[PDF] Your story can change lives: regional audit of the experience of users and carers within mental health services. Standards 10-26 : mental health and wellbeing service framework

Guidelines and Audit Implementation Network - GAIN
Guidelines and Audit Implementation Network (GAIN)
Publication date:
01 June 2013


This audit of user and carers experience (undertaken by the Guidelines and Audit Implementation Network (GAIN) in partnership with the Public Health Agency (PHA) and the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB)), originated with the Mental Health and Wellbeing Service Framework (DHSSPS, October 2011).  Standards 10-26 of the Framework cover “improving the experience of users and carers”. The audit was undertaken to find out how services were performing in relation to these Standards, specifically from a service user and carer perspective.

The audit had two sections:

  • a series of 9 questions developed by a regional steering group of users, carers, Trusts and other HSC organisations, along with the voluntary sector/community groups
  • alongside the questionnaire the audit also enabled users and carers to ‘tell their story’ about their experience of mental health services over the last 3 years.

720 experiences were collected across N. Ireland. The data was analysed using a software package which was able to analyse both qualitative and quantitative information. Analysis of the stories provided by service users and carers provided evidence in relation to what people valued when recovering from treatment and care for mental health problems. Their stories and personal experience highlight that people value:

  • Being treated with dignity and respect
  • Being listened to by professionals
  • Having continuity of care