When a close friend of Arden’s was sectioned under the Mental Health Act (MHA), he couldn’t believe that an emergency care pathway was managed by moving around paper forms. He was further shocked that his friend’s access to treatment would be delayed while he waited for a set of forms to be circulated and eventually ‘signed off’.
The MHA 1983 is the main piece of legislation covering assessment, treatment and, most importantly, the rights of people with a mental health disorder.
The MHA is somewhat outdated and it is also very complex. A single crisis pathway might involve ten individuals from five different institutions, all needing to communicate and interoperate around a person in crisis.
There is wide acknowledgement that we need to bring mental healthcare towards parity with physical healthcare.
Operating a paper system in an increasingly digital world leads to a number of challenges. This is particularly around the speed and accuracy of communication and administration. A reliance on paper forms exposes both clinicians and patients to risk. It is increasingly accepted that a paper approach to the MHA is:
Thalamos aims to improve Mental Health Act outcomes for individuals; enabling an end-to-end acute care pathway which is swifter, simpler and safer.
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