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Found 24 results
  1. News Article
    A fourth suspected suicide has occurred at a mental health trust which was recently warned by the Care Quality Commission after three other similar inpatient deaths in quick succession, HSJ can reveal. All four deaths at Devon Partnership Trust had common themes, including the use of ligatures, and occurred amid a year-long delay to the trust’s plan to reduce ligature risks. Figures obtained by HSJ under freedom of information laws also reveal the trust took nearly a year to investigate the first two deaths. The target is 90 days. The trust told HSJ it had faced “humongous” problems addressing ligature risks and had been too “patient” with another trust which was helping to investigate the deaths. Read full story (paywallled) Source HSJ, 27 October 2020
  2. News Article
    Lockdown had a major impact on the UK's mental health, including increased rates of suicidal thoughts, according to new research. The study, led by the University of Glasgow, examined the effects of COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic. Certain groups are said to be particularly at risk, including young people and women. This publication is the most detailed examination of how the UK's adult population coped during the first weeks of lockdown, when people were given strict orders to stay home. Researchers say public health measures, like lockdowns, are necessary to protect the general population, but warn they may have a "profound and long-lasting" effect on mental health and will extend beyond those who have been affected by the virus. The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at three blocks of time between March 31 and May 11. Just over 3,000 adults in the UK were surveyed and a range of mental health factors were considered, including depression, loneliness, suicide attempts and self-harm. The study found suicidal thoughts increased from 8% to 10% and they were highest among young adults (18-29 years), rising from 12.5% to 14%. The researchers say that, even though those are relatively small rises, they are significant because of the short period of time they happened over. "The majority of people did not report any suicidal thoughts, but this creeping rise over a very short period of time is a concern," says Prof Rory O'Connor, chair in health psychology at the University of Glasgow's Institute of Health and Wellbeing. Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 October 2020
  3. Content Article
    The report makes a number of recommendations of how the needs of people who self-harm can be met more effectively: Government should ensure that planned investment in mental health support through the Long Term Plan results in specialist mental health services such as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) being supported with additional resource to increase expertise and capacity to support people who self-harm. NHS England should work with third sector experts and people with lived experience to develop a free self-care app for anyone who has presented to clinical services having self-harmed. GPs should be given more training to support them to deal with people who have self-harmed in a trauma informed way as well as being better informed about the types of care that can be effective in supporting people who self-harm. Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and DCMS should provide voluntary and community-based organisations with funding so they can provide a more consistent alternative to NHS support for people who self-harm.
  4. Content Article
    Key findings 281 nurses who died by suicide were identified over the six-year study period; of these 204 (73%) were female – these were the main focus of the study. Female nurses were older than other women who died by suicide; nearly half were aged 45-54 years. The most common method of suicide for female nurses was self-poisoning (42%). • More than half (60%) of female nurses who died were not in contact with mental health services. 102 nurses who died were identified as patients; of these, 81 (79%) were female and their clinical histories were examined further. Their age distribution was similar to that of nurses in the general population who die by suicide, 40% being aged 45-54 years. Female nurses who were patients were similar to female patients in other occupations. The main primary diagnoses were affective disorders (59%), followed by personality disorders (19%). Overall 41% had a history of alcohol misuse and 20% reported a history of drug misuse. Nearly two-thirds of female nurses had a history of self-harm (64%). Self-poisoning accounted for 48% of the deaths by female nurses. The main drugs taken were psychotropics (33%), opiates (31%), and paracetamol (19%). Although prevalence of experiencing adverse life events within three months of death was similar across the groups, female nurses were reported to have more workplace problems (18%). There were few differences in the care received by the female nurses and by women in other occupations, though it was less common for nurses to have had a previous short psychiatric admission of seven days or fewer, and they were more often prescribed SSRIs/SNRIs.
