Nine projects were shortlisted for the award, which recognises partnerships that have enabled the delivery of better mental health services, putting patients at the centre of care, engaging the community and reducing stigma.
Identifying system challenges
The partnership between S12 Solutions, the CCG and STP began in 2019, following the CCG’s exploration of the area’s crisis care pathway. Research revealed system challenges including Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHPs) organising section 12 (s.12) doctors for Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA) assessments using a paper list or contacts saved in a team phone. Difficulty finding available s.12 doctors, particularly in rural locations, often delayed MHA assessments, in some cases increasing distress and risk for the person waiting to be assessed; the MHA Register Database suggested that there were many more s.12 doctors in the area than were known to the AMHP Services. Furthermore, maintaining accurate contact information was difficult and doctors’ s.12 approval was not routinely checked. Processing s.12 doctors’ claims was also a time-consuming, manual process, often exacerbated by claim forms being sent in bulk; in some cases, slow or absent payments were discouraging doctors from participating in s.12 work. After alternative strategies to address these challenges failed, the STP decided to pilot S12 Solutions for one year, with Wessex Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) invited by the CCG to independently evaluate the platform’s impact.
The AHSN’s evaluation reported many positive results, including the project achieving its target of registering 95% of the doctors in the area several months ahead of deadline, increasing the number of doctors in the network by 123%. In Hampshire, 73% of AMHPs stated that they were able to organise assessments with fewer than five calls compared to 38% prior to the platform’s introduction. The number of s.136 assessments organised in under 1 hour increased from 4% to 41%. The Southampton AMHP Service was better resourced for doctors but acknowledged the platform was useful for sustainability. Sam Culling, Interim AMHP Lead: “Before S12 Solutions was introduced we had a number of s.12 doctors that we could rely on […] nonetheless, one of our trusted s.12 doctors retired in July 2019, so having access to more s.12 doctors is definitely useful.” Sam also highlighted improvements in AMHPs’ ability to find doctors with specialist skills: “It has given us access to more specialist doctors as and when we need them. For instance, in the last few months I have personally found it particularly useful for finding doctors who specialise in Learning Disabilities.” The evaluation reported that 93% of doctors somewhat agreed, agreed or strongly agreed that since using S12 Solutions they only receive calls when they have stated they are available. Claims processors saved 3.5 hours’ administration time per 50 claims processed, and the average number of days between assessment completion and claim paid reduced by 12.5 days, when compared to the same period during the previous year.
Sonya Mclean, Senior Commissioning Manager for Mental Health Crisis Care, Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG: “Giving good support to people at a time of mental health crisis is essential, and complicated – you need strong relationships and teamwork to make sure that someone who is really vulnerable gets the help they desperately need. This project has brought together a wide range of partners – including patients themselves – who have worked brilliantly together, but this is not about partnership for partnership’s sake. Everyone involved was absolutely focused on improving the end result for the people who rely on these services, and I believe that everyone should be very proud of the role they played in delivering just that.”
AMHP and S12 Solutions’ Founder and Managing Director, Amy Manning: “Hampshire and Southampton have been important partners to S12 Solutions in so many ways. As one of our earliest adopters, they helped us refine our platform workflows, and implementation and training processes. Changes to the platform that followed feedback from AMHPs and doctors in the area have improved functionality for everyone. In the 100 days of S12 Solutions workshop organised by the AHSN Network, the Hampshire and Southampton project team shared their experience with other areas implementing S12 Solutions, and they continue to join AMHP forums, meetings and webinars, helping other services around the country learn from their experience, and supporting us with new product development. We are incredibly grateful to the AMHP Leads, the Trusts, the CCG and STP project teams, our AMHP and doctor Champions and all of the users across the area for their contribution to the pilot and continued support, as well as to Wessex AHSN for their efforts in producing such a comprehensive evaluation. This commendation recognises and celebrates everybody’s hard work.”
HSJ editor Alastair McLellan, who hosted the Awards ceremony: “Congratulations to S12 Solutions and Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG and STP on being recognised in the Best Mental Health Partnership with the NHS category at this year’s HSJ Partnership Awards. Following on from what has been an undoubtedly challenging time for the healthcare industry, it was incredible to be involved in celebrating projects of such high calibre.
“This year’s entrants were of such an impressive standard, posing a very difficult challenge to our experienced judging panel, who were not only impressed by the wide range of applicants who demonstrated real evidence of innovation and collaboration, but also great improvements to patient care.
He adds; “We know that S12 Solutions and Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG and STP are not alone in fostering a such a positive culture and we hope this commendation will be a source of inspiration for like-minded teams across the country. As we look towards our 5th anniversary year in 2022, we’re proud of the legacy we’ve created and are delighted that the HSJ Partnership Awards continue to be attract and draw attention to the hard work and behind-the-scenes teamwork in healthcare. Congratulations again to S12 Solutions and Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight CCG and STP, and welcome to the HSJ Partnership Awards alumni!”
Congratulations to category winner Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust, and to all of the evening’s winners and finalists. Thank you to the event’s organisers for hosting such an enjoyable, safe evening.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information relating to S12 Solutions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information/media enquiries relating to the HSJ Partnership Awards 2021, please contact Kitty Weale at email@example.com or tel: 0207 112 4905
About HSJ Partnership Awards:
The HSJ Partnership Awards celebrate the most effective partnerships with the NHS and highlight the benefits which working with the private and third sectors can bring to patients and NHS organisations.