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Patients praise staff in Hounslow community teams

04 Jul 2013

Mental health services provided by West London Mental Health NHS Trust in Hounslow have been described as ‘like a life-line’ by patients and carers.

Parents and young people who use child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and those using adult community services were asked for their views during unannounced visits in May by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Inspectors observed how people were being cared for by mental health staff in Hounslow and they interviewed patients, their families, and our staff.

One young person who was asked about her experiences in CAMHS said: “They have been really helpful, I don’t know what would have happened if I did not come here.”

The inspection report, published today, says that our staff respect and involve people fully in their care and treatment, which is testament to the work we have done over the years to deliver high quality, patient focussed care.

Young people using our services described being ‘listened to, treated with dignity and respect’. Inspectors saw examples of people being able to decide at which community setting they wanted to have meetings held, to ensure it was somewhere convenient for them.

They were particularly impressed to hear from mental health staff who give talks at local schools and in community centres to raise awareness of emotional well-being and of the services available locally for young people.

People who used adult services were also positive about the care they received, saying that staff were ’empathetic and responsive to their needs’. They also spoke about support they received to engage in activities and support groups and told the inspectors they felt any complaints were dealt with quickly.

Inspectors also reported examples of the actions our staff take to meet people’s diverse needs in relation to disability, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and age. For example, the work we do with families from various ethnic communities in Hounslow to raise their awareness of mental health issues. People who used adult services said that staff were ‘respectful’ and ‘trustworthy’.

Proper management of patient safety and risk issues were seen as central to all of our interactions with patients. One young person from CAMHS said: “It has kept me calm, stopped me from doing things, it has kept me safe.” People said that our staff engaged with them in a way that made them feel safe.

Our staff were described as skilled and competent to make sure patients received safe and appropriate care and flexible to ensure that people had positive outcomes. They worked well in their teams where there was a good skill mix of professionals, they received regular training and felt supported by the staff that worked with them.

Chief executive of West London Mental Health NHS Trust, Steve Shrubb, said: “I’m very proud of our staff who provide mental health services to the people of Hounslow. There’s nothing more powerful than feedback from the people we care for and I’m very happy that those interviewed spoke so positively about our staff and the work they do.

“This report confirms that local people value the high quality and safe services we’re delivering, flexibly to meet patient need. I’d like to thank all of our staff in Hounslow for the quality of care they’re delivering to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“The report highlights that in some cases patients felt we need to improve the information we give to them about their care, and this is something we will work to improve upon immediately.”

Read the report on the CQC website