  5. News Article
    There has been a significant rise during lockdown in the UK in the number of LGBT people seeking suicide-prevention support. Support group LGBT Hero reports 11,000 people have accessed its suicide-prevention web pages - up over 44% on the first three months of the year. The government considers LGBT people to be at higher risk of suicide but no national data on LGBT suicides is kept. In total, eight charities told BBC News they had seen an increase in LGBT people accessing their support for suicide prevention. The LGBT Foundation has received more calls about suicide "than ever before". Gavin Boyd, of The Rainbow Project, based in Northern Ireland, said: "In just the last three weeks, we know of three LGBT people who have ended their lives." And another chief executive of a charity, in the south of England, who did not want to be named in case it affected its funding, said: "We know of two young LGBT people in the past two weeks. We're under more pressure to deliver than ever before. The government has done absolutely nothing to help regional LGBT charities cope with the demand from our already struggling service users." Read full story Source: BBC News, 2 July 2020
  6. Content Article
    I was experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 and when I became unable to complete a sentence or walk to the bathroom, my GP advised me to go to hospital. I have mental health difficulties and one of the staff recognised me from when I had been admitted previously, following a suicide attempt. I felt that I was treated like a 'frequent flyer' of A&E and that my symptoms were taken less seriously than they would have been otherwise. I was sent home after my tests for Covid came back negative and was told that it was just anxiety. I got much worse over the coming days. If I had tested negative, why was I feeling desperately unwell with all the published symptoms of Covid? I thought that I should be physically active if I didn't have Covid-19, so I pushed myself and berated myself when I repeatedly became unable to breath with a pounding heart upon any exertion. I couldn't cope caring for my four children and was in a 'critical' dangerous mental state many times. I self-harmed to try and cut off from feeling so awful. My physical health deteriorated. The ambulance was called by the GP who had sent a nurse to assess my oxygen levels and the paramedic said I should be in a coma according to my obs. This made me feel less like I was making it up, but it was still in my head despite my husband telling me repeatedly that the results of the test are 30% wrong. The paramedic gave me oxygen and I protested strongly against going to hospital a second time. The paramedic insisted I went, put me on oxygen and reassured me he would ask the hospital staff to relate to me as a patient who was showing clear signs of Covid and that I did struggle with my mental health but that I was doing my best to recover. I also asked the paramedics to inform the hospital staff about my eating disorder so they could gently help me to manage my low blood sugar without judgements and causing me further shame. In the hospital I saw a Dr who confirmed that I did have Covid-19 and that my test must have been a 'false negative'. I had felt judged, dismissed and had doubted myself. The first thing anyone I spoke to asked was whether or not I had had a test and whether it was positive. The negative test result isolated me from calling family and greeting neighbours as I didn't have the energy to go into the false negative answer. I found that saying my test was 'negative' sparked a surge of invalidation of everything I was experiencing. The isolation caused me further significant harm to my mental health. Among other fleeting symptoms I have had overwhelming fatigue, breathlessness, sweats or chills, no smell or taste, a rash, headaches and low mood. After nearly four weeks I am slowly recovering. I am lucky to have a social worker, family support worker and psychologist available over the phone through this period, so I do feel my family and I are supported. But I am interested to know if anyone else has found their symptoms are being quickly dismissed as anxiety when they are sure they have the virus? Or if anyone else feels like they haven't had their symptoms taken as seriously because of their mental health difficulties?
  7. News Article
    A quarter of children referred for specialist mental health care because of self-harm, eating disorders and other conditions are being rejected for treatment, a new report has found. The study by the Education Policy Institute warns that young patients are waiting an average of two months for help, and frequently turned away. It follows research showing that one in three mental health trusts are only accepting cases classed as the most severe. GPs have warned that children were being forced to wait until their condition deteriorated - in some cases resulting in a suicide attempt - in order to get to see a specialist. Read full story Source: The Telegraph, 10 January 2020
  8. Content Article
    This thematic review presents a detailed analysis of claims made after an individual has attempted to take their life.Claims relating to completed suicide and attempted suicide are reviewed, regardless of whether the claim resulted in financial compensation. It identifies common problems with care and provides recommendations for improvement to support service delivery. Results The results are split into two parts. The first part analyses the problems identified from the clinical details of each claim and the second part analyses the quality of the serious incident reports. Part one identifies recurring clinical themes and areas for improvement. Five areas where there were common issues in clinical care are discussed in depth: substance misuse communication, particularly failures in intra-agency working risk assessment observations prison healthcare. Part two identifies four main areas of concern, where: There was a lack of family involvement and staff support through the investigation and inquest process. The quality of root cause analysis undertaken as part of the Serious Incident (SI) investigation was generally poor and did not focus on systemic issues. Due to the poor SI report quality, the recommendations arising from SI investigations were unlikely to reduce the incidence of future harm. Reports to prevent future deaths (PFDs) were issued to trusts by the coroner with little consistency and there were poor mechanisms to ensure that changes in response to the PFDs had been made or addressed the issues highlighted.
