Strengthening the voice of mental health service users and carers in Wales: A focus group to inform future policy

Christine Wilson, Phil Jones, Phil Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Improving the mental health of the people inWales lies at the heart of theWelsh Assembly Government’s public health agenda and the current reforms of the National Health Service in Wales. However, relative to its importance as a health problem, spending on mental health is disproportionately low. Statutory authorities inWales highlight the importance of listening to, and learning from, service users and carers. This is seen as a way of improving services within the limited funding that is available. The aims of this study were to describe the ways in which mental health service users and carers are currently involved in mental health services across Wales; and to consider the need for an all-Wales mental health service user and carer ‘national mechanism’ to promote genuine partnership. Eight focus groups were held acrossWales attended by mental health service users and carers. There is a clear picture of the level and nature of participation, evidence of good practice and user and carer based aspirations for future participation. There is an untapped source of energy and experience that could help transform mental health services for the good of all. To ignore this would be to miss an opportunity to improve the quality of care for all those dependent upon these services, both patients and carers
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525 - 531
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Consumer Studies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • carer
  • focus groups
  • mental health
  • involvement
  • policy
  • service user


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