People's feelings about their mental health care

Understanding what community mental health care is like for service users provides key information about the quality of services across England. The NHS Constitution commits the NHS to encourage patients to give feedback of their experiences and to use this to improve services. The Community Mental Health Survey asks a sample of service users from each trust several questions about their experiences.

Did people feel they were listened to carefully?

In 2017, 92% of Community Mental Health Survey respondents felt they had been carefully listened to by their health or social care worker. However, the proportion of service users who felt they were not listened to has more than doubled over the past seven years, from 3% in 2010 to 8% in 2017. It should be noted that in 2014 the way in which the question was posed was changed to be slightly broader.

Updated January 2018.

Did people feel they were treated with respect and dignity?

Between 2010 and 2013, 98% of respondents felt they were 'definitely' or 'to some extent' treated with respect and dignity, and 2% of respondents felt they were not. The proportion of respondents who felt they had 'definitely' been treated with respect and dignity decreased by 12% from 2013 to 2014; however, this may be because the question was changed to ask about their treatment by NHS mental health services in the last 12 months, as opposed to their treatment by the health or social care professional.

From 2014 to 2017, the proportion of respondents who felt they were 'definitely' treated with respect and dignity by NHS mental health services decreased by 2%, and the proportion who felt they were not treated with respect and dignity increased by 1%.

Updated January 2018.

Did people feel that they were given enough time to discuss their needs and treatment?

The proportion of respondents who felt they were given enough time to discuss their condition/needs or treatment has decreased over time, falling from 92% in 2010 to 87% in 2017. Between 2010 and 2017, the proportion of people who felt they were not given enough time has increased from 7% to 13%. Note that the question was changed in 2014 to ask about needs and treatment rather than condition and treatment.

Updated January 2018.

About this data

The Community Mental Health Survey is sent to a random sample of service users from each trust aged 18 and over who received specialist care or treatment for a mental health condition within a specified time period.

The survey asks people about their overall care, crisis care, access and coordination of care, patient involvement, medicines and additional support.

Respondents who stated that they did not know/could not remember are excluded from the survey results. To enable national comparison between years, data is weighted to account for differences in response rates between trusts. A further weighting accounts for differences in response rates at a given trust in a given year, across age groups or gender.

The Community Mental Health Survey underwent two major redevelopments in 2010 and 2014 to revise its methodology and questionnaire content to reflect changes in policy and best practice.

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