Association of Mental Health Providers

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Our Response: Rapid Review into Data on Mental Health Inpatient Settings

A recent report commissioned by Ministers examines the data collection landscape within mental health inpatient settings. It explores whether the existing processes effectively identify risk factors, facilitate high-quality therapeutic care, and optimise data for informed decision-making. The findings reveal significant gaps and shortcomings across various levels of healthcare provision, including commissioners, trusts, providers, regional bodies, and national organisations.

The report highlights the importance of ensuring patient safety throughout the entire inpatient journey, from admission to discharge, and emphasizes the need for comprehensive data tracking to support this. Alarmingly, it contains instances where this crucial information fails to follow patients through their therapeutic journey, potentially risking their well-being and safety. The report also sheds light on the concerning lack of awareness among providers regarding patient deaths, indicating systemic issues in communication and information sharing.

In response to these pressing concerns, the Association welcomes the actionable recommendations the report proposes to foster collaboration and improve data accessibility across a range of organisations. It advocates for Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and provider collaboratives to undertake mapping of mental health service pathways, ensuring that relevant data is readily available to all individuals involved. It calls for the establishment of a collaborative program involving a variety of experts, including those with lived experience, national and regional leaders, regulatory bodies, charity organisations, and others. This program seeks to develop consensus on key metrics for measuring mental health inpatient services’ effectiveness and ensuring timely access to essential information.

Crucially, the report emphasizes the invaluable input of over 300 experts representing a wide range of backgrounds and expertise. From healthcare professionals to individuals with lived experience, their insights have been instrumental in shaping the report’s findings and recommendations. The involvement of VCSE organisations, such as our colleagues at Rethink Mental Illness, has been particularly helpful. Rethink Mental Illness not only played a pivotal role in the advisory group but also co-chaired the effort, showing a shared commitment to improving mental health care outcomes.

We were particularly pleased to see the involvement of VCSE sector organisations in this report.

Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations are essential in mental health care and support as they play key roles in the prevention and post-discharge initiatives, supporting 8 million people across our population. They offer vital services such as early intervention programs and community engagement to prevent crises and reduce stigma. VCSE sector organisations also provide vital support services after discharge, including counselling, peer support, and housing support aiding individuals’ recovery.