MERIT logo

Background and aims

The Mental Health Alliance for Excellence, Resilience, Innovation and Training (MERIT) provider collaborative was established in 2016 as a vanguard site in response to the five year forward view for mental health and was initially comprised of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, Black Country Partnership NHS Trust, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. In 2018, the collaborative welcomed a fifth organisation, forward thinking Birmingham, the city’s mental health partnership for people aged 0 to 25.


MERIT’s vision is to deliver the best quality care and highest levels of mental well-being across the West Midlands. Their focus is on proactive early intervention care rather than reactive crisis management, which is achieved by promoting a recovery culture and providing crisis care and reduction of risk, which is used everyday in acute services.

Their key projects include:

  • Improving care for people in mental health crisis – creating a model of excellence across the partner organisations to promote quality improvement, consistency of practice and better collaborative working
  • Establishing a recovery culture in mental health – involving local people in developing services to help patients in recovery

Outcomes and benefits

As part of the crisis project, MERIT have introduced an electric health record viewer, which allows teams to view aspects of health records of patients from neighbouring trusts in the event that they require inpatient or outpatient care outside their home trust. This viewer contains information on patient clinical history, background and levels of care needs.

The key outcomes are as follows:

  • Professionals are able to see basic datasets about a patient, rather than needing to ask questions which may be difficult or distressing to service users
  • Teams are able to build clinical and risk pictures from available electronic care plans
  • This provides an efficient way for teams to carry out triage, verify what clients tell teams and make contact with patients care co-ordinator

Additional information

You can find out more about MERIT by accessing the NHS MERIT webpage.

The aim of the ZSA Case Studies is to introduce users to a range of examples of new and innovative practice, with the broad aim of working to support people with their mental health, bring awareness to and help prevent incidence of suicide. Please seek further information by contacting the ZSA and appropriate professional input prior to making a decision over its use.

This content was developed based on information within the public domain. If you would like to update this content, contact us

For more information on ZSA case studies, please refer to ZSA Policies.

Content last updated: 28/11/2022

If you have an example of innovative work and / or good practice that you would like to share with us, please e-mail: