Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme

Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme (MHSIP) a three year national AHSN programme is commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement as part of the Patient Safety Strategy. It aims to support mental health trusts test and scale interventions designed to improve safety in inpatient settings.

Project overview

The programme has three primary objectives:
1. Reducing Restrictive Practice – building on the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH) collaborative on restrictive practice.

2. Reducing Suicide and Deliberate Self-Harm – Considering instances of absence without leave (AWOL), suicide and self-harm whilst on agreed leave and ligature assessments. We will also support scoping work of suicide and self-harm in acute non-mental health settings and in healthcare staff.

3. Improving Sexual Safety – building on NCCMH collaborative on sexual safety.

The work will be underpinned by the principles of quality improvement, co-design and patient safety learning. A Patient Safety Network will support the programme, bringing together individuals and organisations concerned with safer care and improved outcomes in mental health in a dedicated space for improvement, shared learning, and growth.

We will seek to address existing inequalities where they exist to ensure our work improves the lives of those with the worst outcomes fastest.

Further information

The National Programme was launched on 10 May 2021 and you can see slides and a recording of the webinar via the following links:

  • Click here if you would like to view the presentation slides.
  • Click here if you would like to watch a recording of the webinar.

We're here to help

To learn more about the programme and how you can support safer care locally, please get in touch with Ellie Wharton, lead project manager.

Contact us

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.