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New digital tool could help children and young people experiencing mental health crisis receive better hospital care

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.

If successful, use of the digital tool could be rolled out across the NHS

Nottingham Trent University is involved in the study, which is led by Dr Joseph C Manning MBE, 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.

The study 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.

At NTU, Philip Breedon, Professor of Smart Technologies in the School of Science and Technology, will support prototype development of the technology and dissemination of the project.

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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    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queens Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    NTU was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards). It was the University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is one of the UK’s largest universities, with over 33,000 students and more than 4,000 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 4,000 and an NTU community representing around 160 countries.

    In the past 15 years, NTU has invested £450 million in tools, technology and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2019 UCAS UG acceptance data) It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

    75% of NTU students go on to graduate-level employment or graduate-entry education / training within fifteen months of graduating (Guardian University Guide 2021).

    NTU is 4th globally (and 3rd in the UK) for sustainability in the 2021 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

    About Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

    Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the biggest and busiest acute hospitals in England, employing over 16,000 staff. We provide care to over 2.5million residents of Nottingham and its surrounding communities and specialist services to a further 3-4million people from neighbouring counties.

    We are one of the most research-active Trusts in the country with world-leading clinical research delivered across our hospitals through over 400 clinical trials a year.

    Our NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre is translating research discoveries into new treatments for common diseases including asthma and arthritis. Central to our research is our expertise in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Supporting this is the NIHR Nottingham Clinical Research Facility which provides the infrastructure, skills and knowledge essential to the delivery of high-quality research into experimental medicine for adults and children.

    Our research expertise and resources are at the forefront of COVID-19 research for effective treatments and vaccines, as well as contributing to the world’s understanding of Coronavirus.

    About the NIHR

    The mission of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is to improve the health and wealth of the nation through research. We do this by:

    • Funding high quality, timely research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care;
    • Investing in world-class expertise, facilities and a skilled delivery workforce to translate discoveries into improved treatments and services;
    • Partnering with patients, service users, carers and communities, improving the relevance, quality and impact of our research;
    • Attracting, training and supporting the best researchers to tackle complex health and social care challenges;
    • Collaborating with other public funders, charities and industry to help shape a cohesive and globally competitive research system;
    • Funding applied global health research and training to meet the needs of the poorest people in low and middle income countries.

    NIHR is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. Its work in low and middle income countries is principally funded through UK Aid from the UK government.

New digital tool could help children and young people experiencing mental health crisis receive better hospital care

Published on 17 January 2022
  • Subject area: Computing, engineering, maths and other technologies
  • Category: Press office; Research; School of Science and Technology

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