What is Thalamos?
Thalamos is a web-application which allows Mental Health Act forms to be completed digitally.
Who is Thalamos for?
Thalamos helps psychiatrists complete and share MHA Forms. Doing so digitally has the added benefit for colleagues of speed and legibility.
We are currently developing new features specifcally designed for approved mental health professionals, nurses, and administrators.
How does it work?
Thalamos’ software replicates existing statutory forms in a digital format. Maintaining the statutory wording of the ‘pink forms’ whilst allowing them to be easily completed and shared.
What forms are available?
Using Thalamos it is currently possible to complete the following forms:
Our team is working to expand the number of forms available and we are in discussion with a number of professional bodies to accelerate this process. Please get in touch if there is a particular form which you think should be prioritised for your needs. You can reach the Thalamos team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or our personal emails are below.
Using Thalamos for Social Distancing
Using Thalamos to free up clinical time
Is Thalamos secure?
Thalamos is designed to be highly secure and to safely store sensitive patient information. We have met NHS Data Security Protection Toolkit requirements and all data is encrypted at rest and in transit. Our data is stored in Microsoft Azure which is a cloud provider approved by NHS Digital.
Our software has been created in line with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Data Protection by Design and Default standards, previously known as Privacy by Design. The Thalamos Team have no means of accessing or viewing any special category data.
Is Thalamos legal?
Thalamos adheres to every legal requirement. Our software precisely replicates the paper Mental Health Act forms. There is no difference between our digital forms and existing paper forms and they function in exactly the same way.
What devices can I use?
You may access Thalamos securely via any internet connected device. This includes your mobile phone, a tablet, a laptop or PC. Thalamos never stores data on local devices so individuals can use their personal device without fear of compromising data security.
What if I don’t have an internet connection?
In the interests of security and IG best practice, Thalamos requires either a mobile phone signal or wifi internet connection. We appreciate that in certain scenarios this can be challenging, for example in police stations. We are working on building secure offline functionality and will be launching this as soon as possible.
In the meantime, if you are unable to obtain an internet connection on your own device you can access your account on another device. For example, you are able to log into your account via a colleague’s device or to use the same example a Police computer.
IMPORTANT: If you are doing this please take extra care to log-out when you have finished using Thalamos. It is also vital you DO NOT save your password to any device which is not yours.
How do I share forms via Thalamos?
Once a form is completed it may be shared directly via Thalamos to any .nhs or .gov email address. The recipient will receive an email with an encrypted, time sensitive link, inviting them to access and then download the completed form. This method of sharing ensures that no patient identifiable data is ever at risk and that forms may never be lost.
Don’t I need a wet-ink signature?
Thalamos is designed to meet Law Commission Guidelines on the use of Electronic Signatures and to meet European eIDAS guidelines for an Advanced Electronic Signature. Our guidance on the use of Electronic Signatures can be found here.
Richard Jones, author of the Mental Health Act Manual, has stated that Electronic Signatures are a legally acceptable method of signing Mental Health Act assessments.
Can I use Thalamos alongside a video communication tool?
Thalamos can be used alongside a video communication tool although it does not have direct video capability. This said, Thalamos does not take a position on the appropriateness of using video tools to conduct assessments. Our advice would always be to refer to local and national guidance on the use of video and the Mental Health Act.
Whichever way the assessment is conducted, however, the safest way of transmitting medical recommendations following an assessment would still be via Thalamos.
How does Thalamos work for joint forms?
Many statutory forms require two signatures and this need has been built into our software.
Using Thalamos, “Doctor 1” may complete their part of a Mental Health Act form and then invite a “Doctor 2” (or in the case of the 5.2 form, a hospital manager) to complete their part.
The second person will receive an email with an encrypted, time sensitive link which invites them to view and review the form. If they are happy with the form they can sign it and return it to the sender. If they are not happy, they can return the form unsigned.
When a form is returned the original sender will receive a notification via Thalamos. They can then log in and review the form. Once the form is fully completed they can submit it to the Approved Mental Health Administrator, the Mental Health Act Administrator or whoever will process the completed form.
Can’t I just send a PDF?
Sending a Mental Health Act form as a PDF over email is an option. However, it is an unencrypted direct transmission of patient identifiable, even if sent from secure email to secure email. We would advise that this doesn’t represent best practice.
However, if sending a PDF is the only option then there are still some things you should do to keep the information as secure as possible. When sharing files over email we recommend password protecting them and sharing the password through an alternative means, such as a text message.
If you receive a sensitive PDF over email then you should ensure you safely dispose of the file afterwards and clear it from your deleted items.
Thalamos is free to use.
It will remain so for the duration of the COVID-19 outbreak. After this we will contact you to discuss if you would like to maintain an account with us.
How do I sign up?
It’s easy to sign up to Thalamos and gain access to our software. We will simply ask you for your email address and GMC number.
For Approved Mental Health Act Administrators
What do I do once I’ve received a Mental Health Act form?
You will receive an email with an encrypted link, inviting you to access and view the completed form. You may then print or download this form to your local device.
Are you building Approved Mental Health Act Functionality?
We have been speaking with individuals at the Department of Health and Social Care and other bodies to make them aware that we are in a position to do so. If there are specific people you think we should be speaking with then please do get in touch.
We’ve not built the H3 form yet but are looking to build it. We are currently having conversations with key individuals about building this functionality and will do this as soon as possible.
What do I do once I’ve received a Form?
You will receive an email with an encrypted link, inviting you to access and view the completed form. You may then print or download this form to your local device and upload to your local record system as a PDF.
Have you built in scrutiny procedures?
We have future plans to create a Digital Mental Health Act Administrator tool which will be a fully bespoke system for Administrators. This will include a dashboard and full integration with local record systems. We aren’t there yet but are working towards it as fast as we can.
For Management, CIOs, CCIOs and Caldicot Guardians
Thalamos has released this guidance document in line with NHSx guidelines available here. The NHSx guidelines cover information governance and sharing information appropriately through the Covid-19 outbreak.
If you want to find out more about Thalamos or have any specific questions then please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can reach us directly at:
Arden Tomison: email@example.com
Ross Tomison: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ross has spent the last three years investigating for the Financial Ombudsman Service. He has a keen eye for detail and the ability to deliver ideas from inception through to completion. Ross’ desire to improve the lives of those around him led him to co-found Thalamos with Arden.
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