Mental Health (Suicide)

Health written question – answered on 12th February 2004.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Health to what (a) precedent cases and (b) expert knowledge (i) the Government and (ii) relevant bodies refer when seeking to reduce the risks of suicide in mental health hospitals.

Photo of Rosie Winterton Rosie Winterton The Minister of State, Department of Health

The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) funds the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness to ensure that everyone involved in mental health services learns and implements lessons from the factors associated with serious incidents. The inquiry team published Safety First: Five Year Report in 2001. The key findings and recommendations outlined in this report also helped to develop the national suicide prevention strategy. The National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) has developed a toolkit to help mental health services implement the report's recommendations.

In addition, the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) plays a key role in bringing patient safety to a national level, enabling the entire National Health Service to learn from incidents and make itself safer and more stress free for patients.

Finally, Standard 7 of the national service framework for mental health requires local health and social care communities to develop local systems for suicide audit to learn lessons and take any necessary action.

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