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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
Better Together
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Service user and carer experience

We aim to offer the best possible experience to people who use our services.  We serve thousands of people every day in our community sites and hospitals, throughout Birmingham and Solihull.  We offer a number of specialised services, many of these serve a regional catchment area.

We have developed a number of systems to gain patient feedback and we are planning to extend these further.  The following examples are currently used by our trust:

The friends and family test

Patient and public experience

You may be asked by our staff how likely it is you would recommend our service to a friend or family member. We are asking this question because many other businesses and organisations ask a similar question to help them measure the success of their service.

Click here to learn more about the NHS Friends and Family Test or to give your feedback.


We have regular patient surveys, real time feedback surveys and we often develop short life dedicated surveys for specific areas of improvement, for example catering surveys.

Latest News

Community Mental Health Service User Survey 2018

Each year, the Trust takes part in this survey to help identify the areas where we are doing well and the areas that we need to improve. 

This year, people who are receiving care through our community mental health services will be chosen, at random, to take part in this survey to find out  the care they receive. This survey is part of a national programme to improve quality of care and is conducted completely independently from our Trust by the Care Quality Commission. All of the responses received are confidential and people taking part will not be identified in anyway at all.

If you, or a friend or family member, have been selected to take part in this year’s survey, further details can be found here. 

If you do not wish to take part, or have any questions or concerns about this survey, please contact Customer Relations on 0800 953 0045 or email bsmhft.customerrelations@nhs.net

Real Time Feedback

We are developing real time feedback, this seeks to gain opinions, which we can collate immediately through electronic methods. This means we can make swifter improvements to services - based on service user, carer or public feedback.

To learn more about real time feedback, complete a survey or see live results, view the real time feedback page

Mystery shoppers and service users

We have trained a group of experienced service users and carers to audit services within our trust, without prior warning.  Our auditors seek to make observations based on their visit and these are reported back to senior managers, matrons and the local managers on site.  Our mystery shoppers are trained to be fair and consistent but to offer an honest view based on their experiences during the visit.  We also recruit mystery service users who keep a record of their care, and explain to us the positive and negative aspects. This helps us to understand services from their perspective and make positive and meaningful improvements swiftly.

Customer relations (PALS and complaints)

Our customer relations team receive many comments and suggestions from service users, carers and the public. The reasons for each contact are taken are recorded and any feedback is collated into regular reports.

Our customer relations team hold regular drop-ins at inpatient locations around the trust. They record all feedback and ensure that local managers and teams learn from comments given.

When things go wrong and a complaint is made, this feedback is also recorded. An individual report is made and if necessary, an investigation is carried out. We detail anything we learn from investigating complaints and ensure that we share this knowledge with our staff.

Customer relations is available between 8am - 6pm, Monday to Friday, on 0800 953 0045.

User and carer involvement

We have dedicated projects for user and carer involvement across the Trust.  Our users and carers regularly get involved in helping us plan our services, recruit staff, assess progress and in making suggestions for improvements.

Our Patient Experience Group meets monthly to plan our work and develop better measures to learn from the experiences of our service users.  The group has a large number of external members including user volunteers, local advocacy organisations and voluntary sector providers.

Our Carers Voice Group meets every two months in order to learn from the views and experiences of our carers.  We seek to ensure feedback from carers is acted upon.

Both groups seek to help our trust learn lessons and improve from experience gained.

To become more involved as a service user contact our See Me team.

To become more involved as a carer please leave a message for our Head of PPI through our customer relations team.