To support any proposals or recommendations; real experiences and voices were needed to ensure improvements were user centred and tailored to Thurrock’s need.
Healthwatch Thurrock have identified gaps within Mental Health Services within Thurrock from conversations in the community during events, Healthwatch Thurrock planned drop-ins and from our Information, advice and signposting service.
We have also received complaints which we have signposted to the service provider and for some we have referred to NHS Complaints Advocacy Service to support the complainant through the process. Much of the feedback we receive has been that there is not a suitable service to refer these people to.
Many are referred to Local Area Coordinators’ who are not mental health trained workers, but they to report the difficulty in finding the right service and that service not being available without a long wait. Our Social Prescribing team report their frustration in finding a suitable service that is accessible without a very long wait.
- Lack of knowledge by GPs and information available presented an obstacle to referrals or initial diagnosis with (30%) of people suggesting this should be improved.
- Nearly half (46%) of everyone Healthwatch Thurrock spoke to reported that waiting times either to see GPs, referrals or mental health services were too long. Notably when a person is in crisis, there does not appear to be any immediate support at a time when need is highest.
- Half of every Thurrock resident Healthwatch Thurrock spoke to believe the right services are not available. Services such as children and young persons as well as walk in centres appeared in several conversations.