Yesterday NHS England published the latest statistical information on patients’ experience of mental health services in the NHS. This is an update to include results from the 2016 Community Mental Health Survey. This survey is part of a rolling programme of NHS patient surveys overseen by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which cover a range of services including outpatients, A&E, children’s inpatient and day-case, maternity and adult inpatient.

Further supporting information, including an accompanying methodology statement, is available for this series by going to: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/pat-exp/

The 2016 survey included 58 NHS trusts in England, including combined mental health and social care trusts, Foundation Trusts and community healthcare social enterprises that provide mental health services. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or over, who had received specialist care or treatment for a mental health condition in September, October or November 2015.

Responses were received from nearly 13,300 patients, with a national response rate of 28%.

The survey shows that the Overall Patient Experience Score for community mental health services increased between 2015-16 and 2016-17, up from 74.7 out of 100 to 75.2 out of 100, though this change is slight.

On average, a score of 60 suggests patients found the service ‘good’ and a score of at least 80 suggests patients found the service ‘very good’.

National Clinical Director for Mental Health Tim Kendall welcomed the survey. He said: “I am very pleased that we are doing very well in a number of important areas. For example, more than 9 in 10 (93%) service users say the person or people they saw listened carefully to them; and the majority (89%) of service users say they were given enough time to discuss their needs and treatment. And overall, two-thirds of service users rate their experience as very good. In some areas, such as crisis care, we still have a lot to do. Much of the work we are now focussing on in the in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health is aimed to improve patient experience and to get timely access to high quality services; and for people in crisis this is now a major priority for me and the team over the next few years.”

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