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Background and aims

The mental health crisis decision support tool was introduced as a pilot study into the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust to predict the likelihood of mental health crisis.

There is a large increase in demand for urgent care in the NHS, with mental health crises having a significant impact. Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust have a number of crisis services that manage mental health crisis however there was no mechanism that predicted a crisis before a patient’s condition escalates.


The decision support tool uses six years of clinical, anonymised data to identify patient risk of mental health crisis. It incorporated a predictive algorithm and a digital interface solution to reduce both the incidence and intensity of mental health crisis, while improving the system’s response to it. The algorithm made a prediction at a weekly basis (although in theory could be generated daily if deemed clinically valuable) of whether a patient would experience a crisis event during the following four weeks. 

The project that was introduced into Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation was a pilot study of the decision making tool. During the pilot testing of the tool, clinicians were provided with updated predictions on a bi-weekly basis which was in line with their available time and capacity to engage in the research. As a result, clinicians provided targeted, early intervention to those at high risk.

This project is now closed, and no further work has taken place, nor is planned to take place regarding the decision making tool at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Additional information

You can find out more about the crisis decision support tool and its outcomes by accessing the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust page.

The aim of the ZSA Case Studies is to introduce users to a range of examples of new and innovative practice, with the broad aim of working to support people with their mental health, bring awareness to and help prevent incidence of suicide. Please seek further information by contacting the ZSA and appropriate professional input prior to making a decision over its use.

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Content last updated: 25/11/2022.

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