Mental health charity Gofal warns that patient outcomes in Wales have not improved since the Mental Health Measure was introduced in 2012.
The Mental Health measure aims to ‘improve the treatment of people with mental health problems in Wales’ and received cross-party support. However, Gofal’s recent report, Snapshot 4: Three years on, showed little signs of progress. The report compares data from four Wales-wide surveys of patients’ experiences of primary mental health services since 2012. The surveys look at four key areas: the understanding and empathy demonstrated by primary care staff; the range of advice, treatment and support options offered to people; waiting times for assessment, treatment and support; and the impact of these services on people’s mental health and well-being.
The report includes a number of recommendations including the following:
- Health boards should collect data on patient satisfaction, including whether people felt that they were treated with dignity, respect and empathy;
- Health boards should ensure that GPs and primary care practitioners have enough information and support to enable them to provide the best possible advice for patients about the most appropriate treatment or support service;
- Health boards should strategically organise working practice and training in order to make best use of the psychological skills available across the workforce and ensure specialist staff have the capacity to provide psychological therapies to people with specialist or severe mental health problems;
- Welsh Government should continue to focus on improving delivery and outcomes in relation to Part 1 of the Measure.