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Survey reveals significant improvements
A survey of people receiving community services from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has shown marked improvement in staff listening carefully to patients, treating them with respect and dignity and organising their care. 

The 2017 Community Mental Health Service Users Survey has shown significant improvements across the board for NSFT, with the Trust’s scores improving by more than 10% in 27 of 32 rateable questions compared with 2016. This includes: 


2016 score

2017 score

Did the person you saw listen carefully to you?



Where you given enough time to discuss your needs and treatment?



Did the person you saw understand how your mental health needs affect other areas of your life?



Were you involved as much as you wanted to be in agreeing what care you will receive?



Does this agreement on what care you will receive take your personal circumstances into account?



Were you involved as much as you wanted to be in discussing how your care is working?



Did you feel that decisions were made together by you and the person you saw?



The last time you had a new medicine prescribed for your mental health needs, were you given information about it in a way that you were able to understand?



In addition, the Trust scored above or equal to the national average in several key areas, including: 

• Have you been told who is in charge of organising your care and services? 
• Have you agreed with someone from NHS mental health services what care you will receive? 
• Did you know who was in charge of organising your care while a change to the care or services you received was taking place? 

The annual survey of all mental health trusts, which is commissioned by the Care Quality Commission and carried out by Quality Health on behalf of NSFT, was sent out in February 2017 to 1,200 adults who had come into contact with services at least twice during the previous few months. Overall NSFT’s rate of improvement exceeded the rate of improvement achieved nationally. 

NSFT’s survey response rate was 30% – 4% higher than the national average. In addition, the proportion of younger people aged between 18 and 35 who responded to the survey was 22% for NSFT compared with 14% nationally. 

Dawn Collins, Interim Director of Nursing and Quality at the NSFT, said: “We are really pleased with the results of this year’s survey, which show that the quality improvements we are working so hard to make are starting to have a positive impact on our service user’s experience of receiving care. It is also pleasing that we had such a good response rate and that one in five of the responses came from people aged between 18 and 35. 

“Our survey results in 2016 were very disappointing and fell far below the level we aspire to achieve, so it is gratifying to see that our 2017 results reflect the hard work our community teams have put in to improving people’s experience of our services. 

“However, we know that there is still more to do if we are to continue to improve more rapidly than other mental health trusts. We are now looking in detail at the areas where we did not perform as well and are driving through improvements to help us do even better in the 2018 survey. 

“The 2018 survey period is about to begin and will see more than 1,000 surveys sent to randomly selected community service users across Norfolk and Suffolk. We would encourage everyone who receives a survey over the next few weeks to complete and return it so that we can find out more about people’s recent experience of receiving care and continue to improve still further.” 

Areas highlighted for improvement in the 2017 results include making sure service users are seen often enough, ensuring they can contact services out of hours, providing support with physical health needs and involving them in deciding treatments. 

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