The Core Study



National Audit Office (2008) CRHT: The Service User and Carer Experience

'Continuity between teams - the need for a whole systems approach to the mental health care pathway is a key focus of recent Department of Health policy guidance.  Service users and carers echo the Department's stated need for 'overall service system coordination and coherence' and 'shared values, principles and processes across the whole service system', and feel confused and disappointed when that system appears to break down:

'You're left in limbo, if you're not like familiar with it all, and for someone who is first approached by mental illness it can be a little bit about […] co-ordination. Yes, it's like the right hand doesn't talk to the left hand. And that goes right down to the GP.'

Tiffany (carer)

Source: NAO carer focus group

'I thought, "If he's taken the pills, that's really bad", so I rang the crisis line […] They said, 'Who's the CPN? I'll get in touch with them in the morning'. This was Tuesday

 night. By Friday I hadn't been able to get out of the house. I was in tears. I rang the CPN, and they hadn't even left him a message.'

Mandy (carer)

Source: NAO carer focus group

'When I was discharged, two weeks later, I had an appointment with my consultant who had not had my file back from the Home Treatment team. So Home Treatment had not informed him of my medication […] and I just think it was a shambles.'

Susan (CRHT service user)

Source: NAO service user focus group' (p.23)