During 2018, Healthwatch Wiltshire asked local people what they thought our priorities should be for the year ahead. Mental health was chosen by many as a key area we should be focusing on.
Previous work by our Healthwatch Young Listeners also highlighted that mental health was a concern for young people, while nationally, concerns were raised about the experience of people using mental health services.
Results of a national survey published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) indicated that people’s experiences of mental health care have deteriorated in recent times. This report highlighted that access to care was a concern, and a quarter of their respondents reported they had not seen mental health workers enough to meet their needs over the past year.
We wanted to find out more about which areas of mental health services local people felt we should focus on and to gather some initial feedback about experiences of using mental health services.
We designed a short survey which asked people to choose one area they thought we should focus on, and to tell us the reasons for their choice.
- Access to services was chosen by most respondents as a priority and there was concern about long waiting lists.
- Difficulties with access due to stringent criteria and complicated access pathways was reported.
- There was concern about quality of mental health services.
- Crisis support was thought to be crucial to provide support in difficult times.
- It was thought to be important to maintain people’s mental health so that they are supported to remain active in their local community.