Case study: Simplify Health deploys RIVIAM for secure referral management to mental health services

RIVIAM helps Simplify Health deliver much quicker, safer communication about a patient’s needs

Beacon UK (now re-branded as Simplify Health) is using RIVIAM’s Secure Referral Forms to help deliver its mission to provide people with mental health problems the right care at the right time to improve care.

Beacon UK is a managed healthcare company working in partnership with the NHS. It currently supports the mental health needs of over 700,000 people across England. With a successful US parent company, Beacon Health Options, it has set its sights on significant UK growth.

The organisation is unique in this country because, rather than delivering care, its aim is to coordinate mental health services and deliver a more integrated, seamless service for people, improving outcomes. Beacon UK recognises that digital services, particularly those which integrate and interoperate with existing IT systems, are a key enabler to underpin their strategy.

Solving secure referral management

Beacon UK’s Care Pathway for people with mental health issues is different from the exist- ing NHS approach.

Beacon UK looks at issues from a systems perspective. They work with professionals from different organisations to support the individual to receive the most appropriate care, quicker.

Their aim is to prevent people from getting ‘stuck’ in the system because of a lack of coordination between NHS services, social services, GPs and voluntary health organisations, costing the NHS money and personal distress for individuals involved.

Beacon UK highlights that estimates suggest that the economic and social costs of mental health problems in England is costing £105 million1.

To enable different mental health services and care providers to work together to better support an individual, Beacon UK decided that a new, innovative approach to referral management was required.

A secure digital service for referral management rather than the current paper-based system would deliver much quicker, safer communication about a patient’s needs leading to quicker triage and the appropriate care pathway.

“For Beacon UK to do things differently we realised that we had to join up the mental health care system. Interoperability is an inescapable part of this and we needed the capabilities to enable referrals to be sent to our Access Centre from different sources in an integrated, safe way, and in real time.” Melinda Rees, Managing Director, Beacon UK

Beacon UK chose RIVIAM’s Secure Referral Forms, configurable micro websites, hosted by RIVIAM, which present patient referrals in a standardised template which can be easily and safely completed and shared with NHS systems.

Beacon UK’s partner, Forward Thinking Birmingham (FTB), deployed RIVIAM’s Secure Referral Forms across Birmingham to support their mental health services for 0-25 year olds in April 2016.

Their partner, Surrey and Borders Partnership (SABP), also started using Secure Referral Forms across the Surrey county for children and adolescent mental health services in the same month.

Using RIVIAM’s secure referral services

RIVIAM collaborated closely with Beacon UK to configure the Secure Referral Forms to exact specification taking on board feedback from GPs, other users and provider teams.

Social workers, school nurses and GPs making referrals, and parents and individuals making self referrals2, can now access and complete these secure forms via FTB’s or SABP’s websites. They are a great way of capturing complex information about patient’s needs quickly and easily. Once all the required fields are completed, with a click of a button the referrals are directly available in the Secure Portal.

RIVAM’s Secure Portal is a real-time dashboard, enabling clinicians to access all information they need, triage and assess referrals quickly and easily. Sensitive patient data is encrypted at all times complying with the high standards of data security required by the NHS.

“Using RIVIAM has meant we have a secure way of enabling everyone who needs to make a referral to us to be able to do so quickly, easily and safely.

This includes those who don’t have secure NHS email such as school nurses, voluntary workers, parents, carers and individuals themselves.”
Stuart John Chuan, Deputy Clinical Director, Beacon UK

Realising the benefits

For Beacon UK RIVIAM is a component of its digital infrastructure and delivers a secure referral management service which the organisation can provide to its current partners, FTB and SABP.

RIVIAM enables Beacon UK to reduce the amount of paper-based referral information received mitigating any potential information governance issues caused by misuse or loss of patient information. Use of the Secure Referral Forms speeds up the referrals process and creates efficiencies.

“When our clinicians now receive referrals the information is presented in a consistent and easy to read format. This helps them to make a quick assessment of the patient’s need, saving them time and improving our operational efficiency.” Melinda Rees, Managing Director, Beacon UK

The fact that individuals and their carers can make self referrals reduces the pressure on GP appointments, and empowers people to take control of their own care.


Forward Thinking Birmingham self referral website

Feedback from young people and families receiving care via Beacon UK’s Care Pathway is positive.

“Thank you very much for the thought and extra effort you put into these referrals so that we are able to understand the need and identify the best source of help."

“I can’t believe how quickly you have responded, it is wonderful thank you.”

“Thank you so much for going all out and getting the help set up so quickly.”

Although this can’t be directly attributed to RIVIAM, Beacon UK’s use of Secure Referral Forms is an enabler for the organisation’s ability to speed up triage and provide people with the right care pathway.

“RIVIAM has provided Beacon UK with a key component of our digital infrastructure supporting our innovation credentials and our growth plans for the future.” Melinda Rees, Managing Director, Beacon UK

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