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Service user experience of the Norfolk youth service

David Heavens (Department of Child Family and Young Person Service, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK)
Joanne Hodgekins (Department of Clinical Psychology, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK)
Rebecca Lower (Department of Child Family and Young Person Service, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK)
Joanne Spauls (Department of Child Family and Young Person Service, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK)
Benjamin Carroll (Department of Child Family and Young Person Service, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK)
Brioney Gee (Department of Child Family and Young Person Service, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK)
Timothy Clarke (Department of Child Family and Young Person Service, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK)
Jonathan Wilson (Department of Child Family and Young Person Service, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich, UK)

Mental Health Review Journal

ISSN: 1361-9322

Article publication date: 27 February 2020

Issue publication date: 20 March 2020

Abstract

Purpose

There is an international drive to improve mental health services for young people. This study aims to investigate service user experience of a youth mental health service in Norfolk, UK. In addition to suggesting improvements to this service, recommendations are made for the development of youth mental health services in general.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-methods approach was used. Quantitative data from satisfaction questionnaires were analysed using descriptive statistics and compared between two time points. A semi-structured interview was used to generate qualitative data. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes in the interview transcripts and triangulation was used to synthesise quantitative and qualitative data.

Findings

Service users appeared satisfied with the service. Significant improvements in satisfaction were found between two time points. Qualitative analysis identified three main themes that were important to service users, including support, information and personhood.

Practical implications

Recommendations for the development of youth mental health services are provided. Although these are based on findings from the Norfolk youth service, they are likely to apply to other mental health services for young people.

Originality/value

Mental health care for young people requires significant improvement. The Norfolk youth service is one of the first services of its kind in the UK. The findings from this study might be helpful to consider in the development of youth mental health services across the world.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the participants who took part in this study. They would also like to thank members of the Norfolk youth service council who provided guidance on the content and structure of the semi-structured interview.

Citation

Heavens, D., Hodgekins, J., Lower, R., Spauls, J., Carroll, B., Gee, B., Clarke, T. and Wilson, J. (2020), "Service user experience of the Norfolk youth service", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 85-98. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-03-2019-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited