NHS Digital Pioneer Awards: winner profile

2017 Award for Digital Innovation


“A co-designed digital solution supporting children and young people accessing mental health services and their clinicians.”



Name: NELFT ‘MyMind’ project team
Organisation: NELFT NHS Foundation Trust

Problem articulation and health impact
Mental health illnesses are a leading cause of health-related disabilities in children and young people (CYP) and can have adverse and long-lasting effects (Public Health England, December 2016). A key area of concern in the NHS, is the long waiting lists, and in many cases attempts have been made to apply adult models of care to CYP.

In interviews with the NELFT ‘MyMind’ project team,
CYP service users indicated that due to long waits for support, they would search online, but often came
across dangerous advice, and were unsure of where to turn. They also said that talking on the phone made them anxious, and indicated a preference for instant messaging-based technology. Interviews with clinicians revealed worries around time and resource, alongside duplication of work and admin tasks.

Introducing innovation
The NELFT project team sought to develop a solution which would improve access to resources and communication for CYP using mental health services, whilst addressing the needs of healthcare professionals. My Mind is an experience-based project co-designed by clinicians and CYP, and built by NELFT’s IT team. A lite version, available to all, signposts users to a library of existing websites, apps and downloadable resources that have been approved by clinicians.

The full version of the MyMind app enables CYP and clinicians to create linked profiles about themselves, helping to build rapport. Clinicians can allocate outcome measures for service users to complete on their phone or computer, empowering their recovery journey. Care and crisis plans can also be uploaded to the account to ensure these are more accessible to young people. The app has instant messaging (IM) technology built in, along with the ability to make video calls. All written communication that occurs within the app is uploaded to the electronic patient record (EPR) within 24 hours. This prevents clinicians from having to duplicate work and reduces admin time, whilst ensuring it is the true voice of the service user that is recorded.

Progress to date
MyMind has recently been presented at the NHS Providers Showcase, exploring how its development could be used in other NHS organisations. The NELFT project team are set to share their learning of digital innovation within clinical practice throughout 2017, via conferences, the Academy of Fab Stuff, and Nursing Times.