The CCG and Richmond Council want to transform how we commission out of hospital health and social care in the borough of Richmond. We want to do this to:
- ensure services are focused on the health outcomes that matter most to patients and carers
- enable service providers to work together to deliver joined up health and social care for local people.
We started this programme in summer 2014 by developing a set of patient and carer outcomes that will be used as part of a new outcomes-based contract for out of hospital health and social care in 2016/17.
In December 2014 we decided to extend the programme to include adult community mental health services and develop a set of outcomes that matter most to people with mental health needs.
Between January and April 2015 we undertook some research and engagement with local people to understand what good community mental health care means to them. We took a discrete and focused approach to engage with carers and service users. We met with people in small groups or 1:1 interviews in venues they were familiar with, or regularly attended, to enable people to speak comfortably about their experiences and aspirations for mental health services and recovery.
Who did we speak to?
We wanted to speak to adults who were regular users of community mental health services. The experiences we discussed ranged from the first contact they had with their GP or talking therapies service, through to living independently in supported or private accommodation, residential care or more specialist services. We were interested in speaking with older adolescents whose needs and outcomes will be important to understand during their transition to adult services. We also spoke to the carers of people who were regular users of community mental health services.
What did we find out?
Some of the key themes that emerged from our discussions with services users and carers were:
- early intervention and prevention
- responsive access to support particularly in a crisis
- supported planning for the future and access to skills and employment opportunities to fulfil these
- age and interest appropriate community support for both service users and carers
- consistent and joined-up care and support
- for service users and carers to know who to turn to when they need help
- the wish to avoid hospital stays and residential care
- the desire to live as normal and productive a life as possible in the local community
The findings from this research and engagement have helped us to develop a set of patient and carer outcomes that we can use as part of a new outcomes-based contract for community mental services.