December 6 2013 Latest news:
Adam Gretton, Health correspondent
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk’s mental health trust said they would continue to strive to improve care following the results of an annual patient survey.
New figures published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) revealed that seven out of ten patients said they received good overall care from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
The interim chief executive of the service said they would not be getting complacent after the community mental health services patient survey ranked the NHS trust as performing as well as, or better than other mental health trusts.
More than 200 patients took part in the survey, which was the first since the merger of Norfolk and Suffolk’s mental health trusts.
The foundation trust has come under fire from unions and doctors’ groups over plans to cut more than 400 jobs to reduce its budget by 20pc over the next four years. It has led to the Royal College of Psychiatrists expressing its concern about the changes to the CQC, over fears that a reduction in workforce will be a threat to patient safety.
However, patients rated the trust seven out of ten for the care they receive and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust ranked better than other organisations for information it gives on medications.
Seven out of ten said their views had been taken into account in their care plan. However, only four out of ten of the patients surveyed said they received enough support from mental health services.
Andrew Hopkins, acting chief executive of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said the survey results showed improvements and good performance in a number of areas.
“It is very important for us to understand what our service users think about their care and treatment. This feedback is vital for us to plan changes and identify improvements that can be made in our services. We welcome these findings, but we won’t be complacent – there are some areas where we would like to see improvement, in particular crisis care and how we are helping service users in their day-to-day living, including physical health assessments, securing accommodation, employment and financial advice. We have an ambition to provide the best mental health care services in the country and we will be developing plans to ensure that these areas are improved,” he said.
He added that trust officials were particularly pleased with the way in which staff treat service users with dignity and respect, the time taken to ensure service users understand their condition and treatment and the information given to service users about medication and options around medication.
The community mental health services patient survey of more than 13,000 people nationally shows the care people receive in the community needs to improve, said the CQC. Of particular concern is people’s lack of involvement in their care plans and having their views taken into account when deciding which medication to take, said CQC officials.
David Behan, CQC chief executive, said: “The survey describes some very positive experiences and flags where services can and must improve. People should always be at the heart of decisions about their own care. Care planning helps to make sure that people feel in control of their lives and illness and it can be vital in aiding their recovery. It is unacceptable that fewer people have adequate care planning than last year. It is also unacceptable for care plans not to include adequate crisis care management or for people to be poorly informed about the drugs they take.”