Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 22nd January 2018.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Labour/Co-operative, Liverpool, Wavertree

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his tweet (18) on crisis care of 20 November 2017, what evidence he has to suggest that the roll-out of liaison psychiatry to A&E departments in England may have contributed to a 6 per cent fall in suicide rates.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

There is evidence to support the role of liaison psychiatry services in emergency departments being well-placed to respond to people who present with mental health problems including self-harm and suicidal ideation. It is estimated that around 200,000 people present at emergency departments for self-harm each year and liaison psychiatry services can respond to their needs to ensure they are properly assessed and referred to specialist or community services where appropriate. NHS England has published guidance on implementing liaison psychiatry services which highlights evaluations of the benefits of implementing liaison psychiatry services for providers:

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on the treatment and management of self-harm highlight that liaison psychiatry services should be part of the emergency and urgent care pathway and these services may respond to self-harm.

It is reasonable to assert that improving the specialist treatment for people who present at emergency departments for self-harm, suicidal ideation or other mental health problem could contribute to a reduction in suicides, as the tweet suggested.

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