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Big White Wall: Digital Assessment Tool

Development of a digital mental health and wellbeing needs assessment, recovery measurement and signposting tool.

ID2: Design the Solution

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Executive Summary

www.bigwhitewall.com is an award-winning online mental wellbeing service delivered through a joint venture partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (TPFT). Big White Wall (BWW) is part of the vanguard for transforming mental health services in the UK. It offers the first online pathway for mental health and wellbeing, placing people at the centre of their own care. It enables people to access well governed; safe therapeutic services through self-referral from the comfort of their own homes. Building on the success of LiveTherapy, BWW was granted additional pre-commercial development funding and support from NIC to develop a digital mental health and wellbeing needs assessment, recovery measurement and signposting tool.

Quick Detail

Innovation Owner:
Martin Robinson
Development stage:
ID2: Design the Solution

Project Detail

The Unmet Need

One in four people will experience a common mental health problem during their lives.  Currently, only 25% of those experiencing common mental health conditions receive any form of treatment; which is most commonly anti-depressants. The economic and social costs of mental health problems in England are estimated to be £105 billion each year. As technology enables early intervention it offers, alongside other invest to save initiatives such as early intervention in psychosis teams (saving £18 for every pound invested) or suicide training (saving £44 for every pound invested), an opportunity to reduce the economic burden of deteriorating mental health. An independent health economics study of BWW suggested that indicative preventative cost savings were a minimum of £370 for each patient.  The digital diagnostics tool will further enhance savings through improved prevention, early intervention, self-management and diagnostic capabilities.

Proposed Solution

LiveTherapy

Funding from NIC helped BWW develop LiveTherapy to enable the provision of synchronous online therapies for common mental health problems. This extended existing BWW services to createthe first online pathway for mental health and wellbeing, placing people at the centre of their own care.  It enables people to access well governed; safe therapeutic services through self-referral from the comfort of their own homes.Members (patients) choose from BWW therapists who have appropriate accreditation and experience. Members simply select a therapist of their choice from profiles of approved therapists on BWW and then propose a date/time that suits them for one or more sessions.  All therapies are approved treatments for anxiety and depression - CBT, IPT, DIT, person-centred counselling, and integrative counselling.   Members complete standard clinical tests on BWW (PHQ9 or GAD7) prior to their sessions, to identify and manage risk. At the end of the session, the therapist makes a record of the session, which the patient is invited to contribute to.

Digital Assessment Tool

Additional support from NIC has enabled BWW to develop a digital assessment tool which will:

  • Enhance savings to the NHS through improved prevention, early intervention, self management and diagnostic capabilities.
  • Make mental health and wellbeing needs assessment freely available via Big White Wall landing page and through partner agencies.
  • Enable the provision of the first comprehensive online pathway for improving mental health and wellbeing globally by adding needs assessment to BWW’s existing online services that comprise the SupportNetwork (professionally supported online wellbeing community); GuidedSupport (guided self help) and LiveTherapy (evidence-based therapies from accredited therapists.

Intended Benefits

Key benefits of LiveTherapy

  • Improved patient access and enhanced patient choice.
  • Reduced waiting lists: Out of hours support – individuals choose a preferred time of day and time for therapy including evenings and weekends - enabling access to a course of therapy from home or work.
  • Outcome focused. All IAPT standard clinical tests are completed on bigwhitewall.com to meet IAPT minimum standard data requirements.
  • Transformational. LiveTherapy can change the paradigm for the delivery of mental health services moving the locus of control to personalized individual self care; placing people at the centre of their own mental health and wellbeing journeys.

Intended benefits of the Digital Assessment Tool

  • Improved access to self-diagnosis and greater consistency of diagnosis. For example, the Government Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Programme estimates that only 50% of those experiencing psychological distress visit a GP and that GPs only diagnose accurately 50% of people experiencing a common mental health problem. Enhanced self-management of mental health and wellbeing due to early detection of poor mental health.
  • Significant reduction in the costs of the needs assessment process as large parts would be automated and self-administered.
  • Development of improved algorithms for diagnostics that include known risk factors in poor mental health and suicidal ideation including socio-economic status, co-morbid health conditions and the strength of social networks leading to more informed and hence cost-effective treatment decisions.
  • Ability to use more engaging interactive tools than questionnaire formats to improve accessibility to appropriate therapeutic and medical interventions for hard to reach groups.
  • Piloting how the tool can be used to detect early signs of dementia and hence, how those with early stage dementia can be supported in the online environment with, for example, automated reminders for medication or automated alerts to their offline support network.

Key Facts

Benefits

  • Clinical outcomes
  • Patient experience
  • Patient safety

Healthcare Areas

  • Mental Health

Health Problems

  • Psychological disorders

Origin

  • Domestic