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National Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme (MHSIP)

Programme overview & partners

The Mental Health Patient Safety Improvement Programme (MHSIP) is a national safety initiative aimed at mental health trusts in England that provide inpatient services. We are supporting three which provide mental health services in our region: Berkshire Healthcare, Central and North West London (Milton Keynes) and Oxford Health.

The objective of the programme is to reduce the use of ‘restrictive practice’ within mental health inpatient settings – defined as physical restraint, rapid tranquilisation and seclusion. Restrictive practices should only be used as a last resort to manage immediate risk. The use of restrictive practices can damage the therapeutic relationship between patient and staff and result in trauma and or injury for both patients and staff. The national aim is a 25% reduction in incidences of restrictive practice by April 2023, as measured against individual ward data.

Driver diagramThe national collaborating centre for mental health (NCCMH) conducted the discovery and piloting work for the MHSIP and produced a simplified driver diagram (left). This has been expanded by NHS England and can be found in the Reducing Restrictive Practice resource booklet. The improvements being tested and implemented by our wards fit into these models. Oxford AHSN’s Patient Safety Collaborative (PSC) works with ward based and quality improvement (QI) colleagues from our mental health Trusts to identify and implement improvements in practice using a QI approach. We are supporting Trusts with measuring the impact that their changes have on patient safety and are encouraging patient and ex-service user involvement.

Ward teams are supported via virtual and on-site project meetings and workshops. Our Trusts are also represented at the Oxford AHSN Mental Health Steering Group with provides governance for the MH SIP. Regionally the PSC is a member of the South of England Mental Health Collaborative, which covers five AHSNs from Cornwall to Kent this gives our Trusts and wards access to coaching, learning events and networking beyond the geography of Oxford AHSN. All of this shared learning, expertise, access to clinical leadership and resources is focused on making care safer while improving the quality of mental healthcare.

Read more about our work around restrictive practice from a staff perspective here.

Further information and getting involved

The National Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme was launched in May 2021. See below for launch resources:

If you would like more information regarding the Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme please contact Nigel Sims, Patient Safety Improvement Project Manager: Nigel.sims@oxfordahsn.org