Suicide

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 12th January 2022.

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Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timetable is for a national real time suicide surveillance system being operational in England.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many local areas in England have established a real time suicide surveillance system; and of those areas, how many are contributing to a national system as of 4 January 2022.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of a national real time suicide surveillance system to suicide bereavement support planning in England.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the ongoing funding requirements for a national real time suicide surveillance system in England.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) police and (b) coroners will regularly contribute to a national real time suicide surveillance system in England.

Photo of Liz Twist Liz Twist Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much of the £1.2 million allocated by the Government to establish a real time suicide surveillance system in England (a) has been spent and (b) is remaining.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The Department is assessing options for delivering a near Real Time Suspected Suicide Surveillance System as part of the national near Real Time Suicide Surveillance pilot (nRTSS). The next steps for establishing a national nRTSS system, including a timetable, will be considered once the findings from the current pilot project are available. The pilot project is due for completion at the end of March 2022. We have identified 16 areas in England where a system that aims to deliver near real time suspected suicide surveillance has been established. The Department is currently working with 37 of the local authorities covered by existing systems to develop and pilot a national system by the end of March 2022.

An effective national system has the potential to improve local bereavement support by reducing the time taken for suicide-related information to be made available to local service providers and commissioners. This could include proactive approaches to individuals and families who have been bereaved by suicide.

The ongoing funding requirement for a national near Real Time Suicide Surveillance system in England, and the potential contribution of coroners and the police will be assessed following the findings of the pilot. To date £360,000 of revenue funding has been spent or is committed to delivering the pilot by 31 March 2022. Capital funding of £140,000 is currently being distributed to the seven participating local areas, which are submitting bids against the remaining £700,000 of capital funding to meet further costs required to deliver the pilot this year.

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