New survey allows mental health service users to have their say

Published: Thursday 16th March 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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A local organisation has launched a survey that looks into the quality of service provided to young people with mental health issues.

Part of a national network, Healthwatch Kingston upon Hull is the city’s independent healthcare champion. Using a mixture of data and visits to social care providers, it studies people’s views and experiences to improve services.

The local branch was created through a Hull City Council commission. It has built on the work of Hull LINk (Local Involvement Network), which finished work in 2013, whilst exercising additional responsibilities.

“Healthwatch was set up to help the people of Hull find their way around health and social care. It also gathers opinions to influence change,” says Tony Barker Healthwatch Kingston upon Hull Media and Marketing Officer.

The survey, consisting of 18 questions, asks users of the service their opinions about waiting lists, support and what could be improved.

“We know that there has been a lot of change and development in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMhS),” explains Gail Purcell, Healthwatch Kingston upon Hull Delivery Manager.

“And we want to know if this has led to any change in perception of the service, as well as if anything can be refined.”

Healthwatch wants to encourage those who have had anything to do with the service to fill this survey out. Whether you’re a patient of CAMhS, a friend of someone receiving tratment, or even a member of staff.

The survey is accessible online and printed copies are available across the city, including at the Hull CVS building on Beverley Road and Centre 88 on Saner Street.

You can also attend one of their outreach sessions at Tesco Hall Road and Hessle Road Shopping Park on Monday 20 March, or Hull Royal Infirmary on Friday 24 March (1:30pm-4pm).

“We want to know if the changes that have been made are for the better,” Gail tells us. “Furthermore, if there’s anything we can do to improve the service.”

In 2014, a Care Quality Commission review praised the quality of care and support for CAMhS in Hull and East Yorkshire. Nevertheless, there were increasing concerns regarding reporting incidents and long waiting lists.

Measures have been taken since then to reduce waiting list times. Also, a 24/7 crisis response team has been put in place.

Independent surveys like this one are vital to keeping a close eye on what’s going on. Meanwhile, they collect the opinions of those with first-hand experience of a service.

In the long run, feedback is an important step in creating positive change and developing health services for the better.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to those who have already responded to our survey,” says Tony.

“It really is important to us, as it gives the public – users, parents, carers and professionals – a chance to say how it is.”

The Healthwatch Kingston upon Hull survey is open until Friday 31 March 2017.

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Published: Thursday 16th March 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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