Partnership provides instant help for patients contacting mental health services
Digital services are increasingly being used to support people with mental health conditions. Image courtesy of Total Shape
People struggling with their mental health can now receive instant digital support following a collaboration between digital care record supplier, Mayden, and online cognitive behavioural therapy solutions provider, SilverCloud Health.
The ‘Direct to Digital’ approach gives people instant access to a course of digital therapy through SilverCloud when they fill out an online self-referral form to an NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) service.
When a person uses the service, they can select a course of clinically-validated cognitive behavioural therapy available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
‘Direct to Digital' is made possible through the interoperability provided by Mayden's EPR software, iaptus.
People who self refer are encouraged to fill out a form on the service’s website and are then automatically connected to the SilverCloud platform.
This ensures they receive timely support, even if they have contacted the IAPT service outside of core hours.
“Getting early access to support for their mental health can make such a significant difference to those seeking help from IAPT services,” explains Fiona Dawson, director at Mayden.
Now services can be provided direct through the SilverCloud platform without the administrative burden and it is an integration that speeds up access and lowers the barriers to treatment
“Often services find that the person seeking help can feel disengaged from the process if they have to wait weeks to be seen for a first consultation or assessment without support.”
Research has shown that mental health support can be less effective for patients the longer they wait for their first appointment.
The aim of the ‘Direct to Digital’ approach is to bridge the gap between a person’s first contact with IAPT services and their first appointment so they feel supported throughout their journey.
“This approach encourages people seeking help to provide the key information when they first approach IAPT, assisting the service team to efficiently process their referral and assessment and at the same time offering access to support through a SilverCloud programme,” said Dawson.
“Whatever the outcome of someone’s self referral to IAPT, they get the initial support right there in their hand; and that can make such a difference to their ongoing engagement with mental health services.”
The data captured by the system is automatically added to the person’s digital record for assessment and as the clinician has more information up front before, it can shorten assessment times.
The ability to rapidly access NICE-approved digital therapeutic programmes when the person is most motivated is the cornerstone of the IAPT services
The ‘Direct to Digital’ option is now being adopted at mental health trusts, with implementations in Nottingham, Birmingham, Berkshire, and Dorking.
“We want to support improved access to mental health services with ‘Direct to Digital’, while improving the administrative, operational, and clinical workflows too,” said Dawson.
“And, as the platform is online, people can access the support whenever and wherever is best for them.”
Douglas Hiscock, product lead at SilverCloud Health, added: “The ability to rapidly access NICE-approved digital therapeutic programmes when the person is most motivated is the cornerstone of the IAPT services.
“The partnership between IAPT services, Mayden, and SilverCloud has made this a reality.
“Now services can be provided direct through the SilverCloud platform without the administrative burden and it is an integration that speeds up access and lowers the barriers to treatment.”