Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme

The Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme (MHSIP) was a national patient safety programme commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

Its aim was to improve safety and experience in mental health, learning disability and autism inpatient services, and specifically to reduce restrictive practices in mental health inpatient settings.

Mental Health Safety Network

Established in October 2021, the South London Mental Health Patient Safety Network was an interactive network designed to bring together individuals across the system with the shared goal of improving mental health safety. Its purpose was to create value through sharing learning, creating connections, and building energy and capability in safety improvement.

The programme was informed by people with lived experience, including carers, clinical and managerial staff from NHS, independent and private health and social care providers, commissioning leads, local authorities, voluntary sector partners, police, emergency services and other system partners.

South London Reducing Restrictive Practice quality improvement (QI) collaborative

Building on the work of the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health, we delivered a reducing restrictive practice quality improvement (QI) collaborative. This collaboration supported ten wards in south London to test and adopt change ideas to improve safety locally.

Our programme was delivered in partnership with South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and South West London and St George’s NHS Trust.

Read our series of blogs to learn more about the MHSIP

Find out more about this project in our Annual report 22/23.


We're here to help

To learn more about the programme and how you can support safer care locally, please get in touch with the team.

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Key Statistics

  • Nationally, a quarter of people who take their own lives are in contact with mental health services at the time of their deaths. Of those using inpatient services: 52% on agreed leave, 16% AWOL, 32% on the ward.
  • Black people are more than three times’  more likely to be subject to restraint or seclusion that white people.
  • In 2018, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that 1,120 sexual safety incidents (out of nearly 60,000 reports) occurred over a three-month period across NHS mental health wards, affecting service users, staff and visitors.
  • The NCCMH Restrictive Practice Collaborative achieved an average 15% reduction in the overall use of restrictive practices among the 38 wards participating. Some achieved 100% reduction.