Between 5th May and 28th July 2016 the City of Wolverhampton Council carried out a consultation on the proposed principles supporting the service model for community based preventative mental health services in the city.
419 people engaged in the consultation process, this represents 55% of those invited. A variety of different methods for collecting people’s views were utilised. All comments, questions, responses and meetings were noted.
Consultation Feedback Summary:
In the Downloads section of this page you will be able to access the:
- Consultation Executive Summary
- Consultation Report
- 'You Said We Did' Feedback
Consortium bids/Lead (Prime) provider
There was mixed feelings regarding this proposal. Participants are keen that the needs of the client group continue to be met and that services are accessible. In general respondents agreed with some of the principles behind the proposed model, such as: the focus should continue to prevent the escalation of mental ill-health, be inclusive, accessible and holistic. However, many service users would prefer the services to remain as they are and would like to continue to access the services they use currently; particularly service users who feel that their support, cultural and language needs are being met.
It was suggested that an assessment of current services should take place to look at the delivery outcomes and what the impact might be if a service is lost. It is felt that clarification is required on what the new model will consist of and the timescales for implementation.
It was questioned what research had been done to support this approach and what data has been used? Some respondents felt that this approach could develop standards, improve links and avoid duplication. It is felt that providers must have proven knowledge and experience of delivering mental health services. They should be culturally aware and have an understanding of equality and diversity.
It is felt that large organisations are focussed on numbers and not the service users. That they do not have an understanding of cultural and social issues and service users find it difficult to identify with them. There is a preference for local providers and groups to deliver services as it is felt that they have the knowledge and a better understanding of the people and the area.
Lead organisation and accountability
There was mixed feelings on this proposal. It is felt that there should be a fair and transparent selection process for the lead provider, and the role of the lead should be clear. It is felt that small organisations are disadvantaged by this proposal as large organisations have teams that write bids.
It is felt that the management expectations of the lead organisation are unrealistic and may impact on provision. Accountability was questioned using a consortium approach and it was queried what would happen if targets and outcomes are not met. Performance management is good; however, clarification is required on what and who this will include. Quality assurance must be guaranteed across all services.
The Community and Wellbeing Hub
This proposal received mainly negative feedback. Many felt that the location is inappropriate, particularly for people with mental ill health and/or anxiety. It is felt that people struggle emotionally and financially to access the service and the venue is unsuitable for people with a disability. It was fed back that users are being asked to leave when not taking part in activities and are unable to bring their own food and drinks, refreshments must be purchased on site. It is felt that there is a lack of signposting to other support services and the current provider does not assist people experiencing crisis. It was asked how the Hub meets language and cultural sensitivity needs?
There is a lack of awareness of the Hub, it is not well publicised. The building still has the Epic Café sign up which is associated with previous youth service provision; it is felt that this is confusing for potential users’. There is a reliance on the voluntary sector to enable the Hub to function, however funding for the sector is reducing, so the sustainability of this model was questioned. A Hub that is delivered from a variety of community locations across the city is a preferred option.
There is much concern about data sharing and potential data protection breaches. There is concern about what information will be shared, with whom and if this will be agreed. It is thought that this approach will put people off using a service.
Meeting need and targeting resources
Overall all participants were in favour of this and felt that anyone in need should be able to access a service equally and fairly, without exclusion. However, targeting groups would have to be done sensitively and fairly or it could cause tension between groups. It was questioned what research has been done and what data has been used to identify the needs of BME and Asian communities? It is felt that new communities are presenting with complex issues.
Participants felt that cultural sensitivity and language needs should be addressed. It was asked what the Council means by ‘cultural sensitivity and how the proposed model will incorporate this?
There needs to be consideration for the needs of Asian community, culture and language. Gender should be a consideration, Asian men and women in particular do not want mixed gender services. Age should be a consideration, particularly young people and post 65 years. It was asked how the proposals link with dementia services?
A holistic approach
Participants are overwhelmingly in favour of this proposal. There is recognition that people have individual and often multiple support needs that impact on their mental health. It is felt that many services already work in this way.
It is felt that this is a big task to undertake and a scoping exercise should be carried out to identify needs and how the approach will be implemented. It is felt the biggest barrier to success will be getting the necessary organisations on board and their capacity to deliver the required support. Mental ill health is often a barrier to accessing services. It was queried if service users will have an allocated case worker and support plans?
Self-help group members value being able to meet with people they can identify with as it gives them motivation and a sense of purpose. It is felt that the peer support and self-help elements should continue and should remain independent to keep authenticity. The grant funding scheme should be maintained and extended if possible. Groups should be able to access support from the provider and want to be treated equally. Self-help groups feel they would benefit from mental health training, life-skills, training on health issues, support to access employment and training on making and writing funding bids. It was questioned what the skill set is of the people running self-help groups and how they are monitored?
On 1st November 2016 the Cabinet Resources Panel agreed a new service delivery model and tendering process in relation to Community Based Preventative Mental Health Services across the city. The scheduled implementation date is 1st April 2017.
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