Crown Street Hub provides short term services to enable people to move forward with their mental health recovery.
As part of our Liverpool Care Matters project we were asked by Liverpool City Council (who commission social care and support services in Liverpool ) to gather the experiences of people using Crown Street Hub and explore its role in their life and wellbeing.
In June 2018, we began visiting Crown Street Hub to speak to people accessing the services there. We wanted to get a better idea about what it feels like to use Crown Street and what part it plays in the lives and wellbeing of those service users. We were also interested in hearing about other activities or services that people access to help keep them well.
We would like to thank all of those who helped with this project. In particular we’d like to thank the service users who took the time to share their experiences with us.
In summary, we asked service users what made them keep coming back to Crown Street Hub and whether they used other services and if not why not. People spoke about a variety of different reasons for these and it was apparent that the following all contributed to their reliance on the service: the nature of their mental health issues or conditions (needing familiarity of setting and people); not having many friendships outside of the service; the uniqueness of how the service is run (being able to access the centre even if they are not attending an activity); the facilities and grounds (relating to Crown Street); and funding cuts to the social care system and lack of what they saw as good alternative services.
Key learning points
- The relationships among service users and between service users and staff play an important role in the wellbeing of people who attend Crown Street and Parthenon. Service users feel there would be a hugely detrimental impact on their lives if these were lost by going to a different service.
- The familiarity of the services provides a sense of comfort to service users. Many service users feel that a change to a new environment and new people (service users and staff) would be overwhelming.
- Attendees reported that the locations were convenient. Some are worried about the possible financial cost of attending a different service.
- Some service users aren’t aware of what other services are available to them, and in some cases these are already oversubscribed. Some services have closed as a result of cuts meaning that fewer alternative options are available.
- Most mental health support services that remain are activity focused whereas Crown Street service users are used to being able to drop in on their days even if they are not attending a specific activity. The uniqueness in the way the service is run means that there are few, if any, services that would provide the service users with the support they feel they get from Crown Street Hub. This explains perhaps why service users (especially the long-term service users) reported being socially isolated outside of Crown Street Hub and being reliant on the service.