The challenge

As was noted in the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 2018, the MHA was mostly paper based. This directly led to delays and errors with the forms, which in turn contributed to delays and errors in patient care. Between 2016 & 2019 there were at least 1063 Unlawful Detentions of patients in England due to issues with the paper process.

It is widely noted that the Mental Health Act is applied disproportionately across different ethnicities. Despite this acknowledgement, the paper process is plagued by inaccessible data from which improvement strategies may be derived. The paper processes involved were also created a significant logistical and administrative burden on teams with ward teams being expected to scan an upload multiple forms for emailing to offsite administrators. Anecdotal research suggests social workers are often driving large distances simply to return to correct relatively minor errors on paper forms.

The solution

Thalamos were the first to digitise the Mental Health Act forms, and have subsequently lead the way for MHA Digitisation. Working directly with the CQC Thalamos eMHA Forms are now received by over 97% of NHS providers nationally. As part of their work they have supported DHSC to update the legislation to expressly support the use of digital Forms.

Thalamos is the only provider of end-to-end Mental Health Act software. Their tools support the entire MHA pathway from first assessment and admission through to community treatment and discharge. Their administrative portal provides a Trust wide view on the use of the MHA. By deploying Thalamos, particularly at an ICS level, organisations are able to use the data derived from the platform to inform care improvement decisions.

The simple act of digitisation has lifted the administrative burden on ward teams, saving approximately 25 minutes per Section, the equivalent to one nursing shift, per ward, per week saved.

You’re making the Mental Health Act more human!

Steve Gilbert OBE FRSA

The impact

  • 25 minute clinical time saving per MHA Process
  • Enables in-patients to be discharged one day sooner
  • Reduces access to treatment times from seven days to 15 hours
  • 97% of Mental Health providers have received a Thalamos form from the CQC