Mental health: recovery, crisis and prevention

This priority is a region-wide approach to the effective management of mental health crisis, reducing pressure on the system and improving outcomes. In the longer term, the priority will work with members across the region to agree priorities for improving mental health crisis care and services, to raise the profile of examples of innovation and to develop new ways of improving quality, effectiveness and efficiency of mental health services in the West Midlands.

Mental Health Innovation Network

The West Midlands Mental Health Innovation Network (MHIN) has been developed to identify innovations from within the West Midlands, from other AHSNs and from international initiatives, and to drive their spread across the region and beyond. The MHIN will be mandated to cover their main network themes, as well as to engage industry and the third sector through our approved suppliers.

Mental Illness Prevention Strategy

WMAHSN was commissioned by Birmingham’s Mental Health System Strategy Board to identify the characteristics of a whole-systems, integrated service for preventing mental illness.  Working in partnership with stakeholders across the city, we assessed the evidence basis for a wide range of services and interventions that can prevent mental illness, mapped current provision locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, and published a report in May 2017, which was very well received.  The report proposes a process that can ultimately lead to a coherent, user-centred service that can be commissioned as a mainstream service.  This will be determined by a feasibility study in 2017/18 leading to a ‘proof of solution’ demonstrator site in 2018/19.

WMAHSN has secured support and funding from NHS organisations, Birmingham and Solihull councils, West Midlands Combined Authority, Public Health England and Health Education England to deliver the feasibility study by February 2018.

While this work was commissioned for Birmingham, we are working with other parts of the region who have expressed an interest in pursuing this approach either in parallel or as ‘fast followers’.

Rapid Assessment, Interface and Discharge Adoption

Rapid Assessment Interface and Discharge is a comprehensive psychiatric liaison service that integrates mental health professionals into acute and urgent care teams.  The Rapid Assessment, Interface and Discharge team identifies underlying mental health problems of people in hospitals, undertakes clinical interventions and signposts people onto the most appropriate care pathway. In doing so, the service delivers valuable health benefits to patients and significantly accelerates transfers of care and reduces delayed discharges. Evaluations by Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit and the London School of Economics have all determined a significant return on investment. 

As well as driving the spread of Rapid Assessment, Interface and Discharge to a number of acute trusts in the West Midlands, our Rapid Assessment, Interface and Discharge Network has now developed from a regional group to a national one, with the approach now being adopted across other regions in England and the UK.


Developed as a successful Test Bed bid, RAIDPlus uses digital capabilities to link a range of services that support Mental Health Crisis (Rapid Assessment, Interface and Discharge, Street Triage, Places of Safety, Psychiatric Decision Units etc.), improve visibility and accessibility to these services, and supports predictive analysis to proactively support people at elevated risk of crisis.

RAIDPlus is a partnership of NHS, public health, police, academia and industry, with Telefónica providing innovative capabilities in data analysis and machine learning to derive great value from data that we already hold.

Medically Unexplained Symptoms (MUS)

People who suffer from MUS are often debilitated by chronic pain and fatigue, but are often ‘lost in the system’; finding themselves referred to multiple specialists who are unable to find an underlying physical cause. When they are identified, health professionals are not always confident or aware of evidence-based interventions to support them.

By analysing electronic patient records, the MUS project finds potential indicators of MUS (e.g. someone who has been referred to and discharged from multiple acute specialties). Once identified, they are supported by an evidence-based care pathway, and e-learning packages provide professionals with the knowledge and skills to deliver the right care.

Mental health: recovery, crisis and prevention opportunities for innovation

All members have full access to WMAHSN’s opportunities for innovation process, which is delivered through the Meridian online health innovation exchange and allows them to propose innovative solutions to deliver on the mental health crisis care priority area and which may need investment to spread at scale and pace across the region.



To access this network, contact Sarah Appleby, Mental Health Programme Lead, on, 0121 371 8061 or 07733 310617, or go to