Data source

Your Experience of Service survey instrument

There has been an increased focus by states and territories on strengthening and coordinating efforts to collect patient reported measures (AIHW 2018). The Your Experience of Service (YES) survey has been developed primarily for use in public specialised mental health services.

Monitoring mental health consumer and carer experiences of service has been a long-term goal of the National Mental Health Strategy. In 2010, under the Fourth National Mental Health Plan (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009), the Australian Department of Health funded the National Consumer Experiences of Care project to develop a survey for use in public mental health services. This project resulted in the development of the YES survey, which was finalised in 2014. The YES survey instrument was developed by the Victorian Department of Health under the auspices of the Mental Health Information Strategy Standing Committee (MHISSC).

The YES NBEDS was subsequently developed by MHISSC in conjunction with AIHW to collect and monitor consumers’ experiences of service over time. Jurisdictions agree to provide data to the YES NBEDS through their state/territory representative on MHISSC.

A measure of carer experiences has also been developed but has not yet been implemented by any jurisdiction. The Mental Health Carer Experience Survey (MHCES) aims to measure the experiences of carers, such as family members, partners or friends of people who access mental health services.

Participating states and territories

In 2016–17, three states administered and provided data to the YES NBEDS.

In New South Wales, 44 specialised mental health services administered the YES survey. New South Wales has publicly reported their YES survey data since 2015–16 (NSW Ministry of Health, 2017a, 2017b).

In Victoria, 17 specialised mental health services administered the YES survey. Victoria has also publicly reported their YES survey data for 2015–16 and  2016–17 in their Annual Mental Health Services Report 2016–17 (Victorian DHHS, 2017).

In Queensland, 20 specialised mental health services administered the YES survey. Queensland has publicly reported YES survey data for 2014–15 and 2015–16 (Queensland Health, 2016, 2017).

Each state/territory has chosen a method of administration that best suits their local needs. New South Wales has adopted a “continuous” method, where people are offered the YES during every hospital stay or community health centre visit. By contrast, Victoria and Queensland have adopted a “snapshot” approach where people are encouraged to complete YES in a particular week or month of the year.

YES survey questions

The YES survey comprises 26 questions about a mental health consumer’s perceptions of their treatment and the care they received. Respondents answer each question using the following response scales:

  • For questions 1–17, respondents indicate how often the service did a range of things during their care (1—Never, 2—Rarely, 3—Sometimes, 4—Usually, 5—Always). Examples include: ‘You felt welcome at this service’, ‘Staff showed hopefulness for your future’, and ‘Your opinions about the involvement of family or friends in your care were respected’.
  • For questions 18–26, respondents indicate how well the service performed during their care (1—Poor, 2—Fair, 3—Good, 4—Very Good, 5—Excellent). Examples include: ‘Explanation of your rights and responsibilities’, ‘Access to peer support’, and ‘The effect the service had on your overall well-being’.

Experience of service score

MHISSC developed a nationally agreed scoring methodology to reflect each respondent’s experience of service across 22 questions in the YES survey.

The experience of service score for each respondent is equal to the average response of questions 1–22 multiplied by 20. The resulting overall score converts the individual question responses into a score out of 100.

The proportion of respondents with an experience of service score over 80 on the YES measure was agreed by MHISSC as the metric (indicator) to be used for monitoring consumer experience of service under the Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan (CHC 2017).


References

AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2018. ‘Patient-reported experience and outcome measures’ (Chapter 7.17), in Australia’s health 2018. Canberra: AIHW.

CHC (COAG (Council of Australian Governments) Health Council) 2017. The Fifth National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan. Canberra: Department of Health.

Commonwealth of Australia (2009). Fourth National Mental Health Plan—An agenda for collaborative government action in mental health 2009–2014. Canberra: Attorney-General’s Department. Viewed 31 July 2018.

NSW Ministry of Health (2017a). Your Experience of Service: What consumers say about NSW Mental Health Services, 2015–2016. Viewed 26 July 2018.

NSW Ministry of Health (2017b). Your Experience of Service: What consumers say about NSW Mental Health Services, 2016–2017. Viewed 26 July 2018.

Queensland Health (2016). Your Experience of Service—2015 Statewide report. Brisbane: Queensland Health. Viewed 26 July 2018.

Queensland Health (2017). Your Experience of Service—2016 Statewide report. Brisbane: Queensland Health. Viewed 26 July 2018.

Victorian DHHS (Department of Health and Human Services) 2017. Victoria’s mental health services annual report 2016–17. Melbourne: Victorian DHHS. Viewed 26 July 2018.