Mental health patients at most risk of suicide TWO WEEKS after leaving hospital, Manchester report reveals
16 Jul 2014
Around 3,225 patients committed suicide in the UK within the first three months of their discharge from hospital which accounts for 18% of all patient suicides between 2002-2012.
The University of Manchester’s National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness revealed that 526 patients died within the first week, the peak time of risk in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Professor Louis Appleby, Director of the National Confidential Inquiry, said: “Our latest data shows the first three months after discharge remain the time of highest risk but especially in the first one-two weeks.
“This increased risk has been linked to short admissions and to life events so our recommendations are that careful and effective care planning is needed including for patients before they are discharged and for those who self-discharge.
“Early follow-up appointments should be strengthened and reducing the length of in-patient stay to ease pressure on beds should not be an aim in itself.
“Instead health professionals should ensure the adverse events that preceded the admission have been addressed.”
The report also highlights 24 deaths in England and Wales in patients who had been restrained by ward staff in the previous 24 hours, five of these deaths occurred in 2012.
The research team call for suicides within 3 days of hospital discharge and deaths and serious injuries caused by restraint to be NHS ‘never events’.
Picture courtesy of sander van der wel, with thanks