Last year we carried out a survey to ask our service users about their experience of using our services during the pandemic.

We know how difficult it has been for everyone during this period, especially if you're already receiving support. We wanted to know about what's gone well, what hasn't gone so well and what we can improve on.

All staff working in the service were also contacted to listen to their experiences of providing the service during this time had been.

We received 48 individual responses from our service users and we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has taken part. Your feedback is really important to us and we have been considering it carefully.

The findings have been shared with staff and we wanted to take this opportunity to share with you some of the main themes that emerged and how we have responded.

Telephone appointments

Only 58% of service user responders recognised being offered phone appointments in place of face-to-face. Yet, 85% of staff stated that they had offered this as an alternative during the selected period of time.

Similarly, your feedback indicates that contact has not decreased, but has shifted in balance with an increase in telephone calls and less face-to-face appointments.

Clients reported telephone contact time becoming increasingly shorter in duration. Data does back this up, demonstrating an overall decrease in duration in April. However, it also suggested that there has been a gradual increase every month since.

The team are aware the calls are not being always able to be answered and we are looking at options to try and resolve this.

Face-to-face appointments

The majority of clients expressed a preference for face-to-face over telephone appointments. They reported a lack of privacy when speaking from home as well as phone calls sometimes provoking anxiety.

However, a number did recognise the benefits that phone calls (and emails) could bring in certain circumstances so would like to be offered a choice in future.

The majority of staff felt that being able to offer a choice in future would be the best option, demonstrating adaptability according to individual circumstances, needs and preferences. The lack of ability to fully assess individuals over the phone, particularly at first appointment, was highlighted.

The team have taken face-to-face contact into consideration and are constantly in communication with people about preference and weighing this up with Coronavirus restrictions.

IT issues

IT issues and poor internet connections when working from home has caused some frustrations for staff, resulting in significant time being on the phone to our IT support team, in addition to long periods sat behind a PC.

Furthermore, feedback indicates this has had in a negative impact on individual’s health and wellbeing.

Discussions are in the process with our IT department to improve these systems. 

Coronavirus restriction compliance

Several staff members raised concerns around feeling unsafe in the workplace due to a lack of social distancing and inadequate provision of PPE.

The Recovery Service North have taken the time to consolidate information and disseminate this to staff.

In addition, local guideline has been developed and shared with staff to support making decisions.

Impact of time reallocation

Working from home has reduced travel time for staff enabling this time to be used differently.

Data evidences the positive impact this time reallocation has had in a number of areas including an increase Care Plan review rates and DRAM review rates.

The team have continued to work on this and have devised a red, amber and green system in order to maintain communication with service users.

To find out more

If you would like to find out more or to see the results in more detail please contact the Quality Improvement Team by emailing qiteam@shsc.nhs.uk or speak to a member of the Recovery Service North team.

 

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