The NHS Reset report recognises the huge implications the pandemic creates for mental health providers and the people they support; providers are experiencing rising referrals, patients with more significant needs, people accessing services for the first time, and increased Mental Health Act (1983) presentations. Staff burnout is a real concern, as additional pressure is added to already strained services.
Other challenges for the mental health crisis care pathway include:
- Services operating with a smaller than usual workforce as AMHPs self-isolate or shield
- The impact of the s.12 doctor shortage is exacerbated as doctors are redeployed, self-isolating or shielding
- AMHPs spending valuable time calling doctors who are unable to help; this frustrating administrative task is taking AMHPs away from their core activities
- Delays in emergency department, health-based places of safety and police custody can lead to increased use of s.4 of the Mental Health Act. In some cases, the inability to find an available s.12 doctor and/or specialised s.12 doctor is contributing to this problem
S12 Solutions’ ability to help AMHPs and s.12 doctors efficiently complete Mental Health Act processes is proving especially helpful during the pandemic.
Connecting AMHPs with available s.12 doctors
S12 Solutions enables doctors to:
- Add their availability
- Update their base postcode to make themselves available for s.12 work in other areas
- Add Time Away if self-isolating or shielding
- A wider network of doctors to contact, providing continuity during sudden, unpredictable gaps in s.12 doctor availability
- Viewing doctor availability reduces the number of calls AMHPs need to make before an assessing team is organised
- Searching by doctor attributes helps AMHPs organise doctors that are the best-fit for the person being assessed
In Spring 2020, S12 Solutions’ in-house development team collaborated with users and stakeholders to develop Video Calling and electronic Statutory Mental Health Act Forms, to support Sites’ Covid-19 response.
- Enables AMHPs and doctors to maintain patient confidentiality during pre-and post-assessment conversations while observing social distancing guidance
- Video Calling is part of the current workflow and accessed with the same login
- Calls cannot be tracked or recorded
Electronic Statutory Mental Health Act Forms
- Covid-secure method of working
- Reduces the risk of errors, lost paperwork and unlawful detention
- Improves medical recommendation/scrutiny quality
- Saves AMHP time as they’re no longer involved in error rectification
- MHA administrators have more time to focus on patients and their rights
S12 Solutions is simple to implement and user training is delivered online.
To find out more about how S12 Solutions can help the mental health crisis care pathway respond to Covid-19, please get in touch.