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Improvements needed in community mental health care

18 September 2014
  • Public,
  • Community health services

Too many people who use NHS community mental health services are not effectively involved in planning their care and do not know who to contact in a crisis.

Following a survey of more than 13,500 people who use community mental health services in England, Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC’s Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (lead for mental health) has warned services that failure to improve could be reflected in the ratings they receive from next year.

About the survey

The survey asked for views from people who receive community mental health services and included people receiving services under the Care Programme Approach (CPA).

This survey involved 57 trusts in England that provide community mental health services.

Key findings

The survey found that the majority of staff providing community services ‘definitely’ listened carefully to people receiving services (73 per cent) and ‘always’ treated them with respect and dignity (75 per cent).

However, the results highlight serious problems with other aspects of care, suggesting that services are not engaging as they should with people using the services.

  • One in five people (20 per cent) do not feel they have seen the mental health services often enough to meet their needs.
  • 23 per cent have not been told who is in charge of their care.
  • 23 per cent have not agreed with someone from mental health services what care they will receive.
  • 26 per cent of respondents have not had a formal meeting to discuss how their care is working in the last year.

People receiving care under CPA should also receive help or advice with finding support with employment, housing and finance from mental health services, if they need it.

Of those who were on the CPA and said they needed this support, around a third of respondents would have liked more help or advice with finding support with financial advice or benefits (32 per cent) finding or keeping work (34 per cent) and finding or keeping accommodation (31 per cent).

Find out more

Last updated:
29 May 2017