Patient feedback on Luton mental health services highlights communication worries and lack of therapeutic activities

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Work is underway to address concerns around mental health services in Luton exposed by patient feedback to Healthwatch Luton.

Its year-long review focused on in-patient experiences and therapeutic treatment provided to Luton residents.

Mental health services in Luton are run by East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Healthwatch Luton chief executive Lucy Nicholson presented the report's findings to the council’s health and social care review group.

Mental health services in Luton are provided by East London Foundation Trust (ELFT)Mental health services in Luton are provided by East London Foundation Trust (ELFT)
Mental health services in Luton are provided by East London Foundation Trust (ELFT)

“We looked at community mental health and various providers and services in Luton, as well as the in-patient ward settings run by ELFT,” Ms Nicholson told the review group.

“We spoke to nearly 300 people in the town who had mental health conditions or were carers or a family member, or professionals working in the mental health arena.

“It does acknowledge a lot of positive feedback, but it did also highlight some quite negative issues... This was mainly around communications to patients, after-care and discharge, safeguarding concerns, expectations, activities on the ward and perceptions of people’s care.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We ask the actions recommended in our report are adhered to and taken forward.”

Assistant director of in-patient services with ELFT, Sasha Singh added: “Things are being done. We’ve welcome packs and discharge packs.

“The other issue which was flagged by Healthwatch was the availability of therapeutic activities.

“We’ve made advances on that across the wards so they have occupational therapy activity timetables.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Service users have the chance to feed into the activities that are planned and make suggestions for changes, things they would prefer to be done or not to do.

“When people leave hospital we’re giving them simple kits and tools they can use to manage the stress and anxiety.

“We’ve got sports therapists in post now who do groups of activities across the wards,” she added.

ELFT has used learning from incidents or complaints received to help its teams understand how people experience its care provision, while closer working with Healthwatch is planned, she explained.

“We look at the ward environment and what needs to be replaced.

“And where there’s a delay, for example broken windows and doors, those take some time for the suppliers to replace the glass.”

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.