New digital platform bolsters mental health data collection in Bradford


A new digital platform in Bradford will allow data gathered by voluntary and community services in the area to flow into NHS Digital’s Mental Health Services Data Set.

Bradford Districts CCG has commissioned digital wellbeing platform Making Your Mind Up (MYMUP) to build the service.

Delivered through a partnership between the local area’s voluntary and community sector (VCS), the local authority and the NHS, it will be available to all VCS providers of NHS-funded mental health services in Bradford.

Helen Ioannou, programme lead for Youth in Mind – a VCS-provided young people’s mental health service – told Digital Health News: “We do a significant amount of mental health/emotional wellbeing work with young people from CAMHS [child and adolescent mental health services] waiting lists, and more recently, with young people who have lower level needs [referred] from school nurses, our early help gateway and the broader VCS.

“Currently, the data we produce does not flow to NHS Digital’s Mental Health Services Data Set [MHSDS] and so all the work we do regionally, across the VCS and local authority, is not captured or ‘counted’ on this national scale.”

The MHSDS contains data relating to the care of children, young people and adults who are in contact with mental health and learning disability services.

It is used for purposes including commissioning, clinical audit, research, service planning, and national reporting and analysis.

Kim Shutler-Jones, chair of the Mental Wellbeing VCS Providers Forum, said the ability for the VCS in Bradford to feed into the national data set was an “excellent” development.

“This supports the VCS in terms of having the right infrastructure to operate effectively as part of the health and care system – as well as being able to demonstrate its impact in a way which is most easily recognised,” she said.

The chief executive of Making Your Mind Up, Alex Church, told Digital Health News the new platform was the latest in a series of digital developments in the area.

“Commissioned VCS services provide such valuable support and early mental health intervention to services users of all ages across the Bradford district,” he said. “Working in partnership with them and the CCGs has enabled us to provide ideas and support on how these services can implement digital solutions to work alongside the traditional delivery models.

“We have consulted with commissioners, front line delivery staff, and NHS Digital to create systems for Bradford that not only allow service users to access online support through interventions and webinars, but also allow VCS services to record and feed data into the MHSDS.

“Utilising SNOMED codes within the system will allow us to feed data and the positive impact that peer support group work and GSH [guided self-help] is having on service users,” he argued.

As part of the Bradford project, MYMUP will also deliver training to staff and offer a range of evidence-based assessments that providers can conduct with patients.

The economic and social cost of mental illnesses to the economy is estimated at £105 billion a year.

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