Agenda item

Performance Framework Spotlight: Suicide Prevention

Ruth Fletcher-Brown, Public Health Specialist


The Board considered a report containing information taken from the Public Health England Suicide Prevention Profiles and Office of National Statistics (ONS) data.  It showed that:-


-          Rotherham – after a small decrease between 2013-15, the 3 year directly age-standardised rate (DSR) had increased from 13.9 to 15.9 deaths per 100,000 between 2014-16 and 2015-17.  The latest data for 2016-18 showed that this had now dropped to 13.1 deaths per 100,000 a decrease of nearly 18%


-          Yorkshire and Humber Region – had a statistically higher suicide rate for males in 2018 compared to the overall rate for males in England and Wales – 19.0 deaths per 100,000 males compared to 16.2.  The suicide rate had increased from 15.3 in 2017 to 19.0 deaths per 100,000 in 2018 for males.  For females the highest suicide rate in 2018 in England was seen in Yorkshire and the Humber – 5.7 deaths per 100,000 women


-          England – All Persons Suicides – 5,021 suicides were registered in 2018, 570 more than in 2017 (4,451 deaths) – 12.8% increase.  The latest England rate represented the first increase since 2014, however, this remained lower than at the beginning of the time series (1981) – 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons


A symposium had been held in Rotherham in June 2019 as an opportunity for partners working across Rotherham to hear about national research and best practice in relation to suicide prevention.  It had also acted as a self-assessment of the Rotherham Suicide Prevention and Self-Harm Action Plan which would be submitted to the Board for sign off.


In Rotherham there was joint working between the CCG, RMBC and men’s groups to develop the concepts for the suicide prevention campaign, ‘Be the One’.


Rotherham had secured NHSE Year 2 Suicide Prevention funding which would be used to fund the promotion of a second round of small grant awards to men’s groups that were tackling the risk factors relating to suicide, implementation of the Train the Trainer Self Harm project, provision of a listening service for those bereaved/affected by suicide and suicide prevention training for frontline staff and targeted work in areas of higher rates.


Concern remained with regard to the number of women in Rotherham and the region who took their own lives.  Rotherham Public Health had commenced initial conversations with a local university regarding research into this area.  Also, whilst dropping in the 3 year period, suicide rates were still above the national average.


Next steps included the launch and monitoring of the impact of the ‘Be the One’ campaign as well as sign off of the Rotherham Suicide Prevention and Self Harm Action Plan by the Health and Wellbeing Board.  The NHSE Year 2 funded work would be implemented and evaluated as well as discussions with ICS colleagues in relation to any joint commissioning opportunities, work with a local university to understand why women took their own lives and look at what actions could be taken by all partners.


It was noted that families were now signposted to AMPARO which had started in May.  The contract was monitored by the CCG but the take-up had been slow.  It was thought that bereaved families were under the impression that it was a counselling service which they did not want; it was to be rebadged as a listening service.  The Service would provide support up until the inquest and beyond.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the refreshed Rotherham Suicide Prevention and Self Harm Action Plan 2019-21 be submitted to the Board for consideration.


(2)  That 6 monthly updates on progress against the action plan be submitted together with updates on the work funded through the NHS England Suicide Prevention funds.

ACTION:-  Ruth Fletcher Brown

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