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National mental health app launched in Lancashire and South Cumbria

24th September 2020

S12 solutions is a new app and website for mental health professionals, which makes Mental Health Act (MHA) assessments quicker, simpler and more secure. 

The app connects approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) with Mental Health Action Section 12 (s.12) approved doctors, who have special experience in the diagnosis or treatment of mental health conditions and are involved in making medical recommendations for compulsory admissions to hospital. Doctors can set up their own profile with information such as availability, specialisms and languages spoken, making it quicker for AMHPs to find a suitable match.

Benefits include:

  • Approved mental health professionals have more time to prepare for assessments
  • Service users have shorter waiting times and are more likely to be seen by doctors with the most appropriate experience
  • The police spend less time waiting with service users and less time waiting for Mental Health Act assessments in custody
  • Doctors receive fewer calls when they’re unavailable and get fairer access to work – especially important for newly-approved doctors
  • Claim forms are quicker and easier for all to create, appraise and submit
  • All assessment and service user information is held securely within the app
  • Doctor data is checked against the national database every week.

The project has had support from the NHS Innovation Accelerator, which accelerates uptake of high-impact innovations for patient, population and NHS staff benefit.

Dr Amanda Thornton, Digital Health Clinical Lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS), said:

“It’s great to have a single system that we can trust to be accurate and up-to-date. It saves mental health professionals who are organising referrals calling lots of doctors only to find they are unavailable, which ultimately helps to reduce waiting times for patients. It’s also a fast and secure solution for sharing patient information.

While staff were working from home and avoiding unnecessary journeys during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also been able to do video calls using the app.”

Neil Smith, Senior Advisor Lead to Multi Agency Strategic Partnership- Lancashire and South Cumbria Mental Health ICS, said:

“We are always looking for innovative ways to provide better mental health support for people in Lancashire and South Cumbria. This system has enabled us to arrange assessments more quickly, and find doctors who are the best fit for the patient.

It has helped to reduce pressure on the mental health crisis care pathway and emergency services – ultimately improving the experience for the patient.”

For more information about the project, visit read more about the S12 mental health app on the NHS Innovation Accelerator website.