New digital tool to help children & young people experiencing mental health crisis | Latest news

New digital tool to help children & young people experiencing mental health crisis

Researchers in Nottingham are leading a new national study to help identify and prevent harmful consequences of mental health crisis in children and young people admitted to hospitals.

The study, which is led by Dr Joseph C Manning MBE (pictured), Clinical Associate Professor in Children and Young People’s Nursing at Nottingham Children’s Hospital and Centre for Children and Young People Health Research at University of Nottingham, will evaluate the use of new technology designed in Nottingham to help staff in Emergency Departments and children’s wards, to rapidly identify those at risk of self-harm or even suicide and put in measures to improve their safety. 

The CYP-MH SAPhE™ digital tool enables rapid assessment of children and young people by staff working in Emergency Departments or in other acute hospital clinics and wards. 

Dr Joseph Manning said: “Every day in the NHS hundreds of children and young people who are experiencing mental health crisis are seen in Emergency Departments and over 300 are admitted for assessment and treatment. They are seen and treated by staff who are highly skilled and experienced in emergency and acute paediatric care, but who may not be trained in mental health care.

“Our experience of working with young people, families and staff in Nottingham Children’s Hospital has led to the development of the SAPhE digital tool to assess and prevent the immediate risk of self-harm. Being admitted to hospital can be a daunting experience for anyone. But for young people in mental health crisis, it is even more important that staff can quickly and effectively assess the risks of more serious consequences occurring such as self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

“Over the next year we aim to evaluate whether this tool could be used more widely in other Emergency Departments and hospitals and what the impact might be on improving the care and treatment for people who are admitted to acute hospitals.”

The research is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Invention for Innovation (i4i) Digital Health Technologies for Children and Young People’s Mental Health Programme and will run for 12-months. It will involve staff, children, young people and families from Nottingham Children’s Hospital; Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust as well as experts from the Centre for Children and Young People's Health Research at the University of Nottingham, East Midlands Academic Health Science Network and Nottingham Trent University.

If successful, use of the CYP-MH SAPhE™ tool could be rolled-out across the NHS.



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