Thalamos is a social enterprise with an aim to digitise the Mental Health Act. We have developed a software solution, Thalamos Assess, to help mental healthcare professionals deliver the best possible care.
Thalamos’ mission is to enable access to care and treatment to be swifter, simpler and safer.
Thalamos was founded by cousins Arden and Ross in 2016. Arden was introduced to acute mental healthcare at a young age as his dad is a forensic psychiatrist. However, it wasn’t until 2016, when his best friend’s dad was sectioned, that he was profoundly touched by some of the barriers of the Mental Health Act (MHA). His friend’s dad had no previous history but experienced a rapid decline in his mental wellbeing. His family had to very quickly understand the complexities of the MHA and the paperwork that goes with it.
Arden was really perplexed at how an emergency care pathway was being managed so inefficiently by moving around pieces of paper. This got him thinking. He started to research whether technology could be used to make access to care both swifter and simpler and in turn, make the experience for both the individual and their family less painful.
Reverse engineered from:
thalamus; noun Grey matter lying between the cerebral hemispheres, relaying sensory information. (the nerve centre)
Origin Late 17th century (denoting the part of the brain at which a nerve originates): via Latin from Greek thalamos.
Arden soon discovered that although providing a digital solution sounds great in principle, it’s a lot more complex in reality especially when you factor in the number of stakeholders involved in a highly stressful and time-sensitive situation. This is when he joined forces with cousin Ross. Ross was on a sabbatical, rock climbing in India, when he received the call from Arden. During the trip he had realised that he wanted to do more to help people and make a difference within his career. The timing was perfect.
Our software was developed through personal experience, focus group research and consultation with our clinical steering group. The objective is to support NHS trusts and local authorities in delivering a critical service, whilst minimising the barriers both they and the patient currently face.
Our aspiration of using technology is actually used to make the process more human for the individual, not less. We believe technology should be the enabler that allows those in crisis to access care with the same, if not better, urgency as a physical care pathway. As a result, this should start to simplify the process for families, carers and of course the individual in need.
Arden Founder & CEO
Debbie AMHP Advisor
James Consultant Psychiatrist & CCIO
Steve Living Experience Consultant
Guy Consultant Psychiatrist
Before founding Thalamos, Arden spent 12 years building teams for investor backed businesses and working with some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs and private equity investors. It was Arden’s close connections to the medical sphere that opened his eyes to the chronic lack of support psychiatrists receive and the vital need for change. This led him to found Thalamos to help these doctors better help their patients and support society’s improved mental health awareness with the improved healthcare desperately needed.
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.
Dr Debbie Martin is Director of the Bournemouth University, South West England Approved Mental Health Professional’s/BIA course, and an independent trainer. Debbie provides training for many local authorities and trusts, and for s12 approved doctors and Approved Clinicians in the South West, Midlands and Wales. Debbie is co-author with Paul Barber and Rob Brown of Mental Health Law in England and Wales, 3rd Ed (2017), and The Mental Capacity Act 2015, A Guide for Practice, 3rd Ed (2015), published by Sage/Learning Matters.
Debbie is a registered social worker and has previously worked as an Approved Social Worker (now the AMHP role) and has managed services for those with mental disorder. She supports Thalamos with advice on best practice as well as guidance on the legislative evolution of its application.
Iain is a ST4 Specialist Trainee Registrar in General Adult Psychiatry working in Oxford and Buckinghamshire. He is currently part of the Community Mental Health Team and is a fellow of medical education at the University of Oxford. Iain has experienced first-hand the complexities and digital challenges associated with front-line mental healthcare and this led to his involvement with Thalamos. From issues with the existing paper-based process through to the lack of effective communication channels and the complexities of trust boundaries, Iain has a deep understanding of the situation on the ground.
James has a passion for IT and Healthcare and combines the two in his role as Chief Clinical Information Officer of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. James is also a Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist and his vast experience implementing technology in health settings, in addition to his years as a practicing consultant, provides invaluable insight and a 360 degree view of mental healthcare.
Steve has extensive personal experiences of mental illness, including periods of depression, suicide attempts, and hospitalisation. He has a diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder and Complex PTSD- the result of psychological abuse in his early years through to adulthood.
Appointed as a Vice Chair for the Independent Mental Health Act Review led by Sir Simon Wesley, supporting the chair in making recommendations to the Government. Steve chaired the Service User and Carer group, and co-chaired the black African Caribbean working group. In 2019 Steve was recognised in the Queens Birthday Honours List and appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to Mental Health.
With Thalamos, Steve supports the Team to ensure we maintain a patient centric approach to development.
Panos is a Consultant Psychiatrist for Avon and Wiltshire Partnership NHS Trust. He strongly believes that technology must serve the needs of clinicians in order for them to provide the best care for their patients. Panos is keen to help contribute to the creation of a technological solution which is easy to use, reliable and moulded to the real-world needs of psychiatrists.
Guy works as an NHS Community Consultant Psychiatrist for Southern Health Foundation NHS Trust and is a lead tutor in undergraduate psychiatry at the University of Southampton. His special interest lies in Occupational Psychiatry and believes in the importance of a recovery focus. Guy is the Chair of the Thalamos Steering Group as well as being an investor and advisor.
After helping BUPA International achieve significant growth, Alistair led several investor-backed mental healthcare organisations, from secure hospitals and care homes through to active pathway management with Eden Futures. Alistair is advising Thalamos on a range of areas and in particular assists in creating governance structures.
Chris is the Executive Chairman of VivoPlex, who create advanced miniaturised biometric sensors. Chris is a medically trained doctor and grew and sold one of the UK’s leading medical software companies, serving GPs. His particular interest in mental healthcare software saw him join Thalamos as the first member of the Advisory Board.
Carl’s career in technology has seen him involved in the early stages of Skype, the development of Microsoft and the conceiving, launching and scaling of new products for Twilio. He has recently joined Zoopla, leading product development for their SaaS business as it looks to scale even further. Carl brings this wealth of technical and product experience to the Thalamos Advisory Board to assist in navigating the applied technical challenges that exist in software creation.
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