The Mental Health Safety Improvement Programme (MHSIP) aims to improve safety and outcomes of mental health care by reducing unwarranted variation and providing a high-quality healthcare experience for all the people across the system by March 2024.


  • Reduce the incidence of restrictive practice in inpatient mental health and learning disability services by 50%.
  • Improve the sexual safety of patients and staff on inpatient mental health units by 50% above the baseline.
  • Reduce suicide and self-harm in inpatient mental health services, the healthcare workforce and non-mental health acute settings.

Adverse incidents occurring in mental health inpatient settings can have a directly harmful impact on patients’ physical and mental health. Such incidents may also have longer-lasting consequences for therapeutic engagement with mental health services, which can exacerbate lifelong mental illness and prevent effective recovery. Furthermore, patient safety incidents can adversely affect staff wellbeing and perpetuate a cycle of workforce attrition, which is further detrimental to safe patient care.


This programme builds on successful programmes co-ordinated by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH), which is hosted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The South West AHSN is working in partnership with the South of England Mental Health Quality and Patient Safety Collaborative to create the conditions for success by:

  • Supporting our NHS Mental Health member organisations to develop a safety and learning culture.
  • Building Quality Improvement (QI) capability in members, supporting them from being QI learners to leaders of QI.
  • Developing the capacity and capability for co-production in QI work in member organisations.
  • Creating a network that uses measurement for improvement and learning, applying the Model for Improvement to develop, test and spread new or existing, local and national innovation.


The MHC (Mental Health Collaborative) has a strong tradition of ensuring experts by experience are at the heart of their work. Their unique perspective of having lived experience, which may include having used mental health services, only enriches the collective learning and knowledge to be able to improve quality and safety. Experts by experience representing each Trust locality have traditionally been invited to learning events as well as co-producing and sharing their improvement work.

We aim to ensure that experts by experience are front and centre in our work to deliver the MHSIP and are working to include their representation at the MHC Faculty.