  9. Content Article
    The new research maps the provision of safer custody telephone lines across the prison estate - dedicated phone lines which enable family members and others to pass on urgent information when they have concerns. It finds that provision is patchy, under-resourced and even non-existent in some prisons, leaving families struggling to share their concerns with prison staff. The report reveals that: Almost two in five (37%) prisons in England and Wales appeared to have no functioning dedicated safer custody telephone lines for families to get in touch. Of these, nearly one in five prisons (18%) had no publicly advertised number for a dedicated safer custody telephone line. A further 18% of prisons advertised a dedicated line, but when called the number either wasn’t operational, was not answered, or went through to a general prison switchboard. Of the 75 dedicated safer custody telephone lines that went through to safer custody departments, only 13 (17%) were answered by a member of staff. Over 80% of dedicated safer custody lines that went through to safer custody departments (62 prisons in total) put the caller straight through to an answer machine.
  10. News Article
    Poor treatment and aftercare for people who self-harm or attempt suicide is putting their lives at risk, the Royal College of Psychiatrists says. Many patients treated in A&E for self-harm do not receive a full psychosocial assessment from a mental health professional to assess suicide risk. Simon Rose, who has attempted suicide many times, told BBC News it once took 18 months to receive aftercare. NHS England said reducing suicide rates was an "NHS priority". Last year, UK suicide rates rose for the first time since 2013, with people born in the 1960s and 1970s being the most vulnerable. Experts are now calling for all self-harm patients to be offered a safety plan – an agreed set of bespoke activities and guidelines to help them deal with depressive episodes. Dr Huw Stone, who chairs the patients' safety group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said patients, especially those under 30, were being systematically let down in their most vulnerable state. "With hospital admissions for self-harming under-30s more than doubling in the last 10 years, there has never been a more important time to ensure patients are getting the care that they need," he said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 February 2020
  11. Content Article
    The report argues for a fundamental rethink about the use of prison and calls for a political boldness to implement evidence-based change. The vulnerabilities of young prisoners have been well documented by countless research, investigations and inquest findings, yet they continue to be sent to unsafe environments, with scarce resources and staff untrained to deal with their needs. Based on INQUEST's specialist casework with the families of the prisoners who died, the report found that: 83% were classified as “self-inflicted”. The highest number of deaths occurred in HMYOI Glen Parva (six) and HMP Chelmsford (four). A further casework sample of 47 young and child deaths also found that: 30% of those who died were care leavers or had suffered some kind of family breakdown which required them to live outside of their immediate family home. 70% had mental health issues and 49% had self-harmed previously. A critical concern is that prison establishments have not learned lessons from previous deaths in prisons; too many deaths occur because the same mistakes are made time and again. In the light of these concerns, this report considers the implications and reasons behind prison deaths since 2011. Lastly, the report stresses the need for new thinking and new strategies if such deaths are to be avoided in the future.
