The latest meeting was held last Wednesday, and the agenda can be found here. The agenda links to a number of documents, which is where i obtained the information below.
The first piece of information I found relates to BLPT's performance in the Healthcare Commission Service User ratings. As BLPT itself admits in this document, "The Trust is in the bottom 10% of mental health trusts nationally for performance on the service user survey." As I understand it, the HCC provides the guidelines for random selection of service users and sends this to individual mental health trusts. Mental health trusts then provide the HCC with a list of names and addresses. BLPT has, it seems, decided to add in to this system a mailshot on its own behalf. The Trust Board document states that,
"It was agreed to pre-empt the National Survey distribution by designing and mailing a leaflet explaining the Care Programme Approach and listing CMHT and emergency contact numbers to those service users randomly selected to receive the 2008 survey. The leaflet gave an explanation of the CPA and outlined the service that users could expect from the Trust, using the same terminology as the National Survey document, and the leaflet was mailed during the first week of January."
Since the HCC questionnaire asks whether service users have a care plan, have had a care plan review, know who to contact in an emergency, I can only think this will have the beneficial impact BLPT is hoping. I wonder whether the leaflet they have sent out urges service users to contact their CMHT if they do not have such information - which clearly would affect the results of the survey. If the Trust had chosen to send this leaflet to all service users, I would have no quibbles; it would seem to be very good practice. But to send it out only to those selected to receive the HCC questionnaire seems rather selective and suggests the priority is to affect the survey results rather than to ensure they are providing information and support to all service users.
Another interesting piece of information came from the excellent Performance Report. Undertakings have historically been made by the Trust Board to survey those who have made complaints to find out whether or not they are satisfied with the way their complaint was handled, and to provide evidence for their statement to the HCC (as part of the annual health check) that sevice users are not discriminated against as a result of making a complaint. This was initially stated to happen by Nov 2006, then by Nov 2007. The latest is that a draft survey will apparently be completed by January 28th 2008. I'm sure this has nothing to do with the question I asked of the Board on this very matter this month. I just wonder whether distributing the survey will take the same 14 months it has taken to produce this initial draft.
Also from the Trust Board meeting was information on the recent consutation process regarding Foundation Trust status. For 12 weeks, from October 8th, the Trust ran a series of events seeking the views of the public on how a Foundation Trust should be structured. There were "Presentations to Primary Care Trusts, Overview and Scrutiny Committees, service user and carer groups, staff forums, 9 formal public and 4 staff events." It also distributed "over 17,000 summary consultation documents and 2,600 full documents ... to service users, external and internal stakeholders, as well as being included on the Trust website seeking responses from the public and interested bodies. "
How many people were interested enough to attend the 9 formal public events and 4 staff events? 54.
How many responses were received from the distribution of "over 17, 000 summary consultations and 2,600 full documents"? 27.
I wonder what this level of involvement and response shows about the view of local people of the Trust.