National Record Locator (NRL) for Mental Health Crisis Plans

NHS Digital's National Record Locator (NRL) Service hosts 'pointers' to patient information on our Rio electronic patient record system; allowing healthcare professionals to access Mental Health Crisis Plans at the point of need.

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Publishing pointers to Mental Health Crisis Plans from our Rio electronic patient record (EPR) system to the National Record Locator (NRL) system allows other mental health trusts and ambulance services access to records at the point of care, supporting informed care and appropriate and timely treatment.

Getting patients appropriate care

Currently, mental health crisis plans are made with patients when they're not in crisis, these plans are stores on the Rio system and are given to patients in hard copy. This means they aren't readily available to other healthcare professionals or ambulance services when they're in crisis.

As a result, ambulance services often take patients to A&E departments, where they often wait up to 12 hours at a time for a specialist mental health professional team to be made available.

With NRL, crisis plans can be accessed immediately and at the point of care. This allows patients to be taken to the most appropriate location to receive the best possible care, straight away.

Prioritising safety

When healthcare professionals have access to the right information, care can be tailored to the patient's needs and patients don't have to provide information multiple times.

Reducing delays in accessing a care plan not only improves staff safety, patient safety and mental health outcomes, but also reduces unnecessary trips to A&E, reducing the potential for duplicate care costs.

Supporting joined up care

Improved integration of care pathways across providers

Timely communication and collaboration between acute trusts, mental health providers, ambulance services, primary care, social care, public health (drug/alcohol services) and the voluntary sector.

Joined up care

Integration of information allows organisations to collaborate more closely and access records at the point of care.

Better patient experience

Care is tailored to the patient’s needs and information is accessible without patients having to provide it multiple times or when the patient cannot provide the information, better care can still be provided according to their care plan.


Patient data can be accessed securely by authorised users, reducing the risk of data breach.

Servelec sets the interoperability standard with four national programme accreditations and NRL go live in Somerset

Leading provider of digital care software, Servelec, announces its cloud-based Conexes platform has been accredited for four major national programmes run by NHS Digital in under nine months. It comes as Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is the first to go live with one of the programmes, the National Record Locator (NRL) for Mental Health Crisis Plans (MHCP).

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Key benefits

For mental health trusts

  • Increased security in transfer of information
  • Reduced risk of data breach
  • Saves money by avoiding duplicate care
  • Increased efficiency by ensuring records are accessible at the point of care across different mental health trusts and out of area
  • Improves staff safety, patient safety and mental health outcomes

For healthcare professionals

  • Safeguarding supported by sharing alerts across multiple care settings
  • Access to patient records and case history data enables the delivery of more personalised care
  • Improved data quality and consistency of shared records

For ambulance services

  • Be prepared with relevant information ahead of attending to the patient
  • Establish whether the patient has a mental health crisis plan quickly
  • Enables ambulance services to have more meaningful conversations with the patient as they have access to up to date information
  • Be able to act and tailor next steps according to the best interests of the patient by having access to details of their individual crisis plan

For patients

  • Receive appropriate and tailored care in a timely fashion
  • Improved communication about the patient’s care between partner organisations avoiding the need for them to provide the same information multiple times
  • Spend less time in an inappropriate setting and instead receive more appropriate care to help improve outcomes to reduce self-harming, de-escalate things faster and potentially save people from suicide
  • Have the ability to contact a relative or next of kin quickly to avoid them worrying

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