  12. News Article
    Levels of self-harm in prisons have hit a new high, with more than 60,000 incidents in a year, official figures show. The number of self-harm incidents was up 16% to 61,461 in the 12 months to September 2019, when there were 53,076, according to data released by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Prison reform campaigners have criticised the government for failing to respond effectively to serious mental health problems and called Thursday’s figures a “national scandal”. Deborah Coles, the Director of the charity Inquest, said: “Despite investment and scrutiny, the historical context shows that still more people are dying in prison than ever before. A slight recent reduction in the number of deaths comes alongside unprecedented levels of self-harm, while repeated recommendations of coroners, the prison ombudsman and inspectorate are systematically ignored." "This is a national scandal and reflects the despair and neglect in prisons. Despite this, the health and safety of people in prison appears to be very low on the agenda of the new government." Read full story Source: 30 January 2020
  13. Content Article
    What does the handbook cover? It includes advice and information on: What happens after a sudden death? Post-mortem examinations and the rights of bereaved people The process before and during an inquest, including when you may need legal advice and how to fund it Coping with a death and an inquest Contentious deaths in police and prison custody, immigration detention, mental health settings and deaths involving multi-agency failings or where wider issues of state and corporate accountability are in question Contacts of voluntary, government and professional organisations working on mental health, criminal justice and immigration issues. About INQUEST INQUEST is the only charity providing expertise on state related deaths and their investigation to bereaved people, lawyers, advice and support agencies, the media and parliamentarians. Their specialist casework includes deaths in police and prison custody, immigration detention, mental health settings and deaths involving multi-agency failings or where wider issues of state and corporate accountability are in question.
  14. Content Article
    What is the Skills and Support Toolkit? The online toolkit written by INQUEST, is an interactive resource that aims to build a range of skills, from organising information relating to the inquest, speaking in public, to handling media attention. Families have helped to create the skills toolkit, giving bereaved individuals the much needed support and ability to communicate their concerns and calls for change. "The Skills and Support Toolkit can provide you with practical advice needed to continue and maintain your day to day life at a time when even the simplest of tasks can seem insurmountable, or help you develop the skills needed to mount a campaign." - Mother of a child who died in prison.
  15. News Article
    The British Medical Association (BMA) should not allow itself to become a campaign tool for vested interest groups seeking a dangerous change in the law, writes Dr Matthew Davis in the Guardian. "Doctors have a responsibility to first do no harm... Even when it may feel uncomfortable, doctors must continue to exercise their Hippocratic duty", says Dr Davies. "The BMA must remain opposed to assisted suicide if the medical profession it claims to represent is to have any credibility in safe, caring and trustworthy expertise. It must not allow itself to become a campaign tool for vested interest groups seeking an extreme and dangerous change in the law that has, even very recently, been rejected by parliament." Read full story Source: The Guardian, 25 February 2020
  16. News Article
    Following a doctor’s suicide, a petition is calling for the GMC to take responsibility for the wellbeing of those under its investigation. Read full story (paywalled) Source: Pulse, 25 February 2020
  17. Content Article
    It highlights the findings from inquests that took place between January 2018 and April 2019, including that of Emily Hartley, Annabella Landsberg, Jessica Whitchurch, Natasha Chin, Nicola Jayne Lawrence and Sarah Maria Burke. Also included is updated statistics on the deaths in women's prisons, noting that there have now been 106 deaths (to 10 May 2019) since the 2007 Corston Review. To prevent deaths in women’s prisons, INQUEST is calling on government and parliamentarians, policy makers, practitioners and campaigners to recognise women’s imprisonment as a form of structural violence against women; honour international treaty obligations to safeguard vulnerable women and girls; and work together towards eradicating outdated and failing women’s prisons. Key INQUEST recommendations in the report: Redirect resources from criminal justice to welfare, health, housing and social care. Divert women away from the criminal justice system. Halt prison building and commit to an immediate reduction in the prison population. Review sentencing decisions and policy. An urgent review of the deaths of women following release from prison. Ensure access to justice and learning for bereaved families. Build a national oversight mechanism for implementing official recommendations.
  18. Content Article
    The report makes the following recommendations: National review: the government should proceed with its national review of deaths of people on post-release supervision in the community following a custodial sentence to establish the scale, nature and cause of the problem. Data: more detailed and accurate data should be made available along with regular reporting to the Minister responsible and Parliament alongside the publication of an annual report. Investigations: deaths of people on post custody supervision should be investigated by an independent body with adequate resources allocated to allow this to happen. There needs to be a threshold for this with a range of factors taken into account. Improve scrutiny and learning: the Government needs to confirm oversight at a local and national level.