People who use mental health services in Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield have been telling the NHS what they think of their service.

In February 2003, The South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust conducted its first annual service user survey. The purpose of the survey was to understand what it feels like to use the services provided by the Trust. 1,169 service users from a wide variety of services responded to the anonymous survey, and were invited to comment on what they liked/disliked about the care they received and also what the Trust could do to improve services.

The responses indicated a high level of satisfaction when asked for their views on their appointment: 93% felt that their appointment time was convenient; 91% felt that the reception staff were helpful; 85% knew who to contact in an emergency or for advice.

When asked about their involvement in their care and treatment: 92% felt that they were treated as an individual with dignity and respect; 89% felt their privacy was respected; 84% felt that the service they were receiving was helping them to feel better.

Approximately 2,150 comments were received and the majority reflected the high regard for staff felt by service users and carers. Comments included: ‘I am treated as an individual and feel I can question staff on anything and they are friendly, patient and sympathetic.’ ‘ There is only one comment I would like to make, and that is if it wasn’t for the staff and my therapist being so helpful and understanding about me I know I wouldn’t be here today.’ ‘You feel free to talk and are always listened to. The staff really do care.’

Some comments and results have helped the Trust identify where they need to improve, for example: Only 58% of inpatients who responded agreed that they were involved in reviewing their treatment and support at least once a week; Only 46% of respondents have been given a written copy of the care plan; Only 39% of respondents knew how to become involved in making decisions about the way services are provided.

Speaking about the results of the survey, Judith Young, Trust chief executive, said, ‘Overall, the results clearly indicate that the vast majority of service users and carers believe that the Trust is providing services of a high quality. These are results that we should be proud of and I’d like to sincerely thank all staff for their hard work. Listening to the views of service users and carers is the only way to understand their real needs and we are committed to making sure we act on their feedback.’

Judith added, ‘We are continually striving to develop services that provide the best in patient care and with the enthusiasm, commitment and dedication of staff, we couldn’t have a stronger foundation.’


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