Mental Welfare Commission publish results of independent stakeholder survey
The survey is overall very positive, although some respondents – particularly people with experience of care and treatment and their families/carers – want the Commission to do more.
- Seventy six per cent gave a good or excellent rating on the Commission’s trustworthiness, while over two thirds were satisfied with their experience of the Commission.
- Around three quarters of all respondents felt that the Commission has a clear human rights focus, both within its own work, and in helping to ensure that human rights are respected by others.
- Seventy three per cent of all who took part said it was easy to make contact with the Commission, 76% said it was easy to get information and 65% said getting advice from the Commission was easy.
- Sixty three per cent felt that the Commission was influential in relation to national policy and legislation, and 40% had seen the Commission speaking out in the media.
- A key part of the Commission’s work is to visit individuals and services, the majority of which are on visits to hospital wards. Few non-professional respondents had direct experience of those visits. Fifty nine per cent of the professional respondents had, with 64% of those saying that the visit had been useful. Fifty seven per cent of those visited had seen the published visit report, with 80% saying that any recommendations for improvement made by the Commission had been at least partially implemented.
Whilst the results overall are encouraging, people with lived experience of mental ill health, learning disability, dementia or related conditions and their families/carers say they are both less aware and less satisfied with the Commission compared to professionals working in the area.
Half of all survey respondents had used the Commission’s advice line, of which, between 71% and 96% agreed with positive statements about it. The only area which was not regarded so highly was the advice line’s ability to solve problems, where 55% agreed their problem had been solved by using the advice line. Professionals were significantly more positive than non-professionals on this.
Julie Paterson, chief executive, Mental Welfare Commission, said:
“While there are many positive results and comments in the survey, people are also telling us where they want us to improve or change our work.
“One priority is for us to raise awareness of our role amongst people who have lived experience, and their families or carers. We are a small organisation, but we recognise we need to find new ways of continually ensuring that people who might benefit from contacting us are aware of who we are and what we do.
“The survey also shows that people want us to challenge services (in hospital or in the community) more, and apply more pressure to make sure our recommendations are followed. Some are calling for the Commission to be granted more powers to enforce change.
“Along with the full survey results, we have published and action plan that details how we will address these issues. I would like to thank everyone who took part and gave us their views.
“Personally, as I have just taken up the post of chief executive at the Commission, this document will be invaluable to me in taking the organisation forward.”
The full survey is available here
The action plan is available here
In total, 342 people responded to the main online survey; 248 (73%) from a professional perspective and 94 (27%) from a personal perspective.
A further seven people completed an easy read version, consisting of two professionals and five individuals with lived experience or family/carers. Further interviews were completed with 14 respondents, including eight professionals, five non-professionals, and one person who covered both perspectives. Twenty six people who attended either a national event or an advisory committee meeting provided further feedback (including one person who provided a written response as they could not attend on the day), again, covering both professionals and those with a personal interest.
The survey was conducted at the start of the year, just before the pandemic affected organisational business, by Wellside Research Ltd on behalf of the Commission.