Mental Health Inpatient Discharge Standard

People with mental health problems require comprehensive, integrated physical and mental health care, both in hospital and the community. The PRSB has developed the Mental Health Inpatient Discharge Summary Standard to ensure that relevant information is shared among healthcare professionals, facilitating continuity of care when an adult is discharged from inpatient mental health services.

Current release

Version: V2.1
Release date
December 2019
Release notes
Next release date
December 2024
Next release type
Scheduled release
The standard
Full standard – PRSB viewer
Available with next release (Dec 24)
Full standard – Excel
Download file (Excel)
Full standard – Json
Available with next release (Dec 24)
Minimum Viable Information Standard (MVIS)
MVIS sets out the data items and business rules that must be implemented to achieve safe, minimum implementation . Read more >
Supporting documentation
FHIR technical specifications
The messaging specification for exchanging information using the NHS standard for messaging, HL7 FHIR.
Implementation guidance
This document includes general implementation guidance for all PRSB standards and detailed guidance, specific to the Mental Health Inpatient Discharge Standard.
Business rules (not available until next release).
Rules for implementation of the standard.
Final report
Describes the purpose, methodolgy and stakeholder engagement for developing the standard, along with the findings and recommendations for further work.
Safety case
Summarises the hazards which could result from implementing the standard.
Hazard log
Details the potential hazards from implementing the standard with their risk rating and mitigation.
Male And Female Nurse Working At Nurses Station

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About this standard

The Mental Health Inpatient Discharge Summary Standard is designed to improve communication between secondary care providers and GPs. It ensures that timely and relevant information about a person’s care and treatment is accessible to GPs, community and acute mental health care teams, and social care professionals. This standard includes details on patient history, social context, medications, hospital admission details, and current and previous diagnoses. By recognising the unique nature of mental illness compared to physical illness, the standard uses inclusive and sympathetic language in its headings and clinical descriptions. This project supports NHS England’s interoperability efforts.


  • Enhances professional communication and continuity of care.
  • Ensures timely access to relevant patient information.
  • Supports integrated care across different healthcare settings.
  • Uses inclusive language tailored to mental health care.


Adult discharge from inpatient mental health services

Out of Scope 

How it works

The Mental Health Inpatient Discharge Summary Standard operates by ensuring that all relevant information is recorded and shared in a structured and coded format. This facilitates seamless communication and continuity of care across different healthcare settings.

Below is a summary table of the standard which comprises 23 sections, 5 mandatory (must be included), 12 required (should be included where the information is available), 6 optional (local choice whether to include the information):

Section Description MRO*
Patient demographics Patient details and contact information. mandatory
GP practice Details of the GP practice where the patient is registered. mandatory
Referrer details Details of the individual or team who referred the patient. required
Social context The social setting in which the patient lives, such as their household, occupational history, and lifestyle factors. optional
Individual requirements Individual requirements that a person has, e.g. communication, cultural, cognitive, mobility needs and reasonable adjustments. required
Participation in research The details of any research studies the patient is participating in. required
Admission details Details of the patient’s admission and reason for admission required
Discharge details The details of the patient’s discharge including discharge destination. required
Diagnoses A list of the patient’s diagnoses. required
Procedures The details of any procedures performed or therapies undertaken. optional
Clinical summary A brief description of the episode of care. mandatory
Family history Information on illness in family relations relevant to the health or care of the patient optional
Investigation results A record of investigations and procedures requested, results and plans. optional
Assessments A description of any assessments used. optional
Legal information Legal information captured relating to patient care, such as consent to sharing information, legal power of attorney, safeguarding issues and mental capacity. required
Safety alerts The details of any risks the patient poses to themselves or others. required
Medications and Medical Devices The details of and instructions for medications and medical equipment the patient is using. Includes changes in prescribed medications. optional
Allergies and adverse reactions The details of any known allergies, intolerances or adverse reactions. mandatory
Patient and carer concerns, expectations and wishes A description of the concerns, expectations or wishes of the patient. required
Information and advice given A record of any information or advice given to the patient, carer or relevant third party. required
Plan and requested actions Plans and requested actions for other healthcare professionals and the patient or their carer, including planned investigations, procedures and treatment. required
Person completing record The details of the person who filled out the record. mandatory
Distribution list A list of other individuals to receive a copy of this communication. required

The hospital electronic patient record (EPR) is expected to be able to generate much of the discharge summary from information recorded in the record such as diagnoses, procedures, medications, investigation results, assessments, patient demographics and other administrative information, with the person completing the record adding other information such as the clinical summary, plan and requested actions.

For full implementation the discharge information should be sent as electronic message using the NHS standard for messaging, HL7 FHIR, detailed here: Transfer of Care message specifications – NHS England

Further resources

  • Minimum viability information standard (MVIS)
    PRSB information standards define best practice based on evidence and widescale consultation and input from users and stakeholders. PRSB recognises that the NHS and social care are on a journey towards standardisation and interoperability and our aim is to support and encourage implementers on that journey. For this reason, we have defined and clinically validated a ‘Minimum Viable Information Standard (MVIS)’ for each of our standards which represent the minimum safe instance of the standard and delivers the intended objectives within the spirit of the standard. The MVIS defines the data items and business rules which must be implemented in order to have achieved this minimum instance. It is our aim that implementers will continue to improve their implementation of the standard over time and strive for a ‘best practice’ implementation, supported and evidenced by PRSB conformance testing. Please contact our support team to receive a copy of the MVIS for this standard.
  • Standards explained
    PRSB’s guide to standards which sets out the purpose and benefits of using standards and how to support frontline professionals to adopt them.
  • IHRIM record correction guidance
    Despite vigilance when filing information in records, mistakes can occur. The Institute of Health Records and Information Management has guidance to support professionals in making corrections following errors.


  • Association of Directors of Adult Social Services
  • British Psychological Society
  • Royal College of Anaesthetists
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists
  • Royal College of General Practitioners
  • Royal College of Occupational Therapists
  • Royal Pharmaceutical Society
  • Institute of Health Records and Information Management
  • TechUK