PERFORMANCE: Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust is planning to establish a service user experience monitoring unit, under which ex-service users will interview current service users.

A statement says: “Believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, the new initiative by Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust (SHSC) aims to get an accurate picture of how people receiving community treatment and inpatient care feel about their experiences.

“The service user experience monitoring unit is due to be launched in April, and will see ex-service users interviewing current service users, after they leave inpatient care, or during community treatment, to find out what the experience of treatment was like.

“The information gathered will be anonymous and used to monitor the experience of care on an ongoing basis and to plan and deliver services. Feedback will also go to SHSC’s clinical teams, providing care and to the Trust board on a regular basis.

“Ex-service users will be trained in interviews techniques in order to be able to get accurate feedback from the people they speak to.

“Currently mental health services are monitored annually by the Care Quality Commission, and feedback from this national organisation is used to develop services, but response rates to the questionnaires are low.

“The service user monitoring unit will give the trust much more detailed and personal feedback about what people really think about their experiences.”