Survey Launch – Experiences of Mental Health Services in Tayside.
People with lived experience of mental health services, and their families, have launched a survey which they hope will offer insight into the current state of mental health services in Tayside. The Tayside public are being invited to complete the survey. This comes one year after the publication of Dr Strang’s ‘Trust and Respect Report’ – an independent report on mental health services in the region which made 51 recommendations for change. The many failings, evidenced in the report were accepted by NHS Tayside – who gave assurance that things would change. Grant Archibald, Chief Executive was particularly vocal, saying his “reputation would be judged, not by what I say, but by what I do”. NHS Tayside has produced an action plan entitled ‘Living Life Well, A Lifelong approach to Mental Health in Tayside’ which will be the blueprint for the implementation of a redesign and improvement programme for mental health and wellbeing in Tayside, over a 5 year period (2019-2024).
Dr Strang’s ‘Trust and Respect Report’, was the conclusion of the long overdue Independent Inquiry into Mental Health Services, which took place following the tireless lobbying of politicians by the families of loved ones lost to suicide whilst in the care of NHS Tayside. Fifty two recommendations were made within Dr Strang’s report to ensure that people requiring help for mental health difficulties, their families and loved ones, receive the help they require, and that the services should meet the needs of people they are there to serve.
The survey has been put together by a collaboration, which includes PLUS Perth and Angus Voice and members of the Stakeholder Participation Group (SPG). The SPG has been integral to the findings of Dr David Strang’s inquiry report, and is held in high regard as an influential forum by Scottish Government ministers.
Susan Scott, manager of PLUS Perth said;
“A year has passed since Dr Strang’s made his recommendations, and now the final draft of the Tayside Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy ‘Living Life Well’ has been published, it is time to ask people ‘on the ground’ how things are going”. The survey is completely anonymous, very important, as people often worry about making comment regards their treatment that may result in negatively affecting their care.
A ‘Collective Service User Statement’ in the ‘Living Life Well’ strategy lists comments made by service users, their families and carers on how they wish to be treated. This includes statements such as; “I would like medication to be a last resort,” and “I would like to be treated as close to home and my community wherever possible”. It is intended that the Strategy will develop as a ‘statement of promise’ to people with lived experience, so that their wishes will be honoured.
“The survey will help us to gather evidence as to whether the wishes of the people whose comments in the Collective Service User Statement are actually being met. We believe the survey can give us real answers as to whether things are changing, and whether or not people are having their needs met”.
Some questions in the survey are focussed on trust and respect, and whether patients feel safe in hospital. There are also questions on how informed people feel over treatment decisions such as the prescribing of medication, and whether the risk of side effects such as diabetes and weight gain, which have the potential for devastating effects on people’s lives, have been discussed.
Those involved in getting the survey out are eager to find out how the people of Tayside are finding mental health services. Are things getting better? If not, where are the deficiencies? At the very least it will provide a base line, whereby the success of NHS Tayside can be measured as the new service changes are implemented in the months and years to come.
“The survey is very important as it is hoped it should provide insight into what is happening ‘on the ground’, in the very heart of our communities. Furthermore, NHS Tayside have described the “Living Life Well” strategy as a “living document,” and this feedback will enable the Mental Health Programme Board to make real-time adjustments based on the views of the community, which is a crucial component of the Strang Report”.
If you would like to share your feedback, the survey can be completed online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PLY27R5
For a hard copy survey please contact PLUS Perth on 01738 626242 or email email@example.com The survey will close on Sunday 11th April.