Consumer perspectives of mental health care

Monitoring mental health consumer and carer experiences of service has been a long-term goal of the National Mental Health Strategy. This section presents information about consumer-rated experiences of care in public specialised mental health services using the nationally developed Your Experience of Service (YES) survey. The YES survey aims to help Australian mental health services and consumers work together to build better services. The project was a national initiative funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and managed by the Victorian Department of Health and Human services in conjunction with the Mental Health Information Strategy Standing Committee (MHISSC). Implementation of the YES survey and national reporting of the data is a key action under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (CHC 2017).

Currently 3 jurisdictions—New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland—have implemented the YES survey and are contributing to the Your Experience of Service National Best Endeavours Data Set (NBEDS). In New South Wales, consumers are offered the YES survey during every hospital stay or community episode of care. In Victoria and Queensland, consumers are offered the YES over a particular time of the year. Comparisons between jurisdictions with different methods should be made with caution. The data source section provides more detailed information on the development of the YES survey, participating states and territories, and other aspects of the YES data.

It is anticipated that this section will expand as data becomes available from additional jurisdictions.

Data downloads:

Consumer perspectives of mental health care tables 2017–18 (40KB XLS)

Consumer perspectives of mental health care section 2017–18 (767KB)

This section was last updated in October 2019.

Key points

  • To date New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland have implemented the YES survey to monitor mental health consumers’ experiences of care.
  • 28,651 consumer-rated experience of service surveys were collected from 85 mental health service organisations in 2017–18.­
  • In admitted care in 2017–18, 68.7% of respondents in NSW, 50.4% in Vic and 47.1% in Qld, reported a positive experience of service.
  • In ambulatory (non–admitted) care in 2017–18, 79.1% of respondents in Qld, 77.9% in NSW and 73.8% in Vic, reported a positive experience of service.
  • In residential care in 2017–18, 78.9% of respondents in Qld and 77.6% in Vic, reported a positive experience of service.
  • A higher proportion of respondents with Voluntary legal status reported positive experience of service than respondents with Involuntary legal status.

Returned surveys

A total of 28,651 YES surveys were returned in 2017–18 (Figure CP.1). New South Wales had the largest number of returned surveys (22,895) followed by Queensland (3,244) and Victoria (2,512). Since 2015–16, the number of returned YES surveys has increased in New South Wales and Victoria (Figure CP.2). Note that in New South Wales consumers are offered the survey at the end of each episode of care, while in Victoria and Queensland consumers are encouraged to complete the survey at a particular time in the year (the data source section provides more detailed information on each state’s methodology).

The majority of surveys were received from consumers in admitted and ambulatory (non-admitted) care setting (16,385 and 11,695 surveys, respectively) with a smaller number received from consumers in residential care (571). This is consistent with the lower number of consumers accessing residential care services observed in relevant data collections (reported in the section 'Specialised mental health care facilities’ of Mental Health Services in Australia). New South Wales did not report any surveys being received from consumers in residential care and Queensland did not report residential mental health services prior to 2017–18. Note that an individual consumer may have completed the survey more than once in the reporting period.

 

Figure CP.2 Alternative text - Source data Consumer perspectives of mental health care tables (40KB XLS)

In admitted care settings, 51.1% of the returned YES surveys were from consumers who received care for a period of 1 day to 2 weeks and 8.6% from consumers who received care for more than 6 months. This is in contrast to other settings where consumers typically received care for longer periods—in residential care, 26.7% of surveys were from consumers who received care for 1 day to 2 weeks and 30.4% for more than 6 months; in ambulatory care, 6.2% were for 1 day to 2 weeks and 54.8% for more than 6 months.