The mental health service for adults on the Isle of Wight is 'silting up' with patients.
That is one of the findings of a report into community mental health services by Isle of Wight LINk, the local independent health and social care watchdog.
It reveals a caseload of nearly 1,800 individuals who were being supported in August 2012.
LINk surveyed 126 patients for their views and experiences on the mental health service for the report, called "Into the Future, Report on Community Mental Health Services for Adults."
Among the unnamed responses, one patient said: "My life would have been better if...I'd never moved here."
In response to questions about staffing, another said it "depends - some staff are great, others are atrocious."
The report said that there is a need to reduce pressure on the service, which is affected by 'an inability to move individuals through the system' with a lack of on-going suport mechanisms in the community which is creating blockages of some 500+ patients in rehabilitation and 200+ in the acute and recovery phase after one year.
Although LINk said the report was written against a backdrop of rapid change for the Island's mental health services, uncertainty over the future of Local Authority provision only adds to the problems of addressing the issue of 'silting'.
Despite the pressures, surveys showed that most people, nearly 8 out of 10, felt they had access to services when needed and had received a good or very good level of empathy and respect.
In a message from the Isle of Wight LINk's Stewardship Group chair, Chris Orchin, commented: "The third sector has an important role to play in the process. What is lacking, however, is a clear view emanating from the statutory sector about its role. Without this, the sector can only guess at the actual need and will find it difficult to develop or maintain its services."
In conclusion, the report said that whilst a majority of those replying rated their service highly, the survey suggests a big variation in quality, depending on the individual worker concerned. The intensity of the comments from the minority who had experienced poor service quality is a cause for concern, the report said, and the low number of people who could say with confidence that they had a Crisis Plan was striking.
Among the report's recommendations, LINk said that processes should be put in place to ensure a more consistent service user experience across all services. It suggests an immediate overhaul of Crisis Planning and that ways should be found urgently to make connections between mental health services and housing.