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Mental Health Project Provides Better Connected Care for Patients in Crisis

Mental Health Project Provides Better Connected Care for Patients in Crisis

A first-of-its-kind NHS project involving four West Midlands mental health vanguard trusts – and more than 3 million patients – coordinates care for mental health patients and provides a model for the entire region

Mental health tragedy highlighted time for change in data sharing

In 2013 a Birmingham homicide investigation unearthed a fundamental flaw in the sharing of mental health data between Mental Health Services. Clinicians didn’t have visibility of a person presenting at multiple Mental Health Trusts who might be heading towards a crisis or where intervention might be required. The tragedy underscored the regions’ urgent challenge to tackle poor information sharing across organisational and geographical boundaries and the need to rapidly activate the necessary support and intervention service users need.

In response, a consortium of Mental Health Trusts from across the West Midlands region came together to establish the only dedicated mental health data sharing network in the UK – the Mental Health Alliance for Excellence, Resilience, Innovation and Training, or MERIT. The four Mental Health Trusts – Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (BSMHFT), Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (BCPFT), Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust (CWPT), and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH) – united with a common goal: to create a model of excellence in crisis care.

This would be used to improve the quality and consistency of practice and ensure better collaborative working with the long-term aspiration of producing a replicable blueprint. Collaborating with InterSystems, the consortium established an integrated care record system across all four Trusts so that wherever a service user is located, they would receive rapid help, regardless of which Trust’s geographical area they come from. Read more...

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