s12 solutions logo

Background and aims

S12 Solutions is a digital tool (phone application and web platform) that was designed to support mental health professionals to organise mental health act (MHA) assessments.

In the UK, the current MHA set up process can be inefficient due to approved mental health professionals (AMHPs) sometimes having limited access to the whole network of section 12 doctors, who have special experience in the diagnosis or treatment of a mental disorder. Details of doctors are often out of date, inaccurate and not checked against the MHA register database of Section 12 approved doctors. As a result, there was delays in assessments which increased service user distress and risk.

The paper-based claim form process leads to sensitive service user information being sent insecurely. Furthermore, in some cases the paper forms used by doctors to claim their fee for attending assessments were not GDPR compliant and were sent using non-secure methods.

S12 Solutions' support 4,000+ AMHPs, section 12 doctors and claim processors, with 70% of England’s Mental Health Trusts represented on the platform.


S12 Solutions has evolved with changing health and social care needs to become the only system able to provide the following features:

  • MHA Assessment Team organisation
  • Video Calling
  • Electronic Statutory MHA Forms
  • Section 12 doctor Claim Form creation, submission and payment

S12 Solutions allows AMHPs to search for nearby, available doctors. They can filter their search results by languages, specialisms, and gender, to help them identify the best-available assessing team for the person, in line with the Code of practice: Mental Health Act 1983.

The platform is linked to the MHA register database, so doctors’ section 12 approval is checked automatically. The platform also provides a standardised, GDPR compliant and secure method of claiming fees for assessments. 

The tool is entirely digital, replacing the current paper-based process.

Outcomes and benefits

Pilots of the S12 Solutions tool demonstrated that:

  • Avoidable delays to assessment were reduced, providing service users with timely access to assessment.
  • An improved ability to arrange assessments that were the best fit for the service user.
  • Improved facilitation of the claim form creation and submission.
  • Increased time for AMHPs to prepare for an assessment.
  • Improved AMHP productivity which enabled AMHP’s more time to use their skills.
  • Ensuring timely access to assessments helped prevent Place of Safety and police resources being unduly taken up by delays.
  • Activity data helped areas develop integrated approaches to improving workforce capacity and processes.

Additional information

S12 Solutions were selected for:

  • The NHS innovation Accelerator (NIA), NHS England’s Innovation and Technology Payment Evidence Generation Fund
  • NHS England’s Clinical Entrepreneur Programme and Digital Health.
  • Highly ommended in the Best Mental Health Partnership with the NHS category at the HSJ Partnership Awards, 2021

Wessex academic health science network (AHSN) completed an independent evaluation of S12 Solutions' impact in Southampton and Hampshire. For more information, read Wessex AHSN's evaluation.

Kent, Surrey and Sussex (KSS) AHSN conducted a high-level workforce analysis. For more information, read KSS AHSN workforce analysis report.

You can find out more about the S12 Solutions tool by accessing the S12 Solutions website.

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.

This content was developed and approved in collaboration with the case study owner. If you would like to update this content, contact us

For more information on ZSA case studies, please refer to ZSA Policies.

Content last updated: 25/11/2022.

If you have an example of innovative work and / or good practice that you would like to share with us, please e-mail: Contactus@zerosuicidealliance.nhs.uk