Results are uncomfortable but necessary if we are to improve mental health services



Picker Insitute-Care Industry NewsThe Community Mental Health Survey results are uncomfortable but NECESSARY reading, if we are to improve mental health services






The publication of the Community Mental Health Survey results this morning, commissioned by the CQC and co-ordinated by the Picker Institute Europe, show that people using mental health services feel there are serious shorth comings.

The survey, completed by more than 13,500 service users, found that less than a half (48%) of users felt they had seen someone from mental health services often enough and only two in five (43%) said that mental health workers ‘always’ understood what was important to them in their lives. 

Commenting on the results, Dr Andrew McCulloch, the Picker Institute’s Chief Executive, said:“People using mental health services want to be treated as individuals and supported to be involved in their care.  But this survey, developed with input from service users, shows some serious shortcomings in the mental health services that people are experiencing. Large proportions of service users report that they are not as involved in their care as they would like to be or that the service does not support them in their lives and goals. In particular, we are concerned that only a minority of people say that mental health services ‘definitely’ help them to feel hopeful, understand what matters to them, or help them with the things that are important to them. These are the hallmarks of a personalised and effective service and there absence gives cause for alarm.”

“It’s also very worrying that one in three people are not told who to contact in a crisis – and that one in five of those who do try to contact someone in a crisis don’t get the help they need. It’s vital that people who need urgent help for mental health conditions can get it; if they don’t the consequences can be truly tragic.”

Results from the survey, including detailed results for all mental health trusts in England, are available at

Continuing, Dr McCulloch said: “We’re calling on mental health providers across England to take a long and careful look at today’s results.  Some of the findings may make for uncomfortable reading, but they also point the way making meaningful improvements in the things that matter most to service users. Trusts should work with their local service users to review the survey findings and prioritise changes to improve personal care and support.”


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