NHS services rated highly but more financial advice needed
People with mental health problems rate NHS mental health services highly but would like more financial advice and help finding work, according to a survey from the Care Quality Commission.
Almost four out of five (79%) of 17,000 people who use NHS community mental health services rated them as excellent, very good or good. However, of the 42% of respondents with more complex mental health needs, 35% said they had not received help with finding or keeping work and 27% said they had not been given any help with financial advice or benefits. Of those with less complex needs, almost half had not received help of this kind.
Although more than two-thirds (69%) of the respondents were of working age, more than half (51%) were not in paid work.
The survey also indicates that more could be done to improve access to talking therapies such as counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). While 39% of respondents had received talking therapy during the past year, of which 90% found it helpful, 47% said their mental health or social care worker had not discussed this form of treatment with them during this time. The majority (89%) were taking prescribed medication for their mental health condition, of which 28% said they were not told about the possible side-effects of taking this medication.
All of the respondents had received help from mental health services outside hospital in the past 12 months, such as those offered in outpatient clinics. Over 1.25 million people used NHS mental health services in 2010.