Worcester News Article – 5th April

Mental health and gathering experiences of local support services has always been a key issue for us at Healthwatch. In recent weeks we have written two reports on our work relating to mental health: Covid-19 Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing Report and Service User and Carer Experiences of South Worcestershire Community Assessment and Recovery Service Report.

262 young people aged 13 to 19 responded to our Covid-19 Emotional Wellbeing Survey, during December and January. 74% told us that Covid-19 had made their emotional wellbeing and mental health worse. In particular many were worried about loved ones catching Covid-19, loss of freedom and routine and the impact on their school or college work and future job or career opportunities. We have made a number of recommendations for local services, including the need for increased awareness among young people about emotional wellbeing and the support available, the need to ensure consistent access to support across the county and that young people are involved in developing and monitoring the quality of services.

180 service users of the South Worcestershire Community Assessment and Recovery Service and 19 carers completed our surveys to share their experiences of using the service. While overall 67% of service users expressed levels of satisfaction with the service, many told us that they do not currently have a Care Coordinator or a Care Plan and the feedback highlights some issues relating to communication. Findings from the service user and carer surveys identify there is a need to ensure details of carers are routinely and systematically captured and that both service users and carers are involved in the planning of care and treatment.

We are in the process of requesting responses from local services about the recommendations we have made, which will also be published on our website alongside the reports.

We currently want to hear from anyone who has concerns about having a Covid-19 vaccination, to help us understand more about these concerns and where people are finding information. There is also still time to share your experiences of being discharged from hospital during Covid-19.

Please visit our website to take part in our current surveys, read our reports and tell us about your experiences of local health and care services in confidence. Or contact us on 01386 550264 / info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk