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Working together to support safer, faster, joined up mental health care for London

A new digital tool to support safer, quicker and more joined-up assessment and treatment of people detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA) is being introduced in London (9 May 2024).

The OneLondon eMHA programme will replace the current paper-based MHA processes with a digital solution that joins up admission, treatment, hospital and discharge care pathways.

This major programme, supported with around £5 million NHS England Frontline Digitisation funding, will help to ensure patients receive the right joined-up care safely and more quickly. It will also help save clinical and administration teams valuable time.

Currently in most parts of London the process for assessing and treating people detained 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 that will modernise how health and care professionals record and share information and help reduce delays in the MHA process

This will support safer, quicker and more joined-up assessment, treatment and discharge of Londoners detained under the MHA while also saving staff time.

Dr Paul Gilluley, Chief Medical Officer at North East London ICB and OneLondon eMHA Programme SRO, said:

“It is great news that we are replacing the outdated paper-based process used for the assessment and treatment of Londoners detained under the Mental Health Act. The new digital tool will support safer, faster and more joined up care for patients in the Capital. It will also save our hard-working health and care professionals valuable time. I have no doubt that this important programme that will make a positive difference on mental health care across the Capital.”

Luke Readman, Director of Digital Transformation at NHS England (London), said:

“It is fantastic that backed with NHS England funding this important new programme will be delivered through the OneLondon partnership. The London Care Record and Universal Care Plan are great examples of the positive impact we can make by working together across the Capital. I am confident the OneLondon eMHA programme will be just as successful in supporting safer, faster and more joined up care for Londoners.”

Arden Tomison, Thalamos Founder and CEO, said:

“At Thalamos our focus has always been to make access to, and receipt of mental healthcare, swifter, simpler and safer. The Team is hugely excited about the opportunity to work with stakeholders across London. Our software is already making a positive difference for patients in different parts of the country and we look forward to seeing these benefits delivered across the Capital.”

The OneLondon eMHA programme 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 any 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.

The OneLondon eMHA tool 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 Mental Health NHS Trust

Find out more information about the OneLondon eMHA programme here.

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