NHS England Offering £400k for Digital Mental Health Fund
Digital tech companies can now compete for a share of £400,000 on offer from NHS England to help progress uptake of their products designed to improve mental health.
The NHS England funded Digital Development Lab – run by mHabitat in partnership with MindTech and Social Spider – will provide six to eight innovators the chance to have their products nationally endorsed and promoted within the health service.
Successful companies will be given access to funds to accelerate adoption of their digital technology, in addition to help with generating evidence of impact and access to mentoring on range of topics including regulation and implementation.
Mental ill health represents a huge strain on the economy, NHS and society, at a cost of around £105 billion a year, but services are often found to be under par.
NHS England stated earlier this year that they would invest an extra £1 billion a year into improving mental health services, in line with a wider-reaching package of recommendations made by the Mental Health Taskforce to give the area equal footing with physical health.
The Mental Health Five Year Forward View forecast a vital role for digital technology in enabling significant changes to mental health services over the next five years.
“Using this fund we can rapidly develop and scale currently available, evidenced based tools. The Lab’s successes will mean more people can manage and care for their mental health using a set of high quality, evidence-based and safe digital tools with NHS endorsement,” said Juliet Bauer, director of Digital Experience at NHS England.
“We’re particularly interested in tools that support the mental health of young people and families. This might include more self-care at home, managing conditions before they escalate and building mental resilience. It also means NHS commissioners will be able to update or newly commission digital products for their population with confidence.”