We helped reduce mental health crisis rates and optimise user flows by introducing a new data capture tool, evaluating existing digital tools and implementing a service redesign which resulted in a cost saving of £1.7m within six months of introducing changes.
Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust began using MaST within its community mental health teams to help frontline staff make better decisions about the resources they use to provide safe quality care. With rising caseloads and increasing numbers of service users with complex mental health needs the staff have had to prioritise managing risk and keeping people safe with limited time to deliver recovery-based care.
The MaST software platform uses predictive analytics which draws on clinically relevant information from multiple sources to support healthcare professionals in better managing caseload and care. It can predict a person’s likelihood of requiring crisis care, enabling clinicians to effectively manage caseloads and ensure more people get early support to help avert admission to the hospital.
The Health Economics Unit was commissioned by the Innovation Agency, Academic Health Science Network for the North West Coast, to evaluate digital technology. The aim was to assess the impact it had on service user flow, management of mental health crisis in the community, quality and safety performance indicators and caseload management as well as resource use and cost savings.
The Health Economics Unit worked to understand what the intervention was looking to solve and how it fit within the bigger picture. We undertook a pathway mapping exercise and logic model to understand the outcomes of interest and identify key metrics and data needed for analysis.
We produced an evaluation framework and analysis plan to help guide the evaluation, before carrying out a descriptive analysis and regression analysis (a technique to understand the relationship between two variables) to examine the effect of MaST.
A new data capture system, COVID-19 and a service redesign meant that showing the effect of MaST was challenging. Despite this, our analysis showed that mental health crisis rates began to decline during the introduction of MaST and continued falling with a reduction in the length of stay in the hospital. This shift in activity is estimated to have resulted in a cost saving of £1.7m in the six months following its introduction.
As a result of the report, our client has been able to see the effect of the software on user flow, management of mental health crisis, quality and safety performance indicators and caseload management, as well as the effect on resource usage and whether there were any cost savings. Our client could understand any benefits and make an informed decision on the costs and benefits of its continued investment. The outputs from the report were used in business cases to help provide evidence-based findings to support requests to implement the system.