The seed funding will enable Thalamos to develop a digital solution to replace the paper-based forms currently used in sectioning mental health patients
“Delays in accessing this can severely hamper recovery. The completion of Mental Health Act forms is an essential legal process that ensures patients receive the right treatment, safely; but no-one should have to wait for care when in crisis." Arden Tomison, Thalamos founder
A software company has raised £900k in seed round funding to develop a digital system that will enable people who have been sectioned to access care more quickly.
The software developed by Thalamos is designed to replace the paper forms currently used to arrange care for patients sectioned under the Mental Health Act. The company has created a digital alternative which, it says, reduces delays and cuts the risk of error by up to 89%, as well as reducing average access to treatment time from seven days to 15 hours.
Thalamos’s software is already used by seven NHS and private mental health care providers, but the venture capital funding will enable it to expand its team and develop a fully-digitised solution.
The number of people sectioned under the Mental Health Act has been rising steadily, with 53,000 detentions recorded between 2020 and 2021. Individuals sectioned under the Act are in need of urgent treatment, but this doesn’t always happen, and the consequences can be damaging. Thalamos’s founder, Arden Tomison, explained: “Delays in accessing this can severely hamper recovery. The completion of Mental Health Act forms is an essential legal process that ensures patients receive the right treatment, safely; but no-one should have to wait for care when in crisis.
“As demand for acute mental health care rises, the current paper-based system piles an unnecessary administrative burden on clinicians’ plates, reducing their already limited capacity. This ultimately slows down access to treatment for patients and exacerbates growing pressures on services.”
The fully digitised solution being developed by Thalamos in partnership with mental health professionals will make access to acute care “swifter, simpler and safer,” Tomison said.
The £900k seed round was backed by Ascension’s Conduit Impact EIS Fund, Angels including Syndicate Room, and a private Seedrs crowdfund.
Hadley Diest, investment manager at venture capital firm Ascension, will join the Thalamos board as an independent advisor. She said that the software “enables those involved in patient intake, treatment, discharge and ongoing support to work together more seamlessly than ever before, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes and more efficient collaboration between the NHS, police, care providers and regulators.”
Digitisation has transformed processes throughout the public and private sector. Whether it’s checking your bank account, ordering a passport or purchasing a book online, the introduction of digital tools has made most transactions quicker and easier. The NHS has lagged behind other services, however, and it seems extraordinary that the process of sectioning under the Mental Health Act still relies solely on the cumbersome completion of multiple paper forms. The digitisation of these forms will play an important part in speeding up the sectioning process and improving care for vulnerable patients – particularly important at a time when the numbers of people being sectioned is rising.