The effect of staff shortages and high caseloads on service users is highlighted in our Enter and View visit report on the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust Mind, Anxiety and Personality (MAP) Community Mental Health Team.
We used our visit to listen to service users experience of the support they receive, speak to staff about working for the team and observe the physical environment.
Staff told us:
‘there’s too high a turnover in staff – they join and then the next thing you know they’re leaving…the last couple of years the team has changed so much… [the clients are] seeing different people all the time- no wonder they are upset. I’ve had enough.
Despite this, most service users told us they valued the long-term care emotional support offered by the staff.
‘Yes… the way they engage with people is brilliant. They offer lots of therapies which help people cope with life…a lot of the team are brilliant. They do a lot for people, they really try… hopefully those people will stay this time’.
Service users seemed confident with approaching the reception area,the staff in the reception area were friendly and approachable. The room itself was small and comfortable, and again did not feel too clinical.
- External environment - The lack of SLaM signage ensures privacy for those entering and leaving the premises. The front garden and the pathway were well kept, tidy and had a calm atmosphere.
- Internal environment- On both visits, the waiting room area was calm and quiet with ceiling to floor windows that look out into the front garden, made the room feel open and light.
- Notice boards, signposting and information- There were numerous leaflets and posters around the waiting room, and two large notice boards were in eyesight of the main seating.
Recommendations were given as a result of the findings.
The visit to the MAP Community Mental Health Team is the last of our series of six Enter and View visits to community mental health services. These included supported accommodation services, employment support services and clinical services.
We chose to focus on community mental health services because of current NHS plans to movement treatment delivery away from hospital and clinic settings into the community.
All six Enter and View visit reports to community mental health services are summarised in our “Enter and View: Mental Health Community Services Summary Report”