Healthwatch Bucks identified Mental Health Services as a strategic priority for 2016/17.
What we did
Healthwatch Bucks commissioned Buckinghamshire Mind to undertake an evaluation of mental health peer support groups across the county from October 2016 to January 2017. The research focuses on:
- Current provision
- Defining the unmet need
- Exploring the key features of best practice
- Proposing a costed way forward
The ultimate aim is to raise awareness of the need for peer support for those people in the community experiencing mental health problems, and further provide a robust evidence base for commissioners, Healthwatch Bucks and Buckinghamshire Mind to work to deliver the improved provision of services.
We wanted to fully understand and incorporate the service user voice (both existing and potential) across the county in the design of services.
The project also aims to disseminate best practice to other organisations looking to establish similar programmes.
What will we do?
Buckinghamshire Mind and Healthwatch Bucks will send this report to the Mental Health All Ages Commissioner. We will also write to each peer support provider recommending they link in with Community Impact Bucks and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust to promote their services and collaborative volunteering opportunities.
We will also send the good practice guide to current peer support providers to support their delivery.
From talking to Bucks Mind it became clear that peer support services across the county were much needed. It is also an area where increased funding could make a real difference.