Local people asked: what leads to quality in NHS services?


The South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is inviting people who use adult mental health services in the local communities of Calderdale, Kirklees or Wakefield to get involved in an exciting new research project.

The project, Leading to Quality, is set to examine whether the leadership and culture of NHS staff teams affects quality of care.

The research project could bring benefits to people not only in the areas the Trust works (Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield) but across the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber as it involves NHS and social care staff, service users and carers across the whole region.

Leading to Quality is being led by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and was commissioned by Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority. Now the Trust is looking to speak to local people who use mental health services about their experiences.

The research is being carried out by a team from the School of Management at the University of Bradford. They will try to find out if there is a link between the quality of care provided and the leadership and culture of the teams who provide the care.

This research project will only be successful if it can gather the honest views and opinions of people who use mental health services and their carers. By getting involved in the project service users and carers will be given an opportunity to describe their experiences, and to help shape better mental healthcare.

Maggie Bell, assistant director of workforce development, explained, "We want to speak to people in our local community who are aged between 18 and 65 and receive NHS mental health care. We are also interested in speaking to carers. We want to hear people’s opinions and perceptions of the care received. Their views would be gathered either through a short interview or by completing a questionnaire.

"No member of the team involved in an individual’s healthcare provision would be present when they are asked to talk about their experiences of care. All the answers to the questionnaires are completed anonymously and it will be impossible to identify individual responses. Interviews would be carried out by trained health professionals."

It is hoped that the project will develop methods to help teams work effectively and so provide consistent and high quality care for local people. The research will also help develop methods of good team working that could apply to the whole NHS, so it could improve services across the whole country.

Chief executive, Steven Michael said, "According to the Care Quality Commission, as many as half of all NHS teams may be working in a dysfunctional team, while other research has recorded extremely high levels of stress among NHS staff.

"This can, obviously, have serious implications not only for the wellbeing of NHS staff but also on the quality of care received by people who use services. One of the aims of this project is to translate the research findings into practical tools and resources that will benefit teams and, ultimately, local people who use our Trust’s services. I very much hope that service users and carers will get involved and give us their views so that we can work together to further improve services."

Anybody wishing to get involved or find out more can get in touch with the Trust’s customer services team on 0800 587 2108 or email customer.services@swyt.nhs.uk

Further information about the project can be found at www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk

Local people asked: what leads to quality in NHS services?

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