The Mental Health Access Improvement Support Team (MHAIST)
The Mental Health Access Improvement Support Team (MHAIST) is a collaboration between Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) and Information Services Division (ISD) at National Services Scotland. It is a four-year programme designed to support NHS boards to review and identify improvements to the access of Psychological Therapies (PT) and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), using a structured quality improvement approach. This will include working with NHS boards who have successfully achieved better access to services to understand and share these improvements across Scotland.
Specifically, MHAIST has been set up to support health boards to implement improvements to achieve the Local Delivery Plan (LDP) targets of 90% of patients requiring PT and CAMHS to receive treatment within 18 weeks. MHAIST is based in Delta House and Meridian Court in Glasgow and Gyle Square in Edinburgh, with many of our data analysts working within each of Scotland’s 14 health boards.
Contact and Related Links
If you would like know more about MHAIST, or to get in touch with an analyst in a particular board, please contact us.
- Health Improvement Scotland mental health website
- Scottish Government mental health webpage
- The Scottish Mental Health Research Network
- NHS Scotland: Quality Improvement Hub
Team Structure and Work Streams
The team is made up of data analysts, data managers and improvement advisors working in two parallel work streams:
- Healthcare Improvement Scotland :
Improvement Support encourages the use of improvement methodologies to establish in detail how each service is configured and delivered including the use of data to understand and improve performance and quality of service.
- Information Services Division:
Data and Analytical Support develops capacity and capability to collect, process and analyse data for quality improvement and performance measurement across Scotland.
ISD will work closely with HIS to support NHS boards at a local and national level to develop a more consistent and efficient way of collecting, analysing and reporting using service management data. Our improvement advisors will support PT and CAMHS services to:
- understand service delivery
- identify what works and what needs to be improved
- test and evaluate Ideas for Improvement
- implement effective improvement ideas
- embed and sustain Improvements
The MHAIST programme has a clear focus on enabling people to access services and, where treatment is recommended, that this is delivered within agreed timescales as a key aspect of quality.
However, MHAIST is also underpinned by the following key principles:
- People should be seen by the right person with the right skills and experience to meet their needs
- We will use methods to engage and involve people using services in our improvement activity
- Other measures of quality - such as clinical outcomes and feedback from people using services - are equally important and should be used to ensure that efforts to improve access do not impact on overall quality of care
- Services will be supported to collaborate and share best practice and existing or emerging changes and improvements that have been successful across Scotland
- Services will be supported to build on and develop their knowledge, skills and experience of using quality improvement methods in managing, delivering and improving their service
- Services will be supported to improve other aspects of quality in addition to access where they wish to