NPC Archive Item: The Healthcare Commission’s Survey of Users of Mental Health Services 2008

NOTE – This is an archive post from the NPC and has not been updated since first publication. Therefore, some hyperlinks may no longer be working.

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What is the background to this?
The Healthcare Commission’s survey of users of mental health services 2008 has now been published

This is the 5th survey of its kind and achieved responses from over 14,000 service users and included information from 68 NHS trusts that provide secondary mental health services.  There were a number of questions included in the survey that specifically relate to medicines management.

Although there was a lot of positive reporting and improvement in results from the previous survey, there are still some areas for further improvement in medicines management services.

In particular the survey found that:

  • Of the service users who had taken medication in the past 12 months, 17% said they did not have a say in decisions about the medication they took
  • Of the service users who had new medications prescribed by a psychiatrist in the last twelve months, 32% said they were not told of the possible side effects of the medications.

How does this relate to other publications or evidence?
As stated in “A competency framework for shared decision-making with patients”: Achieving concordance for taking medicines” (NPC plus and Medicines Partnership, 2007), research, surveys and people’s individual stories show us that patients are making conscious decisions about whether to take medicines based on their views, beliefs and experiences. People are therefore more likely to benefit from therapy when they understand the diagnosis and treatment, have had a chance to discuss their views and beliefs and are actively involved in decisions about the management of the condition.

And MIND, the leading mental health charity in England & Wales, believes that service users should have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about every aspect of mental health services

Healthcare professionals involved in prescribing and/or medicines management for users of mental health services should ensure that they read this report, particularly those sections related to medicines use, and consider their own behaviour in relation to the reported responses.

Item details
The Healthcare Commission’s survey of users of mental health services 2008 can be found on their website

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