The challenge

The current paper-based MHA assessment set-up method routinely delays assessments because there is no easy way for AMHPs to identify available, local doctors. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) reported in 2018 that difficulty finding doctors was the second most common cause of delay.

Assessment delays can leave service users waiting for care, often in distress or at risk, while also detrimentally impacting the emergency services and places of safety, including A&E departments.

The solution

S12 Solutions connects AMHPs with available, local s.12 doctors via an app and website, helping to reduce assessment delays caused by the current paper-based assessment set-up process.

  • Service users are assessed sooner by the best available assessing team, minimising distress and risk
  • AMHPs have more time to prepare for assessment
  • Doctors get fairer access to and more control over their s.12 work
  • Police spend less time waiting with service users in Section 136 scenarios, reducing the risk of unlawful detention136 scenarios, reducing the risk of unlawful detention

We have often found it extremely difficult to find s.12 doctors in an expedient manner when we have had a high volume of referrals. Doctor availability has improved  significantly since the app was launched, which has led to a reduction in delays to assessments.

Dominic Marley, Lead AMHP for the London Boroughs of Richmond and Wandsworth, Team Manager, Wandsworth Borough Council

The impact

S12 Solutions was piloted and then commissioned in Cumbria and South West London. The platform currently supports 206 users (as of February 2019).

Pilots demonstrated:

  • Increased doctor networks and evidence that new doctors were being invited to assessments
  • Assessments happening sooner than expected
  • Improved ability to arrange assessments that were best fit for the service user
  • More assessments completed by the team that received the referral
  • A reduction in the number of assessments requiring two doctors, where clinically appropriate