A MENTAL health campaigner has said ‘changes are still needed’ despite a new survey showing patients are positive about the provision on offer in Burton.
Dr Matt Long, who led a Mail backed campaign to save the Margaret Stanhope Centre, spoke out after patients in the town told the 2013 Community Mental Health Survey that the services they receive in Burton were ‘positive’.
He said that, while the results of the survey were a ‘step in the right direction’, major changes were still needed to best protect people in the town who suffer with serious mental illness.
Dr Long told the Mail: “It is good to see that people think that the community mental health care they are receiving is improving and of a high standard in Burton.
“However, it still blindingly obvious that the town and people within it who have mental health problems are still at a disadvantage since the closure of the Margaret Stanhope Centre.
“Community care may well be very good but when someone goes beyond that and needs sectioning, the resources on offer are not up to standard.”
The survey, carried out by the Care Quality Commission, showed that South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust,which oversees health provision in the town, was performing well according to patients in areas such as how they were treated by care workers and the support being offered to them.
Dr Long added: “All of the us campaigners no longer want to be doom merchants anymore and this is why I applaud the survey results.
“But recently it took me close to nine months to get an appointment while I was suffering with depression – this is simply not good enough.
“The services in the town, if they are continue to provide positive results, need to be offered more support and better provisions provided before it is too late.”
The inpatient mental health facility in the town, the Margaret Stanhop Centre, closed last year despite a campaign supported by 8,000 Mail readers, police chiefs and the town’s MP.
Neil Carr, chief executive of the trust, said: “We take the feedback of our service users very seriously and welcome the results of this survey to measure how we are doing.
“Although we see from the survey that we are performing in line with other trusts, we are not complacent.
“We continually look at how we can improve and will use the results to help us plan where we need to focus our efforts.”