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Mental health services improve

3rd September 2007

A Health Commission survey has shown that community mental health care services are improving.

mentalhealthward1In a survey of nearly 16,000 patients across 69 NHS trusts, 76% of respondents said they thought the care they received was "good", "very good" or "excellent".

The survey showed an increase in the number of patients who felt their psychiatrist "listened to and respected" them.

However the results revealed there was room for improvement - 50% of respondents said they did not have access to phone-based crisis care. More than a third of patients said they did not receive counselling when they had asked for it.

Less than half of patients were not given help in finding employment. 40% reported that their carers were not given adequate support from health and social services.

A Department of Health spokesperson stated that since 2001 the government had placed an additional £1.9 billion into community mental health care.

Anna Walker, Chief Executive of the Healthcare Commission, said the results of the survey were "encouraging, particularly given that many trusts are still getting to grips with providing care to service users within their own communities."

She said the good results should not conceal problems and highlighted the need for carers and relatives to receive support.

Steve Shrubb, director of the NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network, said the survey's results were a testament to the work of staff in the health service.

He added: "There are still concerning gaps in the provision of counselling and out-of-hours crisis support for service users."

 





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