Brought to you by Mental Elf & Thalamos

Friday 26 June 2020, 11am – 12.30pm

Digitising the Mental Health Act: a public debate #DigitalMHA

Following the 2018 Review of the Mental Health Act (MHA) there has been growing acceptance that the MHA requires digitisation. Indeed, it was one of the recommendations of the review itself. 

Digitisation however is not as simple as perhaps it first seems. It is possible to replicate the existing paper forms digitally, but does that miss the point? 

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic

The debate around digitisation has been happening for some time but the coronavirus pandemic has forced the pace of the discussion to accelerate. Health and social care providers, government agencies and most importantly individuals working in those organisations, are being forced into technological change at a rate never before witnessed in healthcare. The Mental Health Act is not immune from this change. 

Thalamos were the first to make digital MHA forms a reality.

Where they have led others, including NHS trusts, have followed. The net result is that the Mental Health Act is being digitised. This presents a huge opportunity for care quality improvements, but it also presents risks. 

As a values-led organisation, Thalamos is holding in an interactive debate about the opportunities, challenges and risks associated with digitising the Mental Health Act. 

The event

Host – André Tomlin @Mental_Elf

Chair – Sally Crowe @sally_crowe

The panel
  • Steve Gilbert OBE, Co-Chair of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act @stevegilbertmh
  • Dr Geraldine Strathdee OBE, Chair of the Mental Health Law Committee at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust & National Professional Adviser at the Care Quality Commission @DrG_NHS
  • Arden Tomison, Founder Thalamos @Thalamos_
  • Guy Davis, Associate Director of Mental Health Law, East London Foundation Trust @NHS_ELFT
  • Carla Fourie, Director of Social Care, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust @FourieCarla
The programme

11:00: Event introduction from Sally Crowe and panel introductions.

11:15: Break into working groups to discuss two topics.

11:40: Group comes back together. Working group chairs to feedback to the group.

12:00: Sally Crowe leads a panel response to the outcomes of the working groups.

12:15: Open Q&A. 

12:25: Event summation.

12:30: Event ends.

Live debate topics

The most important thing for me about a digital MHA is:

  • elimination of errors
  • shared decision making / advanced directives
  • make the process swifter
  • data for quality improvements.

The biggest concern for me about a digital MHA is: 

  • it’s even less personal than before
  • learning a new technology
  • security / Information governance
  • cost.
Event hashtag: #DigitalMHA

Read our roundup of the debate.