After you’d gone
Keywords:users’ experiences, coping and adaptation, grounded theory, health care professionals, mental health and illness
Mental health professionals often move across services in the National Health Service (NHS) as a result of organizational change. However, little is known about the impact this has on people who are in receipt of psychiatric services (service users). We conducted an exploratory qualitative study into the experiences of service users under a community mental health team following a service restructure. Nine service users took part in face-to-face interviews, which were subsequently analysed following the principles of Grounded Theory. We found that service users were affected by their consultant leaving in a variety of ways, ranging from grief reactions to improved self-efficacy. We concluded that service users can be significantly affected by their consultant leaving, and this should be taken into account when planning restructures of mental health services.