A new survey, which is not designed to be part of the government’s current Mental Health and Addictions Inquiry, is looking to set a benchmark for the current quality and safety culture in services.
It comes at a time when both staff, service users and families have been speaking out during the Inquiry about safety concerns with reports of assaults on both staff and patients.
Dr Clive Bensemann, clinical lead for the Commission’s Mental Health and Addictions (MHA) quality improvement programme, said the national survey would play an important part in shaping future sector improvements, with organisations’ quality and safety cultures affecting the quality of care, the experiences of consumers and families, plus health outcomes.
‘Where there is a strong quality and safety culture, you will see leadership supporting all staff to continually update their skills,” said Benseman.
“Staff are able to talk safely about mistakes, near misses and adverse events. On the other hand, where there are issues with the organisational culture, such as lack of teamwork or communication failure, the result can be medication errors and adverse events.”
The survey, known as the Ngā Poutama Oranga Hinengaro: Quality in Context Survey or Ngā Poutama for short, will involve mental health and addictions staff working for DHBs, non-governmental organisations and primary health services. Survey invites will be sent to staff in August. It will include questions about their beliefs, attitudes and behaviours in regards to quality and safety.
The aim of the survey, is to establish a baseline of information about the quality and safety culture in services to inform the design of quality improvement initiatives and to monitor change with the survey to be repeated every two to three years.
Results are expected to be confirmed by late 2018, and findings will be made available on the Commission’s website, as well as provided to key stakeholders and survey participants.
‘We urge those working in MHA services to take a few minutes to complete the Ngā Poutama survey, so that they can help us maximise our efforts to improve the quality and safety of MHA services over coming years,’ says Dr Bensemann.
A Commission spokesperson said the results were likely to be available after the Inquiry’s October 31 reporting date to Government.