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

We received 87 responses to the survey from people using our service, with lots of really helpful comments.

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.

Good access and continuity of care

We were pleased to hear that most of those who responded knew who to contact during the pandemic and had been able to access the support they required.

Most respondents reported they had kept contact with their regular worker, with those who had spoken with a different worker still finding the support they received to be helpful.

Telephone appointments

While many reported that they felt their telephone appointment had been helpful and reassuring, there was an overwhelming feeling that most people would prefer to return to face-to-face when possible in the future.

Reasons for this included being able to build a relationship with the worker, feeling able to be more open and honest, workers being able to assess people’s behaviour and appearance and a lot of respondents expressing they can find it very difficult to talk on the phone.

Where face-to-face appointments aren’t possible, many people suggested that video calls would be preferred to phone calls to enable faces to be seen.

As lockdown measures were relaxed we started to increase the number of face-to-face appointments, where necessary, with service users and we will continue to do this within restriction guidelines.

We have also started to use Attend Anywhere, which is a virtual clinic using video facility, and our therapists have been using this for some therapy sessions with service users.

New walking group

Our Monday Social group restarted in summer 2020 as a walking group. To keep in line with Coronavirus restrictions we invited people to attend on a rota basis.

Attendees were coming approximately once a month. We continued to ask for your feedback about how this was going and you told us that you missed seeing everyone from the group, that if the weather was bad and you don’t come that you miss out for six weeks.

We reviewed restriction information and teamed up with Forest Close, one of our other services, meaning we had a greater ratio of staff available for the walks. That and the Government guidelines on gatherings extending to 15 people for therapeutic groups allowed more people to come more often.

We now run a drop in group (referred via staff) and are loving having everyone back, socially distanced but together again.

Our next steps will be to review what our service users want to do when restrictions ease further.

Sun:Rise South service user group

Our Sun:Rise South service user group stopped meeting when our venue closed under Coronavirus restrictions. Attendees were directed to the online central group.

Whilst many members were able to switch and join the central group some had IT issues preventing this from being an option for them. We organised with these members to attend East Glade within Coronavirus guidelines which has enabled them to access the central group using East Glade technology and Wi-Fi.

Staff and members are now looking to the next steps of meeting as Sun:Rise South, once restrictions allow.

To find out more

Get in touch with the Quality Improvement Team via qiteam@shsc.nhs.uk if you want to find out more information or to see the results in more detail.

Alternatively please speak to a member of staff at Recovery South.

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