01 March 2012

Mental health trust seeks views on the services it provides

The Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Trust (AWP) is inviting its service users to take part in a survey to find out what they think about the care and treatment they received. The feedback will be used to highlight the areas where the Trust performs well and also to identify the areas where there is room for improvement.

The questionnaires will be sent out from 1 March to service users who received care between 1 July and 30 September 2011. It forms part of the National Patient Survey Programme, involving NHS trusts across the country, and is co-ordinated by the Care Quality Commission - the independent body that regulates health and adult care services in England.

Although the standard national sample for this survey is 850 service users, AWP has chosen to ask one in three service users - a total of 4750 - to take part. This will mean that the Trust can analyse the results by location and team. The survey is being administered by the independent survey provider Quality Health and is completely confidential.

Questions will explore service users' views on different aspects of their care, from the contact and communication they received from their health and social care workers, and their involvement in their care plans; to the type of information they received on medications including its purpose and possible side-effects, and any help they received for managing day-to-day living such as finding accommodation and finding or keeping work.

"We hope that our service users will take the time to help us with this survey as their views are vital if we are to improve the quality of care we provide," says Hazel Watson, Director of Nursing, Compliance, Assurance, and Standards at AWP.

As a result of last year's survey, actions were put in place to ensure that adult service users' care plans have clear information about who to contact if there is a problem and what to do in a crisis. The Trust's latest results showed an improvement for both of these and also that the need for access to talking therapies is now being met.

The results of this survey are due to be published in August on the Care Quality Commission website.

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