all who are sent the survey.

The survey is voluntary and confidential. The results of the survey will be presented by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust in September2011 in a form that does not allow any individual's answers to be identified.

Hazel Watson, Director of Nursing, Compliance Assurance and Standards says: 'We hope that our service users will take the time to tell us how they think we are doing, so that we can continue to improve the quality of the mental health services we provide.'

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