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OneLondon eMHA

Supporting safer, faster, joined up mental health care for London

A new digital tool to support safer, faster and more joined up care for people detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA) is being introduced in London.

The MHA sets out a legal process that protects patients with mental health conditions who need to be detained and treated. This helps ensure they get the right treatment in a safe way.

Currently in most parts of London the process for assessing and treating people under the MHA relies on different staff from different organisations completing and sharing a number of paper-based forms. This can make the process complex, slow and errors can occur. This can have a negative effect on patients as it can lead to delays in care and poor patient outcomes.

Through the OneLondon eMHA programme a new digital tool will be introduced in six of the Capital’s Mental Health Trusts during 2024/25 to support quicker and more joined-up assessment, treatment and discharge of Londoners detained under the MHA.

The vital role of health and care professionals involved in the assessment and treatment of patients will not change. This programme is about modernising how these professionals record and share information as well as reducing delays, helping to ensure patients receive the right joined-up care safely and more quickly.

Where is the new system being introduced?

The OneLondon eMHA programme, backed by NHS England funding, will be introduced in six Mental Health Trusts in London during 2024/25:

  • East London NHS Foundation Trust
  • North East London NHS Foundation Trust
  • North London Mental Health Partnership:
    • Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust
    • Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
  • South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
  • South West London and St George’s

How will it work?

The OneLondon eMHA will use the Thalamos software that was developed with extensive consultation with clinicians and People with Lived Experience, including patients and their relatives. It will work within a Mental Health Trust’s Electronic Patient Record (EPR) and Electronic Prescription Management Administration (EPMA) systems.

Staff will complete the MHA documents from within their existing EPR system and can add their electronic signature. Corrections are easier than on the old paper forms and the system will automatically highlight sections that have not been completed or where errors might have been made.

Documents are securely shared between relevant organisations avoiding lost or inaccessible forms. Electronic notifications alert teams or individual members of staff of action they need to take helping to reduce delays in the process.

Health and care staff will also be able to see relevant MHA documents via the London Care Record regardless of which Trust created them, supporting more joined up care for people wherever they are in the Capital.

What will the benefits be?

While fully meeting all the MHA legal requirements the new OneLondon eMHA tool will support safer, faster and more joined up mental health care for Londoners. It will also be a quicker and more efficient system for staff and their organisations.

  • Improves the patient experience: through faster assessment and treatment and more joined up care.
  • Saves staff time: reduced time spent by clinical and administrative staff completing and sharing forms.
  • Improves safety: helps reduce errors.
  • Improves service planning: provides better information to improve services

The technology has already been successfully introduced in a number of organisations including Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. In addition, East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) introduced an earlier version of this technology in 2022.

“Very convenient and legible. Thank you for introducing this system. It saves time and is a swift and error free way of filling out forms.”
Consultant, Navigo
“The doctor was able to send me the paperwork remotely which eliminated unnecessary travel time and allowed me to organise the assessment of the patient much more quickly. Most importantly this meant the patient was discharged in a timely manner.”
AMHP, CWP
“It saves a lot of time for nurses on the ward. It easily saves 15 to 30 minutes each time they have to read through section papers. This enables the ward staff to spend more time with patients and young people.”
Ward Manager, CWP
“It saved me hours of waste today. Amendment to A2 form took less than 5 mins. Previously I would have driven miles to the hospital/ MHA office. Life changer. THANK YOU."
Practice Manager, CWP
“It’s great, I love that it’s broken down into bits, makes it look exactly like the paper forms.”
Second Opinion Appointed Doctor, CQC
“Time pressure is a huge challenge so anything that makes the journey smoother and faster is incredibly helpful, such as receiving email notifications when you have been sent a form, or auto-population of details."
Consultant Clinical Psychologist, CWP

Frequently Asked Questions

We are currently developing detailed plans for its introduction. This will be done on a rolling basis throughout 2024/25 starting with East London NHS Foundation Trust and North East London NHS Foundation NHS Trust this summer.

We will work with the Trusts and wider partners to develop extensive communications and training for everyone involved in the MHA process.

OneLondon is in discussions with the two Mental Health Trusts in North West London about their potential involvement next financial year.

Yes. The Thalamos eMHA software is secure and meets important standards for the NHS. It is Cyber Essentials Plus Certified, Data Security and Protection Toolkit Standards Exceeded, DTAC Compliant and undergoes annual (as a minimum) Crest Approved Penetration Test.

The Thalamos Data Protection Officer is a key member of the Responsible Innovation Group, meeting fortnightly to ensure that all technical controls are properly implemented into the software from the initial design through to production.

Data held within Thalamos is encrypted at rest and in-transit and either Single Sign On or Multi-Factor Authentications is enabled.

The OneLondon eMHA supplier has adopted a Responsible Innovation by Design approach whereby fortnightly meetings are held to review all new functionality and features as they are designed. This Group includes the perspectives of AMHPs, Medic’s, Data Protection and Lived Experience. This group is supplemented by Quarterly Steering Groups whereby users, prospective users and those with lived experience are engaged to steer the direction of the system.

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